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Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach

This creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach is a quick, easy, filling, healthy, and delicious meatless dinner that’s packed with flavor. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and budget-friendly!

Chickpeas, onions, garlic, ginger, fire-roasted tomatoes, and spinach are simmered with coconut milk, curry powder and garam masala. And a squeeze of fresh lime juice is the perfect finish!

Curry powder (which actually has British origins) and garam masala are both spice blends – the ingredients can vary depending on the brand or who’s making them – and they’re what make this curry so good.

The main ingredient in curry powder is turmeric, and it’s combined with other spices such as coriander, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, mustard, pepper, cardamom, and fenugreek.

Garam masala literally translates to “hot spices,” but it’s not hot. Hot refers to the warm spices used, such as coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I do like my curry with a little bit of heat, so I add a small amount of crushed red pepper flakes. But they’re optional. Without them, this curry is very mild.

Serve it over rice (my favorite is basmati), over quinoa, or even as-is with some naan bread. A sprinkle of green onions and fresh cilantro add a bit of freshness and extra deliciousness.

Both chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and spinach are filled with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Plus, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and even the spices have their own health benefits.

So besides being delicious, this creamy chickpea curry is nutritious too. And it’s inexpensive to make. And it’ll be ready in just 40 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner (hello, Meatless Mondays!).

That’s a quadruple winner in my book, folks!

coconut chickpea curry with spinach in a skillet with a serving spoon, a lime, a sprig of cilantro, and a small bowl of sliced green onions in the background

Ingredients you need:

Note: Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Coconut oil (preferably virgin/unrefined)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Curry powder (I use my Easy Homemade Curry Powder; a store-bought blend is fine also)
  • Garam masala
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chickpeas (canned or home-cooked)
  • Canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes)
  • Canned coconut milk (see Note below)
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh spinach
  • Hot cooked rice, optional (for serving)
  • Green onions, optional (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro, optional (for garnish)

Note: Canned coconut milk can be found in the international aisle of the grocery store near the Asian or Indian foods. I use and recommend the full-fat version, which is thick and creamy. The lite version can be used, but it will be diluted, thinner and less creamy.

Don’t use the refrigerated coconut milk in a carton for this recipe (it is too thin and often has added sweeteners). Also don’t use cream of coconut, which has been sweetened and is used in mixed drinks and desserts.

Here’s a look at how to make Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of onions being sautéed in a pan with text that says sauté onions in coconut oil over medium heat until softened; the other of garlic and ginger added to the pan with text that says add garlic and ginger, sauté for one minute
2 images; one of spices added to the pan with the onions with text that says add spices, salt and pepper, sauté for one minute; the other of chickpeas, tomatoes, and coconut milk added to the pan with text that says add chickpeas, tomatoes, and coconut milk, stir
2 images; one of the chickpea mixture simmering in the pan with text that says bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly; the other of spinach added to the pan with text that says add spinach, stir until wilted
2 images; one of lime juice being added to the pan with text that says add lime juice stir to combine; the other of the finished curry over rice in a bowl with text that says serve over rice, garnish with green onions and cilantro, optional, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • To save time if you are going to serve the curry over rice, start the rice first and then cook the curry while the rice is cooking.
  • I use and recommend virgin/unrefined coconut oil because it adds even more coconut flavor. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use regular olive oil, avocado oil or even vegetable oil.
  • If you don’t have or can’t find garam masala, you can use all curry powder (use 1½ tablespoons).
  • Not into spinach? Leave it out. You can always serve another vegetable on the side. Want more spinach? Add some more!
  • I usually use baby or young spinach and keep the leaves whole, but you can chop it if you’d like.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime juice instead of bottled. It makes a difference!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a pan or pot on the stove over low heat just until heated through. Or reheat in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.
coconut chickpea curry with spinach over white rice in a bowl with a fork with another bowl of curry and the pan of curry in the background

And while this might not be an authentic or traditional Indian curry, it sure is delicious and every bit as good as any I’ve ever gotten at a restaurant!

I hope you try this Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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coconut chickpea curry with spinach over rice in a white bowl

Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach

This creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry With Spinach is a quick, easy, filling, healthy, and delicious meatless dinner that's packed with flavor. It's also vegan, gluten-free, and budget-friendly!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 526

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, preferably virgin/unrefined (for extra coconut flavor)
  • 2 cups chopped onions, about ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon total)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • teaspoons garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional (add more or less to taste)
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed; or home-cooked chickpeas (about 3½ cups total cooked)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 heaping cups fresh spinach, washed, dried and large stems removed (I use the leaves whole, but you can chop it if you'd like)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • hot cooked rice, optional, for serving (I use basmati)
  • sliced green onions, optional, for garnish
  • chopped fresh cilantro, optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it is melted (I use an 11 or 12-inch skillet).
  • Add the onions; sauté, stirring occasionally, until they have softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger; sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the curry powder, garam masala, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper; sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and coconut milk; stir to combine.
  • Increase the heat and bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
  • Add the spinach; stir until it is wilted.
  • Turn off the heat and add the lime juice; stir to combine.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  • If desired, serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onions and chopped fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • If you are going to serve this curry over rice, to save time, start the rice first and then cook the curry while the rice is cooking.
  • If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use regular olive oil, avocado oil or even vegetable oil.
  • If you don’t have or can’t find garam masala, you can use all curry powder (use 1½ tablespoons).
  • Not into spinach? Leave it out. You can always serve another vegetable on the side.
  • Want more spinach? Add some more!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a pan or pot on the stove over low heat just until heated through. Or reheat in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Estimated calories are for the curry only. Cooked white rice will add about 108 calories for every ½ cup. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




John

Thursday 12th of May 2022

Wow! This was extremely delicious! After finally getting a couple of the last ingredients- my wife made this dish and we were in love with it from the first bite! So good! Thank you, Michelle!!

Michelle

Thursday 12th of May 2022

Hi, John! I'm so happy that you both loved this dish! Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating...I really appreciate it!