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Chole Palak (Chickpeas With Spinach)

Chickpeas and spinach is a marvelous combination, and Chole Palak is a healthy, protein-rich dish. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans and kabuli chana, are immersed in spicy spinach gravy.

Serves 2 to 4

Chole Palak (Spinach Chickpea)Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can of chickpea (chole, garbanzo)
  • 3 cups finely chopped spinach (palak)
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2″piece ginger (adrak)
  • 1 green chili
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse well.
  2. Blend the tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger to make a puree.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away, oil is ready. Add the asafetida and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, and red chili powder. Cook three to four minutes on medium heat. The tomato mixture will separate from the oil and reduce to about half in quantity.
  4. Add spinach, salt, and one-half cup of water. Cook, covered, four to five minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add the chickpeas and mash them lightly with a spatula. Add more water as needed to keep the gravy consistency to your liking. Cook on
    low heat for seven to eight minutes. Add the garam masala.

Serving suggestions

  1. Chole Palak can be served with roti, naan, or any other bread. It also goes well with plain rice.
  2. Chole Palak is a delicious, healthy choice for people who eat a vegan or gluten-free diet

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183 thoughts on “Chole Palak (Chickpeas With Spinach)

  1. Made this tonight for dinner. I didn’t have any asafetida and I accidentally put in a full teaspoon of garam masala, but it turned out great!

  2. I just made this recipe and it came out great! So easy when you put everything into the blender rather than chopping it all up.

  3. I’ve just made this dish and it was so delicious!!
    I used the brown chickpeas instead and garnished with fresh coriander leaves, with rice.
    It is such a healthy and lovely dish, wonderful recipe.
    Thank you Manjula! 🙂

  4. I was not able to find Hing in Fairbanks, Alaska, but this recipe turned out fabulously. Thank you.

    We thought it was just right as far as level of spiciness when paired with bread or rice.

    When we are planning to eat the Chole Palak on it’s own, we’ll use only half a green chili for our own taste.

  5. I tried this at home and it was awesome. It just turned out to be like a restaurant style dish. My husband doesn’t like spinach much but I was surprised when he ate his full serving of this with no complaints and appreciated it too. Thanks a lot.

  6. I have made this recipe several times, and everyone loves it! This is a quick and easy dish to make. Thank you Manjula!

  7. Steve says

    “added two cloves of garlic … Would this be considered wrong or not authentic in Indian cooking?”

    There are many styles of Indian cooking depending on region and
    religious beliefs.

    Many of them use garlic so it would not be considered wrong.

    The style that Manjula’s kitchen shows is a Jain style where onions and garlic are not used. You can read up on Jainism on wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

  8. I’ve made a few of your recipes Manjula and have loved them all.
    This evening I made your Chole Palak again but made two slight changes to my taste. I added two cloves of garlic to the blended ingredients and sprinkled some chopped cilantro at the end.

    Would this be considered wrong or not authentic in Indian cooking?

    1. Hi Steve,
      You are quite right, you can add garlic and some fresh coriander to enhance the taste of the dish. I am going to try this recipe today and will use some garlic and coriander for sure!

      Cheers
      Debra

  9. I have just made this, and it is the best recipe I have every used for this dish. It’s lovely, thank you so much for sharing. You have made me very happy 🙂

  10. Dear Manjula Ji,

    Your online videos and written dewscriptions are very clear and close to teaching it in person to me.

    I live in UK,and with your videos its easy for me to cook some vegetarian foods with a lot of variation.
    Thank you for taking all the efforts in making this food journey of yours traverse through wide audience who need help in cooking indian food who are staying away from their mothers and from their country.Good Job!

    May God bless you and your entire family.
    Happy New year.
    Regards
    Hasin

  11. Hi Manjula,

    In the ingrediant section you mentioned “1/2 teaspoon red pepper adjust to taste” yet this did not show up in the method section. At the same time in the method section there’s appears the “red chilli powder” which did not show in the ingrediant list. I am a bit confused. So in this recipe do we include red pepper, or red chilli powder, or both? Thanks.

    1. Carolyn,
      I am sure both of them are same. In the ingredients it must have been red pepper powder. Its actually red chili powder.

  12. Namaste Manjula,

    I just made your Chole Palak recipe and it was terrific! Five years ago three of us from California spent a month in Delhi as guests of a Jain Guru. Guruji was there for two months and he arranged for some of his devotees to take us on trips all around northern India. About four nights out of every week we would go to their homes with Guruji and have dinner with them. We were very spoiled, we were probably being fed the best of the best homemade Indian food.

