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Spicy Spinach and Chickpea Curry or Palak Chole Recipe

Cooking is one of my passions. I like to make nutritious and tasty foods at home without using preservatives and artificial colors.

Spinach and chickpea curry (palak chole).

Spinach and chickpea curry (palak chole).

About Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Curry

Garbanzo bean curry (chole) is a popular side dish served with flatbread and pancakes in restaurants. This curry is spicy, tangy, flavorful, and nutritious. It is made by cooking garbanzo beans (chickpeas) with onions, tomatoes, green chilies, ginger, and several spice powders.

Spicy spinach and chickpea curry (palak chole) is the improved and healthier version of the original chickpea curry. Plenty of spinach is added to a mix of garbanzo beans, other veggies, and spices to make this yummy side dish. Let me share the detailed recipe.

The palak chole served with onions on top.

The palak chole served with onions on top.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

25 min

40 min

Serves four people


  • 2 bowls spinach (palak), washed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas), soaked in water for 10 hours or overnight and cooked
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 cup tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chole masala powder or garam masala powder, available in Indian stores
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, optional (add only if needed for spiciness)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional (I used it to balance the taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder


  1. Cook soaked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) with water, a few drops of oil, and some salt. If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, cook up to 5 to 6 whistles and simmer for 15 minutes to get the perfectly cooked chickpeas. Mash them a little or break a few beans so that the gravy gets thicker. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Add chopped onion, ginger, and slit green chilies. Saute till onion turns golden brown.
  3. Throw chopped tomato into the pan. Cook till they become a little mushy. Add chopped spinach (palak). Continue stir-cooking for a while till spinach becomes soft. This may take about 5 to 6 minutes on low fire.
  4. Add chole masala powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Continue stir cooking for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in cooked chickpeas. Mix well. Boil the mix for 4 to 5 minutes, covering the pan. By this time, the gravy becomes thick. Check for salt. Add salt if needed. Turn off the fire.
  6. The spicy spinach and chickpea curry is ready to serve. Serve it with roti, chapati, flatbread, or a mildly spicy fried rice. Enjoy the taste!

Important Tips

  • Be careful while adding the salt. You are adding it in portions in many steps. Make sure that the curry does not become too salty.
  • Cook the garbanzo beans till they become soft; at least a few should break. For quick cooking, add a few drops of oil to the pot.
  • Cook the garbanzo beans with just enough water to immerse them completely.
  • Don't make the curry too dry. It becomes thicker when it cools down.

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