I write frequently about local blogger and cooking instructor, Rupali Agarwal, and her blog Enhance your Palate, healthy vegetarian cooking. This chickpea and spinach curry does not use the ubiquitous bottled and already blended curry powder. Rather it is the combination of freshly roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric, cayenne, ginger and other spices that make this Indian chickpea and spinach curry so flavorful and complex.
I soaked my chickpeas overnight and cooked them for about 45 minutes before adding them to the curry. Rupali has an instant pot and so her process is much quicker than my old-fashioned method. You can also substitute canned chickpeas if you wish to take a shortcut and really speed things up.
After the chickpeas are cooked, the remainder of the cooking process for the curry is quick and easy.
Sauté the onions and tomatoes in ghee with all of the spices. I used jalapeños for the green chilis required in the recipe because I wanted the curry to be spicy, and it was!
In the tradition of northern Indian cuisine, the recipe calls for asafetida. Asafetida, also referred to as hing, is used to aid in digestion. I purchased the hing at a local international market. You can also order it online. If you cannot find it, you can substitute 1/4 tsp garlic powder or onion powder. Asafetida mellows during cooking and does result in a flavor similar to onion or garlic.
I like to serve the chickpea and spinach curry with basmati rice as a vegetarian main course but it can also be served as a hearty side. Serve the curry with Indian condiments such as chutney, pickled, spicy vegetables or a cooling yogurt raita. And if you do have some naan, its always good for dipping into the yummy sauce, right? Enjoy!