Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes / Vegan Mains

Walk-Away Chickpea Tomato and Spinach Curry

Last updated on March 25th, 2020 at 03:45 pm

I love a fuss-free recipe – my 3-ingredient vegan zucchini soup is on regular rotation – and the less fuss the better. This Walk-away Chickpea Tomato and Spinach Curry is just that. Throw the ingredients in to a pot and walk away. The resulting vegan curry is full-bodied and loaded with gorgeous spiced flavours. 

An overhead image of a white bowl of chickpea, tomato and spinach curry on a grey marble background with a grey napkin and a wooden bowl of dried chilli nearby


My four year-old is suffering from her first broken heart and yes, it’s all for a boy. Last night I held her little body as she shed a bucket of tears for a little man who has made her feel safe, brave and wanted in her first year of kindergarten.

This gorgeous soul let her pretend to be a kitten and hid with her under tables while she curled in to his lap. He played husband when she wanted to play house and let her operate on him whenever she fancied being a doctor. I am so happy she met such a sweet and kind spirit.

Alas, he is an older man and next year is off to primary school while our girl will do another year of pre-school. The Elf is a January baby, you see, and she is heartbroken she won’t be going through with him and her other friends.

A bowl of chickpea, tomato and spinach curry with quinoa close up

We could send her through. My heart wants to send her through. My head, however, is trying to hold tight to all the research and advice from her teachers that an extra year will help her not only survive her school years but thrive. Oh, but the tears! They are so pitiful and I want to make everything better. This parenting thing blows sometimes.

What does this have to do with chickpea tomato and spinach curry?

Not a thing but it is where my head and heart are at and all I want is for everyone to tell me that we are making the right choice for our child. She will miss all her friends when they move on to school but the bigger picture is that another year will serve her better in the long run. That’s the theory anyway. And so, as we get closer to the end of the year the tears flow.

Arghhhh…enough. Let’s talk about this curry before I tear up too.

tomatoes on the vine

I adore this chickpea tomato and spinach curry.

  • it’s healthful
  • it’s simple
  • you don’t need any cooking skills to speak of
  • it’s full-bodied and delicious and
  • it freezes well.

Did I mention the walking away part? Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or those nights when you’re all turned around thinking how you broke your kid’s heart, this curry takes a few quick stirs and you’re off. Off to read a magazine. Off for a quick cup of tea. Off to wallow.

two bowls of chickpea, tomato and spinach curry on a marbled background with a blue linen crumbled to the corner

I’m joking. Sort of. The point is, you’ll have the time. Once the juicy cherry tomatoes are bathed in Indian spices and begin to blister and the chickpeas are added with coconut milk and stock, you can reduce the heat and walk away. Come back 40-minutes later to add some fresh baby spinach and dinner is served.

Canned or dried chickpeas?

I most often use canned organic chickpeas but if you prefer you can use dry chickpeas you’ve cooked from scratch. 

How to cook dried chickpeas from scratch (for those less lazy than me) 

  1. Wash 2 cups of dried chickpeas and pick out the gnarly brown ones.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water making sure you cover them by several inches of water to allow for expansion. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth to soak overnight and expand.
  3. The next day drain and rinse the chickpeas in cold water.
  4. To cook your soaked beans, place them in a large pot and cover with several inches of water – about 1 litre (approx 1 quart) of water per cup of soaked beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  5. Add salt if you like – a good amount is around 1/8 of a teaspoon for each cup of chickpeas.
  6.   Cook at a simmer for 60-90 minutes until desired tenderness.
  7. If you don’t have time to soak your chickpeas overnight you can quick soak them. Cover the dried beans with cold water by several inches in a large pot. Place the pot over medium to high heat on the stove and bring it up to a boil for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the chickpeas to sit in the hot water for 1 hour. 
  9. Drain the beans before cooking. 

Once the beans are cooked you can move on to the recipe below 🙂

If you love a good curry – if you do give my mushroom and chickpea tikka masala a try –  and you love your meals fuss-free and delicious, try this walk-away chickpea tomato and spinach curry. For the nights you need to walk away.


Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh? 

Totally. I’ve used a 400 gram (14 oz)  tin of chopped tomatoes in this recipe and it turned out great. The flavour is slightly more acidic but it’s hardly noticeable. 

Does this curry freeze well?

Yes. After cooking the curry allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-proof container. Label the container with the name of the curry and the date you made it and store in the freezer safely for up to 3 months. 

Enjoy x.

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4.5 from 42 votes

Walk-Away Chickpea, Tomato and Spinach Curry

A dinner you can throw in a pot and walk away from, this Chickpea Tomato and Spinach Curry is super simple, robust and aromatic.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Vegan Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 245kcal
Author Amanda


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion or 2 regular (optional for a thicker sauce) finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400 grams cherry tomatoes, halved approx 2 punnets
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 480 grams cooked chickpeas cooked or 2 cans (drained)
  • 400 ml coconut milk 1 can
  • 200 ml vegetable stock 1/2 can
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa or rice to serve
  • chilli flakes to serve optional


  • Melt the coconut oil in a heavy-based pot over medium heat and add the  onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, tomato paste and sea salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and stir through to coat. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring the mixture up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low  and cook with the pot lid off for approximately 40 minutes or until the sauce is thick and creamy. Stir in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt gently. 
  • Remove the curry from the heat and serve with a smattering of chilli flakes and cooked rice or quinoa. 


After adding the coconut milk I half fill the empty can with the vegetable stock. 
I have added a large diced onion to the recipe to help create a thicker curry sauce in less time. 


Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1385IU | Vitamin C: 19.7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4.2mg

Overhead image of a rustic white bowl of chickpea tomato and spinach curry on a marbled grey surface with a light blue linen cloth and a wooden bowl of chilli seeds nearby. Title text overlay in white.
About Author

Amanda Logan is a published cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer based in Australia. She is a contributor to Nourish Australia magazine and has appeared in Thrive Magazine, Vegan Food and Living, The Zoe Report and The Australian Vegan Magazine.

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Delicious. I’m not a vegan but I am making an effort to ditch meat and dairy. The spices are very complementary and the finished product is very creamy. I added more coconut oil after adding in the large quantity of spices because they were sticking to the pan a bit. I served with rice and pita bread. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I see you’re from Australia – I’ve called it my home for the last six months and I’ll miss it when I return to Canada soon.


5 stars
late to the curry in a hurry party, but this was brilliant. Three carnivores hooked into it with only one teen complaining about the tomatoes (not a fan)! Lovely, mild, full of flavour. Served with bread rolls and a slaw salad. Quite delish and packed up a serve for lunch tomorrow. Can confirm it works just fine with the lite coconut milk.


5 stars
This has been the first time I’ve ever commented on a food blog, I just had to come here and thank you for this recipe! I started “properly” cooking for myself only a couple years ago, and never found a curry recipe I could pull off… until now! This is perfect, my fiance loves it, I took it to a Thanksgiving potluck and it vanished, just wow. Thank you 😀


Hi, Ive just found your Chickpea curry. Looks delicious and Im going to try out on my daughter and her partner this weekend. Read the story about your broken hearted daughter, poor little girl. But that was a year ago I can see, and now she will have moved up a class. Is her true love still there?