Chana Saag

This chickpea and spinach dish is one of my favorite Indian meals. It’s quick, easy and a nutritional powerhouse. Don’t fret if you don’t have all of the spices. It’s best with all of the ones listed, but could be equally delicious with other Indian spice combinations. I always buy spices in bulk. They are a fraction of the cost and you can get just the quantity you need. Ground cardamom is a good example. A 1.75 ounce jar runs about $12. In bulk, the same amount is a little over $3.

I like to double this recipe to have leftovers for lunch or to freeze for a super-quick heat-and-serve dinner.

2 tablespoon olive oil, butter or ghee (ghee is Indian clarified butter)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium-large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala (an Indian spice mixture)
2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more of less to taste)
2-3 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh when in season, box/canned when out of season)
4 cups of cooked chickpeas
1 pound fresh spinach (or one box/bag frozen)
1/2 cup plain yogurt


  • Heat oil/butter on a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic and ginger and saute for couple minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic get brown.
  • Mix all the dried spices together.
  • Add ginger, tomatoes and spices to pot. Cook over medium-heat for 10 minutes (if you are using frozen spinach add now).
  • Add chickpeas and fresh spinach and cook for about 10-15 minutes more, until heated through.
  • Stir in yogurt and serve
  • .

Serves 4
Serve with rice, naan (delicious Indian flat bread) and, my favorite, mango chutney.