Chickpea and Kale Stew with Indian Spices

Chickpea Stew with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

In winter, the body simply craves comfort: sweaters and blankets, fuzzy slippers, a crackling fireplace, and a bowl of hot, delicious stew to warm the tummy.

My Chickpea and Kale Stew, simmered with Indian spices, does more than warm the tummy though. It delights your tastebuds with the eclectic flavors of toothy kale, succulent sweet potato, vibrant garlic, and tangy lime. And then it goes and turns your body into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. How’s that for perfection?

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

I used my pressure cooker to give me a head-start on this recipe on a busy weeknight. All I did was cook the kale and the chickpeas together until both were tender and perfect. To add to the convenience I used frozen kale, although fresh kale would also work great here. And by all means, use canned chickpeas if you want to.

I’ve been sharing Valentine’s Day recipes on this blog for the last few days and there is more to come, but I wanted to take a little break with this everyday comfort food. If you live in the northeast, I hope you are taking all the precautions you can against the nasty blizzard heading your way.

A lovely weekend to all!

Kale Chickpea Stew
5.0 from 2 reviews
Chickpea and Kale Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8-12
  • 1 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1 16-oz package of chopped kale
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaping tbsp sambar powder
  • 2 dry red chillies (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Pressure-cook the chickpeas and kale together until tender. If you don't have a pressure cooker, soak the chickpeas overnight and then place them in a pot with the kale (use fresh kale if you don't want to use the frozen). Cover with water and cook about 45 minutes to an hour or until the chickpeas are tender.
  2. Heat the oil in a separate pot and add the cumin seeds.
  3. When they sputter, add the onions and red chillies and saute until they start to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few more seconds.
  5. Add the sambar powder, turmeric, and coriander powder. Mix well and then add the sweet potatoes.
  6. Saute the sweet potatoes for five minutes or until they start to soften. Now add the chickpeas and kale and any stock from cooking the chickpeas, and bring to a boil. If the mixture is too dry, add water.
  7. Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are really tender.
  8. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Stir well and turn off before the stew comes to a boil.
  9. Serve hot over some rice or bulgur or couscous.
  10. Enjoy, all!
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.


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  1. says

    This looks so incredible, especially so with the snow and wind blowing outside. You have the three ingredients that make anything delicious: coconut milk, kale, and sweet potatoes!

    • says

      Eileen, yes, I’d probably cook this for V-day too. :) Sorry I deleted your original comment by error and had to post as Anonymous– my fingers are sometimes just too big for my smartphone and I accidentally hit the “delete” button instead of “publish”. :(

  2. says

    We’ve made this twice now :)

    This time I doubled the onion as we both love onion and added mustard seed and kolonji to the dill seeds at the start of the process

    Thanks for such an inspiring site, we are so looking forward to cooking more of the recipes

  3. Adam says

    Wonderful stew. I couldn’t find sambar powder so I substituted two tbsp of curry powder. Any suggestions where to find sambar powder and best brands?

    • says

      Hi Adam, so glad you liked the stew– thanks for letting me know! I almost never buy Sambar Powder but there are a few like MDH and MTR on the market. You can find them on Amazon or most Indian grocery stores, although one thing to keep in mind is that some of these can be fiery hot. If you have a coffee grinder, it’s pretty easy to mix up your own sambar powder and you’ll also get the freshest flavor. You can find a recipe on my DIY masalas page here:

  4. Chessie says

    I made this for lunch today — very tasty. I used a five-spice packet that I bought a while ago in place of the sambhar powder, since it seems to have about the same ingredients. It’s good even if it isn’t exactly right!


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