Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry

Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry

Are you looking for a quick, easy mid-week supper? Then take a look at my recipe for Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry. As well as being quick to cook its low fat, packed with fibre. My Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry is versatile and adaptable, eaten as a main dish, with a simple bowl of rice or the perfect accompaniment to my lamb with tamarind and coconut curry.

I’ve fallen in love with chickpeas again. My love affair with them started last year when I used them to whip up my own hummus. So easy, I cannot fathom why I was ever buying the stuff. And now, I have rekindled my passion for this pulse with this recipe for Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry with tomatoes for a little-added zing.

What’s better, tinned or dried chickpeas?

To be honest, either, but for this Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry recipe, I used tinned chickpeas. Let’s face it is so much easier to open a tin of chickpeas than to remember to soak a batch of dried chickpeas the night before.

Can this curry be frozen?

Of course. Let the curry cool down before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the freezer. This Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry will keep up to three months.

If you don’t like spinach…

This recipe for Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry is incredibly adaptable. If you don’t like spinach you could try replacing the spinach with a variety of other vegetables, including sweet potato (adjust the cooking time) or simply use an alternative to spinach such as kale or cavolo nero.


Sri Lankan chickpea and spinach curry

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people as a side dish, two as a main course
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan


  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves (fresh)
  • 1 dried red chilli crushed
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 1 tin 400g chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g baby spinach


  1. On a medium heat, heat the oil in a large frying pan, before adding the cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried chilli
  2. When the seeds start to pop add the onion, garlic and ginger, gently stir allowing the onions to soften and become transparent for around seven to ten minutes.
  3. Add the washed and drained chickpeas, stirring them into the onion, garlic and ginger
  4. Now add the garam masala, paprika turmeric making sure the chickpeas are fully coated with the spices
  5. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and mix fully into the chickpeas, season with salt and pepper
  6. Cover the frying pan with a lid, transfer the pan to low heat and simmer for around 15 minutes (keep an eye on the pan, if the curry appears to dry out – add a little water)
  7. Take the lid off the frying pan and add the spinach folding the leaves into the curry, let the curry cook for around another 5 minutes or until the spinach leaves are wilted
  8. Serve immediately with rice 
  9. This curry would work well with lamb, why not try it with my lamb curry with tamarind and coconut


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