Channa Palak Recipe (Indian Chickpeas Curry with Spinach)
Its funny when many people I know assume I have lots of time to burn, cos I sit and cook so much! Why funny? - you might ask. As long as someone has interest they would find ways and means to do it, is my explanation. Like for example, my husband has been behind me practically for 2 yrs now (yes, that long) to improve my photography skills. He insists that its a good thing to learn the techniques, learn the composition, learn the "Rule of thirds", so on and so forth! "Oh I have no time", "Well after I finish cooking and take all the pictures, I am so tired that I don't care for 1/3rd or 5/3rd rule", "I dont want to research and buy ego/lowel light or whatever they are called - no time" - quips yours truly to all that nagging!. But then one can never lie to themselves now can they? When I can find time to prepare something like a strudel dough from scratch, make the arduous Malaysian Canai , patiently sit down to do kickboxing with the yeast, I can very well find 15 minutes every day to learn something with photography now, cant I? But why excuses? Lack of interest or shall I put it in a better sounding way - Not enough interest. May be some day, I will get down and start thinking that the surrounding of my food should look great as well and not just the food! Do all the light boy stuff, assign ONE place for taking photos and not run around the house chasing light! May be! Someday! But until then lemme at least tell you that cooking unlike learning the techniques is not such a fuss as it looks. Nowadays the number of ready made stuff available (nope, not talking about instant Mac n Cheese/ instant noodles mix etc) like puff pastry, pie crust, diced tomatoes, frozen peas (I remember having to shell them every-time to use them while growing up), canned chickpeas, kidney beans and canned everything!, makes life much easier when you are on the go!
Channa Palak Recipe (Indian Chickpeas Curry with Spinach)
Take this Channa Palak for instance. One of the most loved Indian combo where cooked chickpeas is mixed along with sauteed spinach, seasoned and served warm with roti or rice. There are umpteenth Indian dishes which are not only immensely simple to make, but are nutritious and fast to make too with hardly any prep work to do. This dish, I made under 15 minutes, with canned chickpeas and triple washed spinach. I resort to such dishes for packing lunch box too! Makes my mornings much easier! You can make this as simple or as special you want. I have added different spices but just some Garam Masala and salt would be perfect too!
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, or used canned after draining it well
  • 1-2 bunches of spinach, coarsely chopped (you can use as much or as little, as per taste)
  • 1 red onion.chopped
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes,chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaf
  • pinch of clove powder and cardamom powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chillies, thinly sliced (or as per taste)
  • salt to taste
* I usually add cinnamon, bay leaf and turmeric while cooking chickpeas and then discard the cinnamon and bay leaf once the chickpeas is cooked.
1. In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Add cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom powder, bay leaf in that order. The second the aroma starts wafting, add the onion and then ginger garlic paste. Saute until onion get soft.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies along with the rest of the seasoning including salt. Add about 1/4 cup of water and increase the heat. Cook until the tomatoes break down and become like a gravy. Reduce heat and discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
3. Add the chopped spinach on top. Let it wilt slightly.
4. Add the chickpeas and close with the lid. Cook until the spinach wilts completely.
5. Stir to combine , add more seasoning if you required. You can add more water and mash few of the chickpeas to create a thick consistency.
Serve hot. It works well both with plain rice , pulao and roti. Channa Palak Recipe (Indian Chickpeas Curry with Spinach)

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2 Member Reviews

By Ramya on Aug 16, 2010

Hey DK,

I tried this and loved it.. Thnnx for the easy recipes.. u rock :)


By Vegan | Pearltrees on Mar 4, 2013

[...] Channa Palak Recipe | Indian Spinach and Chickpeas curry Its funny when many people I know assume I have lots of time to burn, cos I sit and cook so much! Why funny? - you might ask. As long as someone has interest they would find ways and means to do it, is my explanation. Sometimes I "Veg" | Chickpea meatballs It looks like my smoothies yesterday did the trick. The day turned out to be a beautiful sunny one. Of course I was crazy stressed at work and couldn’t enjoy my normal lunch walk. Luckily I also had some food pre-prepped and ready to go. It’s one of the advantage of these chickpea meatballs I keep them in my fridge and reheat them for the occasion. Vegan Recipes from Oh My Veggies vegan recipes - Oh My Veggies [...]

By gangka on Sep 4, 2012

Hi DK; Thanks alot for the recipe. I made it today. For a dinner, but I didn't use the amchur powder, donno where to get them. :?: I added sprouted chickpeas to this and tastes great. Keep up your good work. :lol: :lol:

By Nivi on Aug 7, 2012

I have sort to ur blog for rescue many times, this recipe, The word 'canned' caught my eyes and I came straight to the comments space I haven't read the full recipe. Maybe I'll read it sometime and try it with chickpeas I soak overnight. Anything canned is a BIG nono for me. A quick tip from my side to avoid using canned- soak varieties of beans or peas in separate bowls and or some mixed in a bowl overnight. Then drain the water from all bowls. Pack the beans in ziplocks , squeezing out air. Freeze them with the current date on it. This alt to canned beans works for me absolutely unfailing each time

By priyanka chopra on Jun 27, 2012

wow i mean palak this way..

