This easy curry dish is like a vegan palak paneer, with chickpeas instead of paneer and kale instead of spinach. It’s a delicious and quick meal for two.
There’s nothing like being left alone for the weekend to make someone who “loves to cook” lose all desire to operate a stove. My husband and daughter ran off to New Orleans this past weekend, and though you’d think I would seize the opportunity to cook dishes that I like that they don’t, the ugly reality is that my diet deteriorated into sandwiches and reheated leftovers.
Cooking without someone to cook for just isn’t my thing; besides, with my clean-up crew away on vacation, I knew that anything I cooked I’d also have to clean up. But after a couple of days of sandwiches, I was ready for real food again, as long as I didn’t have to work too hard for it.
And so I took a half-bunch of kale that needed to be used, combined it with a fresh tomato and a cup of chickpeas, and came up with this relative of palak paneer, with kale instead of the spinach and chickpeas standing in for the cheese. Since I was all alone, I made only a little, enough for one or two servings, and because I didn’t have any rice cooked, I packed it into toasted pita bread. I added seasonings to taste and had absolutely no intention of sharing the recipe–until I tasted it.
It was so good that I quickly spooned it into a fancy bowl I’d bought at the local Indian restaurant and snapped a couple of photos before devouring it. It’s super-easy and a great meal if you’re cooking for one or two, though feel free to double or triple it if you’re lucky enough to be cooking for a crowd.
Looking for more?
- See more chickpea recipes.
- Get more Indian recipes.
- Try more kale (and other greens) recipes.
Curried Chickpeas and Kale
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 6 cups chopped kale (about 5-6 ounces before removing stems, 3-4 ounces chopped)
- 1/2 cup broth (divided)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (see my recipe)
- 2 teaspoons tahini (or other nut butter), optional
- Salt to taste
- Heat a medium-sized non-stick pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they soften and begin to brown. (I do this without any liquid, but if they start to stick, add a tablespoon of water or broth.) Add the ginger, garlic, and cumin seeds, and cook for another minute or two, until the cumin becomes fragrant. Add the tomato and cook for two more minutes.
- Stir in the kale and 1/4 cup broth and cover tightly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, remaining 1/4 cup broth, and all seasonings except garam masala. Cover and cook on low for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and tahini and add salt to taste and cook for another minute or two. Serve over whole grain, with bread, or stuffed into pitas.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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ukdelsSeptember 6, 2012 at 12:18 am
Just made this recipe tonight and our bellies are super happy! I’ve been looking for more easy Indian inspired dishes to spice up our mealtimes. This one is definitely going to be a regular on the rota. Thanks!
hirsmarOctober 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm
As my first vegan venture, I made the curried chick peas and kale. I substituted Swiss chard since it looked so beautiful. I also doubled the spices because I like a bold flavor. With brown rice, this was a satisfying meal and fairly simple to prepare. I am encouraged to try more of the recipes on this site!
Vanessa PotterNovember 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm
I just made this for lunch and am currently eating it. I’m in food heaven! I added a little extra red pepper flakes for more heat, MMMMMmmmmm. My hats off to you for this amazing meal. Thank you!
AngelaFebruary 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm
Thanks for the recipe! I continuously fail when I try to make Indian dishes, but this one not only was pretty simple and quick, but also turned out well! Yay! I think I will make this again: )
JenniferFebruary 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm
I love this dish! Thank-you so much for sharing!
Jessica @ conveganenceJune 7, 2013 at 11:11 am
This looks delicious! I’m on a chickpea roll this week, so I think I’ll continue with it by making this for dinner tonight. Just recently discovered your blog and think your recipes are amazing! <3
chef erikSeptember 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm
Been looking at a lot of youe recipes and this one is probablt my favorite. I work in a heathfood store in NJ and been making a whole lot of kale dishes. This recipe gives me some good ideas. Thanks!
AustinMarch 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm
Thank you for this – made it tonight for the family and it was delicious. Three small additions – some fresh lemon juice, sugar and freshly chopped coriander. A real keeper – and that’s high praise indeed from my kids.
Cindy Pearson ColeJune 17, 2018 at 10:47 am
This is positively delicious! I doubled it (had the kale). Thank you Susan!