chana (chickpea) saag on a white plate with a green napkin next to it

Chana (Chickpea) Saag

When I am short on time but still want a meal that is nutritious AND full of flavor, I turn to this chana (chickpea) saag recipe. It’s packed with aromatic Indian spices, vegetables, and chickpeas for added protein. And even though classic saag is made with cream or yogurt, I substitute coconut yogurt in this recipe to make it vegan!

Chana (Hindi for “chickpeas”) saag (Hindi for “green leafy vegetable”) is one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes; I have been making this for years! As you will see from the recipe, I love making things as easy as possible so I stick to canned chickpeas, frozen spinach, and canned tomatoes. If you prefer the non-frozen/canned versions, you can easily substitute them.

close up of chana (chickpea) saag in a skillet
sliced onions arranged on cutting board

Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp coconut yogurt

Similar Recipes on Gastronotherapy

tomato and onion gravy in skillet

This chickpea saag recipe is creamy and hearty, with a slight kick from the cayenne. If you prefer more spice, you can always dial it up a notch.

We usually eat this over brown rice, but you can just as easily pair it with naan, chapathis, or roti. Or if you prefer another grain – quinoa or farro would be delicious with this as well. Use whatever is easiest for you!

Instructions for Chana (Chickpea) Saag

  • In a food processor or blender, mix the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic until paste forms. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric, cayenne, and salt to onion mixture and cook for an additional minute. Add jalapeño-ginger-garlic paste to pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add spinach, chickpeas, and tomatoes to pan and cook for around 5 minutes. Add coconut yogurt and stir to combine. Serve warm with rice or chapathis.
chickpea saag in a silver skillet with wooden spoon

FAQ and Recipe Tips

  • If I want to use fresh spinach, how much should I use? 2 lbs. of fresh spinach would be a good substitute for the frozen spinach
  • Can I substitute heavy cream and/or “regular” yogurt for the coconut yogurt? Absolutely. Equal amounts of either would work just fine.
  • If I want to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, how much should I use? You can substitute 2 cups of chopped tomato for the canned.
  • Can I freeze my leftovers? Yes. Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Can I substitute a different protein in place of the chickpeas? Definitely! You could substitute any other bean, meat protein (lamb saag is super delicious!), or tofu.

Enjoy your week, and feel free to drop me a line in the comments – I would love to hear if you try this recipe! Or tag me on Instagram @maryannehoekstra to let me know how it turned out! Also, if you are enjoying my blog, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can subscribe here.

chana (chickpea) saag on a white plate with a green napkin next to it

Chana (Chickpea) Saag

Incredibly flavorful and healthy dish with Indian spices that is so easy to make. The perfect weeknight dinner when you are short on time but want maximum flavor AND nutrition.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp coconut yogurt

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor or blender, mix the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic until paste forms. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric, cayenne, and salt to onion mixture and cook for an additional minute. Add jalapeño-ginger-garlic paste to pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add spinach, chickpeas, and tomatoes to pan and cook for around 5 minutes. Add coconut yogurt and stir to combine. Serve warm with rice or chapathis.
Keyword chana saag,, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, spinach, yellow onion

10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love chickpeas so I’m excited to try this recipe! It’s just bursting with flavor, I can tell, and I can’t wait to dig in!

  2. 5 stars
    I love chickpeas and I’ve been wanting to switch up the ways I’ve been making them so this recipe was perfect!

  3. 5 stars
    This is such an easy and quick recipe! I usually get saag paneer at Indian restaurants, can’t wait to try the chickpea version!

  4. 5 stars
    This chana turned out to be so flavorful and satisfying!! We made it this weekend and served it up with naan and it was the perfect easy dinner!

  5. Meenakshi Thakur

    5 stars
    Totally love chana… this recipe looks delicious… got to try it for sure. thanks for the recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




*