Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Easy Instant pot recipe for Chickpea and Spinach Curry, also know as Chana Saag, that is great for a light and healthy everyday family meals. This gluten free, vegan and soy free recipe only needs very basic and simple ingredients. This recipe was also a part of menu prepared in EYP Culinary Experience.  

What is ‘Chana Saag‘?

Chana  is a Hindi language word for Chickpea or Garbanzo beans. ‘Saag’, in Hindi, refers to any greens. This chana saag recipe is a great way to use your bag full of any greens. This time I have used Spinach, hence also calling this recipe Chickpea and Spinach curry. I have also used Kale in past, with great taste that s loved by the whole family.

Inexpensive Healthy Vegan Ingredients for Chana Saag

Chickpea is one of the healthiest food full of good carbs, healthy protein and fiber. Chickpeas are available all year round in grocery stores in dried beans version or boiled canned version. For this chickpea and spinach curry recipe does not need any special spices or other ingredients. Just need some greens and basic Indian spices like coriander, red chili powder (Cayenne pepper) , turmeric powder and garam masala that are easily available in all grocery stores around the world or online.  

Chana Saag Recipe for Busy Families

This chana saag recipe is a quick day-to-day weeknight recipe for busy schedule. Amritsari Punjabi chole recipe is great for festive occasions or special events, but for everyday family meal, a lighter recipe incorporating some greens is needed. Most convenient part of this recipe is that you can set your Instant pot in the night and hot meal will be ready for you in the morning to pack for lunch. Or set you instant pot in 10 minutes in the morning and a hot meal will be waiting for you at home after a busy and tiring day.  To set up the instant pot, just saute the onion tomato base, add spice and add (soaked or dry) chickpeas.

Soaking Dried Chickpeas – Instant Pot Delay Timer Setting

When cooking the dry beans, it is important to separate debris or foreign objects before use. Chickpeas need to be soaked at least 6-8 hours in cold water before cooking to obtain the right texture of the beans. If you are in hurry or lack enough time, you can also soak in hot water for 4 -5 hrs. Keep changing the hot water as the water cools down to maintain the temperature. After soaking, discard the soaked water and cook in fresh water in a pressure cooker. When cooking with a delay timer in instant pot, the chickpeas will get soaked during the delay duration. Make sure to set at least 6 hours of delay cooking or longer.

Accompaniments for Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Chana Saag goes very well with staple grains like white basmati rice, brown rice and quinoa. You can also have it with roti, paratha, naan or other flat breads. It can be relished as soup also. Depending on the grain, you may also use pot-in-pot option for cooking at the same time in instant pot. If you are using dry chickpeas then you can cook brown rice at the same time and if you are using canned chickpeas then you can cook white rice or quinoa at the same time with pot-in-pot method.

Chana Saag Ingredients

Produce

  1. Spinach/Palak: 3 cups/150 gms, chopped
  2. Tomato: 3 medium size/300 gms, diced
  3. Onion:  1 medium size/150 gms, diced
  4. Ginger: ½ inch/10 gms, minced/grated
  5. Green chili: 2-3 (adjust as per your spice level), chopped
  6. Lemon juice: 1 tbs

Protein/Pantry

  • Dry Chickpeas: 1 cup/250 gms, overnight soaked

Spices

Chickpea and Spinach Curry Method

  1. Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat the oil.
  2. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, green chili and ginger.
  3. Sauté for 30 seconds more and then add diced onion.
  4. Continue to sauté until onions are translucent.
  5. Now add tomatoes and continue to sauté until soft and mushy.
  6. Add all the spices except garam masala and lemon juice into the pot. Mix them well.
  7. Wash the soaked chickpeas and add into the pot. 
  8. Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. 
  9. Set MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK mode for 30 minutes.
  10. Let the pressure release naturally (NR)
  11. When float valves pops down, open the lid and add chopped spinach.
  12. Set SAUTE mode again, and let it simmer for approximately for 2 minutes or until the curry starts boiling and spinach is mixed with the chickpeas.
  13. Now switch off the IP, add garam masala and lemon juice.
  14. Chickpeas-spinach curry ready to be served. 

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― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

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5 from 4 votes
Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Soaking Time
6 hrs
Total Time
40 mins
 

Easy Instant pot recipe for
Chickpea and Spinach Curry, also know as Chana Saag, that is great for a light and
healthy everyday family meals. This gluten free, vegan and soy free recipe only
needs very basic and simple ingredients.

Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Indian, Pujabi
Keyword: Chana Saag, Chickpea and Spinach Curry, Chickpea Spinach Curry, Chole Palak
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 307 kcal
Author: Rupali Agarwal
Ingredients
Ingredients
Produce
  • 150 gms Spinach Palak 3 cup chopped
  • 300 gms Tomato 3 medium size diced
  • 150 gms Onion 1 medium size diced
  • 10 gms Ginger ½ inch piece minced/grated
  • 2 gms Green chili adjust as per your spice level, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
Protein/Pantry
  • 250 gms Dry Chickpeas 1 cup overnight soaked
Spices
Instructions
  1. Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat the oil.
  2. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, green chili and ginger.
  3. Sauté for 30 seconds more and then add diced onion.
  4. Continue to sauté until onions are translucent.
  5. Now add tomatoes and continue to sauté until soft and mushy.
  6. Add all the spices except garam masala and lemon juice into the pot. Mix them well.
  7. Wash the chickpeas and add into the pot.
  8. Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.
  9. Set MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK mode for 30 minutes.
  10. Let the pressure release naturally (NR)

  11. When float valves pops down, open the lid and add chopped spinach.

  12. Set SAUTE mode again, and let it simmer for approximately for 2 minutes or until the curry starts boiling and spinach is mixed with the chickpeas.

  13. Now switch off the IP, add garam masala and lemon juice.

  14. Chickpeas-spinach curry ready to be served.

Recipe Notes

Soaking Dried Chickpeas – Instant Pot Delay Timer Setting

When cooking the dry beans, it is important to separate debris or foreign objects before use. Chickpeas need to be soaked at least 6-8 hours in cold water before cooking to obtain the right texture of the beans. If you are in hurry or lack enough time, you can also soak in hot water for 4 -5 hrs. Keep changing the hot water as the water cools down to maintain the temperature. After soaking, discard the soaked water and cook in fresh water in a pressure cooker. When cooking with a delay timer in instant pot, the chickpeas will get soaked during the delay duration. Make sure to set atleast 6 hours of delay cooking or longer.

Nutrition Facts
Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 640mg28%
Potassium 1042mg30%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 4310IU86%
Vitamin C 30.1mg36%
Calcium 129mg13%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

7 thoughts on “Chana Saag – Chickpea and Spinach Curry

    1. Hey Delanii,

      Thank you for liking the recipe. If you are cooking on a stove top and using dried and soaked channa, then channa would still need to be pressure cooked using conventional stove top pressure cooker before adding to the onion tomato masala. Only other way to avoid pressure cooking is to use canned chickpeas. Folow the recipe as usual to make masala in a wok (kadai) or other wide open pan and add boiled/canned chickpeas once masala is sauted. Let it simmer for few minutes with masala and finish it by adding chopped spinach, garam masala and lemon juice.

      Hope this helps! Good Luck!

      Rupali Agarwal

  1. 5 stars
    Exceptional in taste, health and ease of cooking. I used a can of organic diced tomatoes since I didn’t have fresh. The seasonings are a perfect balance of heat, depth and even tang with the fresh lemon juice. I’ll make this often!

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