Saag Chana

Spinach with spiced chickpeas

Rachael French

This is a spicy vegan dish, good on its own or as an accompaniment to a curry. I have been making Saag Aloo 🔗, the spicy spinach and potato mix, for many years, and Rachael had introduced me to Chana Masala, a more complex curry, but I was caught one evening without potatoes and looking for a side-dish to go with my curry. This is adapted from one by zemfira from BBC goodfood, and it fitted the bill beautifully.

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Serves 4. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium red chili
  • 25 g ginger
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 6 cardamoms | seeds only
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick | crushed fine
  • 1 tsp grated turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala (or curry paste or powder)
  • 1 × 400 g can chickpeas
  • 1 double handful baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. Peel and slice or chop finely the onion, garlic, chili, and ginger.

  2. Fry it all gently in the oil in a large pan until softened (about 10 minutes).

  3. In a dry pan or skillet, heat the coriander seed, cardamoms, and cinnamon stick, for a minute or two until aromatic, then pound to a powder in a mortar or blender.

  4. Combine with the turmeric and garam masala and add to the onion mix in the other pan.

  5. Turn up the heat, add the drained chickpeas, and stir well. Add a little water if it seems too dry.

  6. It can be turned off now and reheated when the rest of the meal is ready.

  7. At the last moment, when hot, cover it with the spinach leaves and cover for one minute. Stir and re-cover for another minute until the spinch is wilted.


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