    You’re Chole Palak recipe turned out terrific, and it probably would not have without the help of your video because I’m not a very experienced cook. It was so good it makes me think I’m back in India again with all those wonderful cooks! This is the very first time I’ve ever attempted to cook an Indian recipe and it turned out so good I plan on making many more recipes from your website.

    Namaste,
    David

  13. Well what can i say, coming back to this site again for second time for chickpeas&spinach recipe….This site rocks.

  14. Simple and amazing. My housemates can’t get enough of this one. This website has opened up a world of vegan treasures, a collective round of applause for Manjula!

  15. Dear Manjula,

    I didn’t even know the ABCs of cooking before.But after finding your website & watching your videos i have made shahi paneer,paneer tikka masala,butter paneer masala,rajma-chawal,chole-palak,stuffed karela,aaloo-gobi,masala bhindi,cabbage peas,baingan ka bharta & tomato soup to date.All the recipes turned out well.

    You are doing a great job.Keep it up.

    Thanks,
    Afshan

  16. I love this.

    I used to call people and ask them how to cook some of the Indian food, but now manjulaskitchen.com !!!!

    Thanks a lot for these videos.

  17. love the receipe…. im latin and usually dont cook with to many spices .. so i just cut the spices in half amount and it still taste great….love your receipes …….. hope to do many more

  18. Manjula, I love your recipes, and thank you for sharing them with us! I do not have fresh spinach available, and have to use frozen blocks. Could you please approximate a frozen weight (or approximate frozen cups of the vacuum-packed frozen spinach for this recipe. THanks so much in advance : )

  19. since i want to use regular chick peas please tell me the quantity i have to use in place of the 15 oz can

    thanks

  20. Hi Manjula aunty,
    I have tried the above recipe with slight changes like spinach puree instead of chopped spinach,green peas instead of chhola and garlic instead of ginger and it just came out awesome.
    My husband just loved it.
    Thanks for posting wonderful recipes like this.

  21. Manjulaji,
    The recipe turned out great!

    I did not have fresh spinach or tomatoes, so I substituted frozen cut spinach and a can of diced tomatoes for the recipe, and it turned out wonderful!

    1. i did a littile bit of addition to this chole palak, i added another half teaspoon of chilly power along with 2 teaspoon of cumin powder and half teaspoon of chaat masala.

      It was yummy too, try it out.

      No doubt manju aunty that your dishes are too good… really

  22. Wow! I finally found a terrific site to improve upon my indian cooking skills! Yeah! I’m an italian girl who is a whiz in the kitchen and absolutely loves indian food but has been very intimidated by all the new terms and spices. I’ve made two amazing dishes so far off this website, including the one listed above (chole palak) and my family including my toddler loved them both! I made one adjustment to the chole palak and that is I folded in some sliced paneer in the last 5 minutes of cooking. We are all big paneer fans and think it makes everything taste better. I can’t wait to make another recipe this week. Thank you!

  23. Manjulaji,

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It tasted yummy. I am new to cooking, and tried to puree the tomato using the food processor and it was not exactly liquidy. What was the blender that you used? I’d like to get the same.

  24. Dear Manjula,
    thank you for Chole Palak Receipe. I just tried it, and it came out fantastic. I am not Indian but my husband. I have eaten chole palak from Indian restaurant, but yours is the best. In the restaurant the taste was plain, but mine was a little bit sour (probably from tomatoes- I used plum tomatoes) and salty, but I love it (I love sour and salty taste). Is it the right taste for this receipe (sour and salty), my husband said that the taste was not suppose to be like that?
    Thanks again, and I cooked pulao rice also and it came yummy.
    I will try your other receipe.

  25. Hello – thanks for the great recipes! Is this one possible to make without the adrak or will the taste be slightly off? I have to make a simple lunch for Jain people tomorrow – they don’t eat underground vegetables and stay away from oily/fried foods. I’m not an advanced cook and have yet to ever cook without adrak/lehson. And I was thinking of throwing in some firm tofu. Help? Thanks!

  26. Hi Manjula, I’m Portuguese and have always loved Indian food and wanted to learn…I live in Surrey, B.C, and work with Indian co-worker, she always brings leftovers from her Mom…I’ve tried a couples recipies already, tried yours, and you make it so easy…and delicous of course…came by chance on yourwebsite when I googled you tube for Indian recipies…and thank you, wonderful website…could I ask you where you are located? What Province or State?..

    Sincerely
    Gina

  27. Dear Manjula,

    Everything I have ever made from your marvelous website has turned out beautifully! You are the goddess of Indian cooking.

    The Chole Palak is ALWAYS a winner with people that I make it for.

    Thank you for bringing good, honest, straightforward Indian cooking into my home.

