Chana Saag

Easy and Vegan Chana Saag – Spinach and Chickpeas cooked with onion, tomatoes & spices makes a comforting meal. Serve it with rice or any bread of your choice.

Chana Saag

You know sometimes it happen that you eat something you love so much that then you don’t want to eat it again for the next few days. Happens with you? Like I told you guys, I went to this food conference last weekend and seriously there was so much food, especially desserts! We had waffles for breakfast, fruit tarts for lunch and cupcakes for dinner! And not to forget the popsicles and sorbet in between. Needless to say, I ate each and everything and now I clearly feel very fat and unfit. I mean I love sweets but right now, I feel like taking a break from all sorts of desserts and eat some greens.

If you have followed my blog for a bit, you would know I love spinach and all things green. Yeah it’s totally weird that I  love two totally opposite things – desserts and greens. Chana and saag are becoming quite popular in the US these days. I see packets of frozen/read to eat chana saag or saag paneer in many grocery stores these days.

Vegan Chana Saag

Saag in India usually means a mix of greens like spinach, methi (fenugreek), bathua, sarson (mustard greens) etc. However a lot of time only spinach is also referred to as saag. I made this chana saag recipe really simple for you. I used a spinach blend which I got from Trader Joe’s. It of course had spinach but also had mustard greens and pak choi which made the saag so much more flavorful. To cut short my cooking time, I used canned chickpeas, you may well use raw chickpeas.

This chana saag recipe is vegan, gluten free and comes together rather quickly. A quick weeknight dinner which is ready in no time and it’s healthy too! If you can’t find this spinach blend, simply use spinach in this recipe.

Chana Saag Recipe

 

Method

The first pic is just to show you guys the spinach blend that I used. You can use only spinach as well but it’s more flavorful when you use a mix of greens. This one from trader joe’s has spinach, pak choi and mustard greens. You may use methi (fenugreek) and bathua as well.

Place the spinach blend in a pan and add little water to it. Boil for few minutes till the spinach starts to wilt.

Immediately remove the spinach from pan and place under cold water and then chop finely.

Chana Saag Recipe-Step-1

Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Then add grated garlic and saute for few seconds till the garlic starts to turn brown.

Add chopped onions now and also 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Saute for 1-2 minutes or till onions turn translucent.
Chana Saag Recipe-Step-2

Add chopped tomatoes and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add curry powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder and salt and mix.

Cook for 2-3 minutes or till oil starts oozing from the sides of the masala.

Chana Saag Recipe-Step-3

Add the chickpeas and cook for a minute.

Now add the chopped spinach blend and cook for another minute or so.

Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Chana Saag Recipe-Step-4

Sprinkle garam masala on top and serve chana saag hot with rice, naan or any bread of your choice. You may also squeeze in some fresh lemon juice before serving.

Chana Saag

* You may use regular milk or heavy cream in place if not vegan.

* You may adjust the amount of coconut milk in the recipe. Add more for a thinner curry.

Chana Saag

Manali
Spinach and Chickpeas cooked with onion, tomatoes & spices makes Chana Saag a comforting meal. Serve it with rice naan!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4
Calories 302 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz can chickpeas or use 1.25 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 300 grams spinach blend I used mix of spinach, mustard greens and pak choi
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 big garlic cloves grated
  • 1 red onion medium, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne/red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder + more to sprinkle
  • salt to taste
  • 7-8 tablespoons coconut milk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon optional

Instructions
 

  • Place the spinach blend in a pan and add little water to it. Boil for few minutes till the spinach starts to wilt.
  • Immediately remove the spinach from pan and place under cold water and then chop finely.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Then add grated garlic and saute for few seconds till the garlic starts to turn brown.
  • Add chopped onions now and also 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute for 1-2 minutes or till onions turn translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add curry powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder and salt and mix.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes or till oil starts oozing from the sides of the masala.
  • Add the chickpeas and cook for a minute.
  • Now add the chopped spinach blend and cook for another minute or so.
  • Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle garam masala on top and serve chana saag hot with rice, naan or any bread of your choice. You may also squeeze in some fresh lemon juice before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 77mgPotassium: 980mgFiber: 11gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 7610IUVitamin C: 33.9mgCalcium: 148mgIron: 6.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

Chana Saag

Chana Saag Collage

26 thoughts on “Chana Saag

  1. I can definitely get sick of a food if I have it too much, especially at the holidays. I’ll have a slice of pie too many and decide that I really don’t want anything that sweet for a long while.
    I’ve had this at restaurants, but I’ve never made it. And it looks so easy to put together. I’ll have to try it. I love that it’s vegan!

  2. I love the new blog design, Manali! So clean and pretty! And this meal would definitely be a hit at my house! I am such a big spinach and chickpeas fan! So nice meeting you at the conference too! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this but substituted mustard greens and Swiss chard mixture for the spinach, and a can of tomatoes and green chili for the fresh tomatoes. It is delicious!

  4. I loved this, delicious. I had always ordered this at my favorite Indian restaurant, and it was green, chickpeas in a semi-smooth green sauce. I would assume the spinach was pureed. Could I adapt your recipe to mimic that style prep?

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious. Even using 2 hot house tomatoes in February it tasted great. I didnt have the cumin seeds and was a little light on the fresh spinach. I used a little more garam masala and 9 TBS coconut milk too. Never the less, I thought it was the best.

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