By Alex on Aug 4, 2010

I just made this, and it's delicious! I made "some" adjustments to it: Swiss Chard because i had no Spinach, omitted mango powder (never seen or heard of it but i will be on the lookout) and used fresh ginger and garlic. It probably isn't Channa Palak anymore but it sure is tasty. Thanks for this amazing blog :-D

By Sreelakshmi on Jun 29, 2010

HI. I prepared this recipe but instead of using chickpeas i used rajma and small brown chana. It came out really well :) :)

By Jonaki on Jun 11, 2010

Hey DK, Thanks for sharing this.. Hope to make it really soon :)

By Matt on Jun 11, 2010

This recipe looks super tasty. All my previous attempts at making Indian-style sauces have failed miserably, but this looks easy enough. I'll have to give it a try soon.

By Heather loves healthy vegan recipes on Mar 8, 2010

I don't know how much the rule of thirds applies to food photography... I mean, which chickpea is really your focal point? I love your shots, especially the process ones! I certainly don't have the patience for that. If you want an easy way to learn composition techniques (not that you need it, as a few people have already mentioned - there are rules, and there's just the eye) I love the book 'The Photographer's Eye', by Michael Freeman. It's great for inspiring creativity & the breaking of rules!! Also - fantastic recipe, I love the chickpea-spinach combo!

By malini on Mar 6, 2010

I prepared this. very delicious and yummy.

By malini on Mar 6, 2010

I prepared this. very yummy.

By Elizabeth on Mar 6, 2010

I just made this, and WOW/YUM. I've never heard of mango powder, and I didn't have it around so I just left it out. It was still wonderful, but I am going to look around for it now because this dish is my new favorite. Thanks !

I am glad you like it Elizabeth...its a fav at my place too - I vary the spices every time I make them - sometimes as simple as just adding some Garam Masala to other times adding myriad ones....this is a very flexible dish :)--DK

By rajiv nayan on Mar 6, 2010

Great recipe. tried it and though the spinach did not come as"leafy" as shown but the aroma was there. This wilt business was tricky.

Ohhh what exactly was the problem...may be I might be of some help if you can elaborate...--DK

By shyam on Mar 6, 2010

Oh please, your pics are amazing enough already! :) I'm not sure that you need the theoretical knowledge when your practical photography is obviously so superb!

By Deepa G Joshi on Mar 6, 2010

chana palak..what a combination..lovely and spicy..the clicks looks o good.

By Priya Mitharwal on Mar 5, 2010

I have never tried this combo, so will definitely have to try :)

By Champa on Mar 5, 2010

Your pictures are amazing. I guess we are all like that. Find time to do what we want to and no time for stuff that doesn't interest us. If I had studied my plus II entrance with as much interest as a baking book, I would've gotten into medical school without problems instead of engineering. And I did want to be a doctor or so I thought.

By simplyfood on Mar 5, 2010

Palak chana looks wonderful and your photos are amazing.If you can catch photos like this with out traning why bother with it.

By Joie de vivre on Mar 5, 2010

I think your pictures are wonderful! Don't give yourself a hard time.

By Sayantani on Mar 5, 2010

my friends always ask how i manage to cook and blog with work and a 1 yr old and my answer lways is I do coz I love it. chana palak looks yum and thts a bowlful of health too.

By Soumya on Mar 5, 2010

Without any technical knowledge u r so good...look at all ur pics...they invite who ever stops here.So keep going till u develop some interest and time for it.Love channa palak, i know canned ones r a blessing but keep in mind it has hind sodium content in it and not good for everyday use. :wink:

Oh yes I agree - but as long as you rinse out the chickpeas well with cold water, it should not pose a problems relating to preservatives and sodium...also I usually prefer soaking dry beans since I buy those in large qtys...but these canned ones do come handy at times as long as you take the precaution of removing the preservatives...:) --DK

By Deesha on Mar 5, 2010

I so agree with you on photography skills. By the time I am done with cooking & clearing all the mess, I am so damn tired that I just want to get done with some decent photographs, I so want to learn the tricks . Chana palak is a favorite of mine

By Desi Soccer Mom on Mar 5, 2010

Chasing light, done that. Lowell light, what's that? BTW, your photos are great, LL or not. Evidence, the above mentioned chole palak that look as delectable as they taste. I make a different version which is sitting in my draft and waiting for my lazy fingers to press 'publish'. It took me two weeks to publish the 'Tibetan' soda bread.

By usha on Mar 5, 2010

Nice recipe! I also chase the light all round my apartment... and in winters, it is very difficult as I usually cook in the evenings...

By PJ on Mar 5, 2010

For me its dad asking me to learn the tips and tricks of clicking!! Like you said we find time to do what we love,don't we!!!!Channa palak is awesome...

By Priya on Mar 5, 2010

Recently i prepared this combo and this channa palak is one of my favourite now...Awesome and nutritious side dish!