Cooking, Vegetarian
comments 23

Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach

Yum scrum! Spiced chickpeas with spinach. The humble chickpea, small and nutty, packed full of protein and fibre. So tasty and cheap, I bow before thee. I first had chickpeas in a youth hostel in Rome many years ago, at the tender age of 19. A fellow youthful traveller was eating them out of a tin that he had hacked open with a swiss army knife, I was curious and had to try. I’ve never looked back.

I love chickpeas, whether they are in dips, stews or curries. In salads with cheeses, herbs and tomatoes. I like them baked as a snack or spiced in a pitta. Like all pulses, it is worth making the effort soaking dried ones over night and cooking them until tender, if reasonably fresh, usually for an hour or so. There’s no comparison for me between dried and tinned – the texture of those cooked from dried is so much better, firm to the bite, rich in flavour and not waterlogged like tinned.

Earlier this week, I soaked and cooked off a big bag of dried chickpeas, and, for that evening, spiced about 2 tins worth with spinach and froze the rest. It’s a quick dish with tasty results. This will serve 4 and is good served stuffed in toasted pitta bread.


2 tins of chickpeas, drained, or the equivalent in dried (soaked and cooked about 600g)
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 fat clove garlic, finely chopped
1 in root ginger, peeled and grated
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
Juice of half a lemon
A couple of handfuls of fresh spinach
A handful of chopped fresh coriander
Some light oil for frying, I used groundnut


Toast the coriander and cumin in a frying pan (with no oil) until they start to pop, usually no more than 30 seconds.

Grind the toasted spices in a pestle and mortar. Combine with the turmeric, chilli and garam masala.

Fry the onion and celery in some oil until the onion is translucent, add the spices, ginger, and garlic and fry for a minute or so. Add the tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chickpeas and coat in the spices. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Take off the heat and stir in the coriander; squeeze in the lemon.

Serve. Highly recommended with toasted pitta breads and some yoghurt.




  1. scotchcart says

    I do love your recipes. Wholesome and tasty with the good practical tips for amateurs like me!

  2. Thanks scotchcart! That’s very kind of you. I have lots of chicpeas to cook with this week so expect more of the same!

  3. Once again, Niamh, we think along the same recipe lines! I was mentally drooling over a chickpea-spinach bake today when trying to think of more vegetarian meals for dinner. This absolutely is going on to the list.

  4. Hey Niamh,
    I’m going to try this now in our new flat. I feel like you’ve been thinking of me, nice iron rich foods (although I hear Spinach/Iron thing is a myth).

  5. Christy DeKoning says

    This looks so delicious – I have to go buy some chickpeas now! Thanks for the great blog & recipes.

  6. Thank you all for the lovely comments!

    Alexx – thanks, hope you enjoy.

    Eatersregret – it was lovely and I had many spinach/chickpea combinations last week!

    Annemarie – we do tend to think along the same lines, don’t we? I made several veggie meals with the spinach/chickpea core last week. Butternut squash or paneer are good in here too.

    Anna – yes, totally yum, tasty, bright and colourful.

    Fiona – yeah, there is iron but not as muc as we’ve been led to believe. Enjoy!

    Thanks Christy :-)

  7. Chickpeas and spinach~ not only packed with nutrients and protein but budget friendly too! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. I must admit to always being lazy and using tinned… but I do cook dried beans and I can see by analogy what you mean about the dried/tinned chickpea debate. I like the idea of making a huge batch and then freezing some – clever. This looks like the perfect dish for when I am home alone and hubby is away on business…

  9. Looks fabulous. On the menu for next week.

    I know you’re in London – have you tried the jars of big fat creamy chick peas they sell at Brindisa at Borough Market? MUCH better than tinned, and probably better than supermarket dried. Not cheap but well worth it.

  10. Hi Bron – great! I have indeed – so so so so good! I do think dried are the best, if you get good fresh ones. Worth the effort, I promise you :-)

  11. I was just reading your round up post and came through to this – yum! Chickpeas and spinach – classic! I love those little buggers – chickpeas – I bow before thee!!

  12. I love chick peas. This recipe is perfect for a healthy food lover like me.
    Thanks! The picture looks really tempting.

  13. Mike A says

    Delicious! We’ve just polished up a couple of platefuls – with yoghurt and toasted pittas, as you suggest. Another winner!

  14. Alastair says

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ve just made it today, and it was delicious. Unfortunately I didn’t have any yoghurt or pitta breads – but it was still yummy on its own.

  15. Pingback: Recipes from the Archives: Some Top Winter Warmers « eat like a girl

  16. Pingback: Top winter recipes from Eat Like A Girl « Later On

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)