    Bless you and yours,

    Maggie

  28. I had some leftover frozen spinach that I had to use somehow and I thought about this recipe. I just put in all the spinach I had, which not necessarily was a good idea. What I ended up with, was a sea of green with little islands of chickpeas. To be honest, I braced myself for the worst. But you know what? It was awesome! Thank you a lot for this recipe!

  29. Manjula

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. I am eating it now! I have a small confession to make though- I am growing spinach, kale and rainbow chard plants in my garden and have been looking for a recipe to use them up. The older plants are getting a bitter taste and I was hoping that some Indian cuisine could handle the strong flavours. I have just cooked the recipe replacing half the spinach with some chard and kale and it has come out beautifully.

    I hope you do not mind me fiddling with the recipe.

  30. hi, manjula aunty
    can u explain me •1 15oz can of chickpea means 250 gms. or how much cup of chickpea

  31. Hi Manjula,

    I have noticed in a lot of recipies like chole palak, aloo dum etc. ; you never use onions. Generally they are an integral part of indian cuisine.

    Any specific reason?
    Thanks

    1. Many Indians don’t use onions or garlic at all and Jains are among them. It’s common probably more in Indian restaurants, but in many Indian homes they are not used in cooking. Asafetida (or hing) is used to give a similar pop of flavor that you would otherwise get from onion.

      1. I beg to differ. As RD mentioned, onions and garlic are very much part of my cooking essentials. Even when some recipes may not use them, I will still add them- esp onions accordingly.

  32. hello manjula aunty
    i want to serve this chole palak for 50 members.so can i use chole that we can soak overnight,n cook it.instad of canned ones.that works little inexpensive.pls give me your suggestion.

  33. Hi there! The recipe sounds great but I just had a quick question. Can I substitute the fresh spinach for frozen spinach?

    If so, do I need to make any amendments to the quantity? I’m a beginner cook so your answer would be really appreciated!

    Thank you 🙂

  34. Greetings Manjula Aunty,

    I just tried the Chole Palak last night. I made it exactly according to the recipe and video (required a trip to the Indian grocery store!), and it came out absolutely PERFECT!! It was actually BETTER than the (very good) Chole Palak at the local fine Indian restaurant. (Not to mention, of course, that I made it for only a fraction of the cost.)

    I’ve been watching your videos for months, and I FINALLY got around to trying a recipe, my favorite, chole palak. It’s amazing how quickly, easily, and cheaply I can make a dish at home I’d been spending a fortune for at the Indian restaurant. I’ll be trying more recipes in the near future.

    Question: how do you store your hing? I closed my container and placed it in a sealed Zip-Loc bag, and its aroma still permeates the whole cupboard. Any advice?

  35. Hello,

    First off, thank you for great recipes. I am trying to perfect this dish! Mine does not come out very sausey. It’s a little on the dry side. What can I do to improve?

  36. Thank you for this recipe. I have added this site to my favourites bar. I am trying to lose weight and get healthy, and the only food which satisfies me is Indian vegetarian cooking – because the tastes are wonderful, and there are so many good recipes for pulses. I can’t wait to try out more of the dishes here.

    Just wanted to ask you – I am very lazy, so a big fan of ready made garlic/ginger/chilli paste. Do you think these spoil the flavour of the food in any way?

  37. Hello Aunty,

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes.
    I wish you a happy new and prosperous new year !!!
    Have a great year ahead !!!!!

    Will look forward to new recipes 🙂

  38. do you not have any othr chikpeas recipes for subzi’s cuz its late nite outside n i need a chickpeas recipes buh i dont hav palak (spinach) so plz post one soon, n your fruit cream was amazing! evry1 statimized it! 😀

  39. Hello Manjula Aunty..,
    I try all your recipes..they are really mouth watering and since we are pure vegetarians, your recipes are the best. I have one small question, when you tell about the heat, i.e., low medium, high what is the number that you keep ?
    You make all the recipes easy too. My 7 year old daughter is a great fan of your recipes.

    Thanks

    1. ok lakhshmi low as in btwn 1-3 meduim as in 4-5 and highhhh 6-FULL hope dat helped buh if not tel me the # of ur stove system

    2. Lakshmi, the numbers don’t matter. You need to know your individual stove settings. You already cook right? So if you boil water, you cook on high. If you want to sautee onions, you cook on medium, etc. Judge by the size of the flame if it’s gas or the red of the coil if it’s electric, but mostly judge by how fast or slow the food is cooking.

  40. I tried making the Chana Masala and added too much salt. Thankfully I had frozen spinach in the freezer and found this recipe — I just added that and it turned out very well! Thank you!

