A velvet-smooth, nourishing and creamy curry, this Chana Makhani with Greens will make you lick your fingers and ask for more. Vegan, soy-free and gluten-free recipe.
This chana makhani recipe embodies the best of three classic Indian dishes: chana masala, tofu makhani and vegan palak paneer.
Try it once and, I promise, it will become your favorite way to eat greens. And chickpeas. Or greens and chickpeas. Because it's quite simply, in a word, awesome.
My Chana Makhani with Greens is a smooth, velvety curry of leafy greens with the perfect hint of spice and the luxurious creaminess of cashews. And into all this goodness I added some green chickpeas. Sprouted green chickpeas.
Green chickpeas are chickpeas that are picked younger, and while you can actually buy fresh green chickpeas in India, where they are called lobhia, and even here, in the United States, the ones I used for this curry are the dry kind that I bought at the Indian grocery store.
If you're a bean enthusiast like me, and you've never been to an Indian grocery store, you must. It's like wading into a legume wonderland. There are brown chickpeas and green chickpeas and the regular beige ones that you see everywhere. There are red kidney beans and dark red kidney beans, tiny red mung beans and tiny green mung beans, lentils in every shade of yellow and every shade of green. Pink lentils and white lentils and black lentils.
Anyway, getting back to the green chickpeas, you could use regular chickpeas or brown chickpeas in this recipe, if you'd rather. In fact, the green chickpeas cook up brown too. The green and brown chickpeas have a sturdier, nuttier texture than regular chickpeas, which can be really nice if you're craving for something with a bit of a chew.
And you don't have to sprout the chickpeas, but if you do, good for you! Your body and your tastebuds will be thanking you even more.
Now enjoy the recipe.
More vegan Indian curries
Chana Makhani with Greens
- 1 cup green or regular chickpeas. Soak overnight and cook until tender. You can also substitute with canned chickpeas.
- 3 cups of frozen spinach. Place the greens in a microwave-safe bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and microwave for five minutes. Set aside.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1- inch knob of ginger, julienned
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- ½ cup cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then blended into a smooth paste with ½ cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds. When the mustard sputters, add the ginger and garlic, saute for a few seconds, then add the onions and the bay leaves.
- Add a generous pinch of salt and saute on a medium-low flame until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, green chillies, and turmeric. Stir well.
- Add the cooked greens. mix well, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook for five minutes. Let it cool a little and then transfer to a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Be very careful handling the hot mixture. If you have an immersion blender, this is good time to break it out.
- Add the greens paste back to the pan with the cooked chickpeas. Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Add water if it's too dry. Add the cashew cream, the lemon juice, and salt to taste.
- Serve hot with rice or phulkas.
Ugh, this turned out soooo gooood. I thought I had enough frozen chickpeas from a previous batch I made, but eventually it wasn't enough so I added cooked bulgur to the sauce. It looks awful but it tastes amazing, I could not stop eating. Thanks Vaishali, you never let me down!
We had this dish yesterday. I used swiss chard instead of spinach and ordinary chick peas, but it was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for all those incredible recipies!!!
Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
thank you again! for another incredibly delicious vegan recipe that will become a weekly staple! you are my go-to godess of vegan deliciousness. I used chard, spinach , parsley and cilantro for greens, but i had no cashews in the house so i subbed in a can of light coconut milk. it came out so delicious we had not a scrap of leftovers, and i woke up craving more. can't wait to try it as written! i really appreciate how you give us authentic, creative, delicious taste -that is also healthy food i can count on. thank you! thank you and i bow to your brilliance!
Hi Sage, you are too kind. What a great idea to use mixed greens, and coconut milk. Thanks for sharing those ideas, and for letting me know! 🙂
Tasty recipe ! I used fresh spinach, so I did not cook the spinach in the microwave but just sautéed the onions and everything else and then put the spinach on top of it and sautéed it too. I did not have green chillies, so I used half tsp chilli powder. Was lipsmackingly delicious ! My kids loved it too.
Hi Anusha, so glad you tried it. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
This recipe is amazing! It also got me on a roll for sprouting EVERYTHING. Your Tofu Palek Paneer is up next on my list. I LOVE Palek Paneer. Thanks for all the great recipes. I did use fresh spinach in this and it was awesome.
Hi Lori, so thrilled you tried it. Thanks for letting me know, and yes-- sprouting is rather addictive, isn't it, although with the onset of cooler weather here I must admit I've slowed down a bit. Now your message has inspired me to go home and get those suckers soaking again. 🙂
Your posts have inspired me to sprout. Your technique of using a colander actually works! Do you think this recipe will work with Rajma?
Hi Ambica, yes, you could try rajma in this. Should be delicious.
Such a yummy recipe!
You are so good in combining simple ingredients to a recipe that looks appetizing.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, dear Sheela, and a very happy Navratri to you! Used to be one of my favorite times of year growing up.
This sounds fabulous. This may just get me to try to sprout chickpeas (it will be good to get outside my comfort level of just sprouting mung beans). Just out of curiosity: why did you choose to use frozen spinach rather than fresh?
Also---I'm having difficulty finding your recipe for "yogurt." All I can find are the one under the Keema Wrap, which is more for a raita (but of course I could just omit the chile and tomato) and the one under your Substitution list. Are there any others? And it looks like one recipe calls for silken tofu---the other for extra-firm...can you help clarify?
Hi Ellen, I used frozen spinach for convenience, more than anything else. Fresh would be perfect too.
You can find a yogurt recipe in my Curd-Rice recipe, the link's here. https://holycowvegan.net/vegan-curd-rice-dahi-annam/
I find that in a good blender, nearly any texture of tofu-- soft, firm, extra-firm -- blends into a smooth texture, so I often just use whatever I have on hand. 🙂
East Meets West Veg
Chana combined with greens is one of my favorite foods! Yum! I like how you use green chickpeas in this recipe. I'm pretty sure I have bought them frozen from Whole Foods before.
Hi EMWV, I need to check Whole Foods to see if I can get the fresh green chana. It's delicious.
Healthy and very colourful channa makhani, can have it happily without any fuss.
Thanks, Priya. 🙂