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Chana Saag (Chick Peas with Spinach)


Karen Murray, Senior Writer


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 small red chili, chopped (more to taste)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6–9 oz. baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced


  • Frying pan


  • 4 servings


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and add onion. Sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and chili, and sauté until soft and fragrant, 1 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and purée mixture with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Return to pan and place over medium heat.
  5. Add paprika, salt, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add chickpeas and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  6. Cover and simmer until sauce is thick and chickpeas are soft, about 40–50 minutes. Stir pan about every 10 minutes, adding water if needed to prevent burning.
  7. Stir in chopped spinach, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, add salt if needed, and serve with cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice.

When I moved to the North Fork of Long Island in 2000, I missed being able to order takeout from an Indian restaurant. I found this recipe for chickpeas, made it a few times, and realized something was missing. My husband and I love Indian dishes with spinach, so I decided to add some to the chickpeas. That did the trick. This hearty dish is perfect with some basmati rice and (supermarket) naan.

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