  41. When we traveled through India i sent several cook books home.Many varying forms of measuring ingredients.Perhaps you can tell me what the heck a Nos is?

  42. What a fantastic recipe thanks so much, really impressed with the results first time and can’t wait to try making some of the other things.

  43. hi manjula this is kanchan from kenya i am totally vegeterian.plz can u tell me cakes or rasgulas sometime chef they add eggs but i am totally vegeterian as i told u earlier.plz advz what can i use in the place of egg.plz reply soon i vll apreciate.and i like ur website i lov watching and i am enjoying it.

    1. Hey Kanchan, to replace egg you can purchase Ener G Egg Replacer. A healthier alternative however is to buy flax meal. For every 1 Tablespoon add 3 Tablespoons of water and that makes 1 egg. Hope this helped you out!

  44. Namaste Manjula!
    I am from Brazil, but I love indian food!! Your web site and videos have helped me a lot! I agree you should come out with a cookbook and also a DVD! The videos are a must for someone like me who is just starting to learn how to cook! 🙂
    You are the best! God bless you and your magic kitchen!
    Adélia (from São Paulo, Brazil)

  45. I made this according to the recipe and it came out great. Manjula…I love your site and your recipes! Any ideas on how to double and/or triple the recipe. I tried doubling and it didn’t come out as well and tasted too much Hing. Also I never needed to add water, am I using too many tomatoes? I used two medium tomatoes and even left some out and still never needed to add the water. Please help as I am planning a party and would like to double some of the recipes. Thanks, Noah

  46. Thanks once again from Baton Rouge, Louisiana! I made this yesterday for a Meatless Monday light lunch, and thought it was great! Also, I made a small substitution: I was short one cup of spinach, and so I substituted 1 cup of green peas. It may sound strange, but they say use what you have, and it turned out great! Just make sure you don’t forget the naan or roti!

  47. Manjula,
    Another wonderful recipe! I thought that chana masala was one of my favorite foods but this may just take its place. The protein plus iron, but a little fat from the oil, left me feeling healthy and satisfied. What a savory dish. Thank you!

  48. Just made this for lunch. Didn’t have any asafetida so I did some research and found out some people use garlic powder instead. The dish looks and smells wonderful and tastes good too. Still, it seems like something is missing and I’m wondering if my substitution isn’t the culprit. Still, light yet filling and flavorful. So delicious!! Thanks, Manjula!

  49. jai jinendra aunnty,

    i loved this recipe of chole with spinach. i think it is wonderful to combine proteins and greens together. my husband loved it all the more. it even prevents flatulence problem that occurs with pulses. Thank you very much.

  50. My daughter is a rare 14 year old who loves vegetables (she’s vegan), so when I came across this spinach recipes I knew I had to make it. It was so easy because of the great instructions on.
    I wonder, will you every come out with a cookbook for non-Indians like myself who love Indian food? One more thing. How can I print out your recipes from this site?

  51. hie manjula ji,
    All your recipes are so wonderful…..please do post new recipes especially more salads and fried rice….thank you!

    1. Asafetida (“hing” in Hindi) is a gum resin. It is used in very small amounts to give a flavor similar to using onions and garlic.

      You can purchase it at any Indian/Pakastani grocery store. Just ask for “hing”, they’ll know exactly what you mean. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, just skip it and make the rest of the dish.

  52. Hi, I made this last night and it turned out really good. It’s a very healthy recipe too. I like your pan a lot. Can you tell me what kind it is? Thanks!

  53. Thanks for posting this recipe auntyji,just 2 days back my hubby ws asking me to make chole palak dish,and today wehen i opened ur site,
    its here..wow.I told him auntyji has uploaded this dish n he was like-arrey mazaa aa gaya.
    look forward to try this.

  54. I love the way you prepare any recipe. I will definitely try this as everyone in our family like your recipes. I have a question here, while making this spinach chickpeas curry should we need to boil the chickpeas?

  55. Absolutely delicious!!

    As are all your recipes – of which I have tried most of the pulse ones.

    Keep up the good work – just love your simple approach. Thanks so much.

    James

  56. thank you so much for posting this! this is my favorite dish at indian restaurants…:) i look forward to trying your recipe i know it will be delicious!

  57. Namaste, Manjula aunty!! I tried making Chhole Palak following your recipe. Actually, we had to prepare something very quickly because my sister’s in-laws were coming home. We needed to prepare something for lunch and that’s when my sister’s in-laws were kissing their fingers. Your recipes are always a delight to watch and prepare. Excellent work but I would appreciate if you could probably make some recipes that would be fit for bachelors.

  58. Your recipes are excellent but you never use of onion or garlic, please upload the recipe with those two.
    Thanks

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