Healthy Eating

Spicy, Creamy Chickpeas & Spinach (Chana Saag-ish)

Author Notes: Once you have your garlic-ginger-chile paste prepped (and, hint, you don’t have to use a blender or food processor—you could chop them very finely, then mash (…more) —Sarah Jampel

Serves 4 to 6

  • One1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1serrano or other hot green chile, roughly chopped
  • 1/4cup canola oil plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1 1/2pounds fresh spinach (or two 9-ounce packages frozen spinach, cooked according to the package and drained)
  • Kosher salt
  • Two15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4tablespoons cream, divided
  • 1teaspoon garam masala
  • 1teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne
  1. In a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle, combine the ginger, garlic, and chile pepper with 1/4 cup of water so that you have a paste.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic-ginger-chile paste and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is very fragrant. Add the spinach (it’s okay to work in batches) and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Stir the spinach around for 1 minute to make sure all pieces are coated in oil, then cover the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If all the water evaporates, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and continue cooking.
  4. Add the chickpeas, another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and stir until the chickpeas are mixed into the spinach. Add 3 tablespoons of cream, stir to combine, then cover and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the time is almost up, heat the last tablespoon of canola oil in a small pan on a separate burner. When the oil is hot, add the garam masala, cayenne, and cumin seeds. Fry, stirring, until the spices are fragrant and toasted.
  6. Immediately pour the spiced oil into the spinach-chickpea mixture. Add the last tablespoon of cream, stir everything to combine. Eat hot or at room temperature.

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