Chickpeas, Mango and Spinach in a Tomato Coconut Gravy

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
chickpea mango and spinach curry

No, those aren't potato pieces you see here in this spiced up dish but instead sweet chunks of fresh tender mango nestling up with buttery chickpeas and earthy green spinach. I never can resist chickpeas. Judging by the number of times in a given month they show up on my table in some shape or form, I suppose if I were pressed to name my favorite legume, then chickpeas it would be. Even those who insist they don't like beans can often be persuaded to try chickpeas. They do lend themselves so well to a variety of preparations and inspiration can be found across the globe.

My latest preparation with these beloved legumes is now a new favorite and — as is typical with me — an Indian curry. It's a gentle dish that nonetheless demands attention. The bouquet of flavors of sweet citrus, zesty tomato, vibrant spicing and bold spinach all come together like one big loving family, despite the unique elements of each of the ingredients. The addition of coconut milk and wilted spinach depart a delightful creaminess to the curry and balance out and blend all of the components and slightly soften the spices. My dinner companions proclaimed it a huge success and seconds were in order, though more for the experience because everyone's tummy was full. Try it and see if you don't elicit a similar response. And don't let the long list of ingredients deter you — most of the items are simply spices to be measured out, and it's actually quite a simple dish to prep and put together.

chickpea mango curry with spinach in a tomato coconut gravy

I served this dish with green peas simmered in a coconut tomato gravy. Alongside a bed of hot basmati rice, this was just the sort of Indian meal I was craving.

Chickpeas, Mango and Spinach in a Tomato Coconut GravyChickpeas, Mango and Spinach in a Tomato Coconut Gravy
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 14, 2014

Chickpeas and pieces of tender sweet mango simmered in a warm and fragrant spiced tomato and coconut sauce with wilted spinach

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamon pods, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or other cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 to 3 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • a few handfuls of dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large red mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves, washed and torn
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then stir in the cinnamon stick and cardamon pods. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender — about 1 hour. Drain and discard the cinnamon stick and cardamon pods. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin and mustard seeds and stir for 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilies, and stir for another minute. Now stir in the spices (except the garam masala) and curry leaves, and stir for another minute or so until aromatic.

  • Add the tomatoes, sugar and salt to the pan, stirring well to combine. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to thicken — about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and coconut milk, continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring often.

  • Now add the mango, garam masala and a little water if the mixture is too thick. Simmer for another 5 minutes until warmed throughout. Add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, until wilted and well combined. Simmer gently for another few minutes.

  • Taste for seasoning. Serve alongside some hot fresh cooked white basmati rice and another vegetable dish for a nourishing and satisfying Indian meal.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

chickpea mango and spinach curry

If you enjoy spinach, you might also like:
Spinach Rice (Palak Pulao)
Chickpea Flour Crêpes with Spinach
Mixed Dal Palak (Lentils with Spinach and Tomato)
Spiced Creamed Spinach

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janet @ the taste space said...

Oh yum, this looks delicious, Lisa. :)

lubnakarim06 said...

That's a yum has got all the seasons best ingredients in it...

Joanne said...

i love finding new savory dishes that include mango! I'm sure it adds such a nice touch of sweetness to the curry!

Unknown said...

This is just exploding with a variety of textures and flavours isn't it; I bet if feels very fresh x

Anonymous said...

Hello, and thank you for your knowledge and helpfulness.

How big are the curry leaves youre using in this recipe? Are they the typical size only dried, or are they dried and minced? (like oregano)

Lisa Turner said...

The curry leaves I used are dried, typical size. You can crumble them a bit if desired.