Saturday, June 22, 2024

Chloe Palak (Spinach & Chickpea Curry)

Chole Palak, or Chana Palak, is a popular dish from northern India, typically enjoyed with roti or naan. Interestingly, even though you can find it in Northern Indian restaurants in Malaysia, it’s not commonly cooked by Malaysian Indians. I’ve never seen it at potlucks, gatherings, weddings, or other events. Do you know why? I’m curious! If you have any idea, please drop a comment.


At first, I didn’t cook Chole Palak either, but after trying it once, it became a regular dish in our home, especially loved by my husband. If you haven't made chickpea and spinach curry yet, now's a great time to start. I always use canned chickpeas—they save a lot of cooking time and are very convenient. It’s funny how some people, those who believe they are health gurus, avoid canned foods, believing they’re unhealthy. They insist on simmering or pressure cooking raw chickpeas.

Have you noticed how many of these self-proclaimed, unqualified quack health gurus talk about healthy eating, even when their own health is shattered?


In a world where home cooking is becoming rare, canned chickpeas make things easier. Another ingredient I like is dried fenugreek leaves. They add a lovely flavor and are handy when you don’t have curry leaves. Shall we get to making Ms. Nava’s Chole Palak or Chickpea Spinach curry now?

Chole Palak/ Spinach & Chickpea Curry
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Water as needed

For the Curry Paste
1/2 tbsp plain chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
A little garam masala
Mix these ingredients with some water to form a thick paste

Heat oil in a pan.
Sauté ginger paste and garlic paste until fragrant.
Add the curry paste.
Cook and stir until aromatic and the oil starts to separate.

Add the sliced tomato and stir.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water.
Add the spinach.
Stir and cook until the spinach is softened or mushy.

Tip in the chickpeas (without the liquid).
Season with salt.
Pour in the coconut milk.

Stir and simmer until everything is heated through.
Remove from heat and mix in the fenugreek leaves.

Alternative Option: Spicy Vegetarian Beans
If you want to try something different, you can use canned baked beans instead of chickpeas. This simple style of cooking can be easily adapted. Replace basil leaves with the dried fenugreek leaves you already bought for Chole Palak, and use them for this spicy vegetarian beans dish. Watch the attached video for detailed instructions.

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