Chickpea and Spinach Curry

20160305_140519-01One of the necessities with cooking while traveling is learning to cook with what you have. I more often have a stove top, but not an oven. Also, most places tend to have one large pot for cooking. As a result, many of our recipes are one-pot meals cooked in the one large pot.

You also have to be willing to work with the ingredients you can get. I’m already a seasonal cook, preferring to use what’s in season. Being adaptable to what’s in season is a big advantage because in smaller locations, quite often what is in season is what’s available to eat. It’s also cheap because it’s in season and it wasn’t shipped from halfway around the world! If you want imported ingredients or out of season, you pay a hefty price for them.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry on the StovetopCurries make beautiful one-pot meals and are adaptable to using the ingredients on hand. I created this recipe, Chickpea and Spinach Curry in Morocco. The one hard to find ingredient in Morocco was the coconut milk. They sell plenty of fresh veggies, chickpeas and the beautiful spices needed for curry, but not coconut milk.

I love coconut milk! It’s one of the reasons I love curries so much. If you’re looking for coconut milk in Morocco, check the large Western-style “supermarches.” Most anywhere else, check your local store’s Asian food section or a local Asian food market.

While I highly recommend using coconut milk in curry, if you happen not to be able to find any or don’t have time to run to the store, you can substitute regular milk with a little sugar added. It will taste different but not incredibly different.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry Served Over Rice
Chickpea and Spinach Curry Served Over Rice

One advantage to Morocco is the cheap spices. One disadvantage is not getting taken advantage of while buying them. Some shops overcharge tourists and others put cheap additives into the spices. Finding a trusted local to guide you is your best option for finding good, clean, fresh and fragrant spices. Our wonderful Airbnb host, Naima, was happy to share her spice source with us while in Essaouira. The spices are so nice, I purchased extra to carry forward on my trip. Saffron for $3 USD a gram is fantastic!


Personally, I like to use home cooked chickpeas, but you can add tinned ones as a time saver. And if you don’t like spinach, switch in something like kale, broccoli or Swiss chard.

Moroccan Khobz (bread)
Moroccan Khobz, perfect for sopping up Chickpea and Spinach Curry

We loved the spiciness paired with the sweet coconut milk. And the firmness of the chickpeas really gives a wonderful texture to the dish. Hubby gives the dish a thumbs up and I’m just looking forward to the next time we make it again. Just don’t forget some naan, khobz (Moroccan bread, prounced hobs) or crusty bread for sopping up all the sauce.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 ½ tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. chili powder or adjust to taste

2 tsp. ground black pepper

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium-size onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno, finely chopped or adjust for taste

3 medium tomatoes, diced or use 1 14-15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup)

2 cups packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

1 400-500 mL can of coconut milk

Salt to taste

Juice from 1 lime


Mix spices together and set aside until needed.

In a large pot, over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil until soft. Add carrots, garlic and jalapeno, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Dump chopped tomatoes into the mix and allow to simmer down until tomatoes release their juices. If your tomatoes aren’t very juicy, add about ¼ cup water.

Add spices and chickpeas, stirring in well.

Pour in coconut milk, stir and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Sauce will begin to thicken.

Serve over rice or with crusty bread.

Makes about 4 servings.

More Spicy Curry Recipes Ideas to Try:

Ghost Curry Lobster Cowder from Simply Sophisticated Cooking

Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl from Elizabeth’s Little Vegan Kitchen

Khubani Murgh Kadhai Recipe from Whisk Affair

Yellow Crab Curry from Pepper Delight

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Leeks from Mas Appetite

Gluten-Free Thai Peanut Butter Cookies from Simply Sophisticated Cooking

8 Comments Add yours

  1. mac8332 says:

    I am so glad you are doing your Blog again. I love to read about where you may be or have been. Have you hit a lot of countries? Will you stay more than a year? Time is probably flying for you.

    Everything has been torn down at the old hospital site and it all looks like piles of dirt yet. A bee hive of activity all over the grounds. They are just getting started on a 10 story apt. bldg south of the parking garage at 11th and Colo. The affordable housing 110 unit bldg is started right across Ash from us in the parking lot. I don’t know where people will park when all this building is finished. The noise isn’t bad as yet. Johnny is gone and 509 & 510 have been remodeled and have nice owners now.

    Happy travels, Marilyn Ellis


    1. Heidi Medina says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Sounds like things have been busy the old building. I bet you are relieved Johnny has moved on. We been to nine countries, including Ireland, which we are in now. We’ll be here until the end of August and then it’s on to Scotland for a short stay before we head out to London again. After London, it looks we will be coming back to the US for a short spell for sure. We’re not sure if we’re staying in US or coming back to Europe after that. Only time will bring those answers 🙂 It’s awesome to hear from you. Please stay in touch and I’ll work on getting more recipes and stories of our travels out.

  2. bluestar68 says:

    So glad to see you food blogging again! I am looking forward to seeing all your travel inspired recipes! This one looks quite delicious and right up my alley. Must say that I did enjoy your travel blog and especially all the wonderful photos that you took but I understand the challenges you had.

    1. Heidi Medina says:

      Hey Liz,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the travel blog. Maybe if I try a different approach to it, I might continue it, but so far not liking how it’s worked out. It’s so good to hear from you. I hope to catch up and say hi when we come back to Denver. Maybe we can get out and go on a photo shoot together 🙂

      1. bluestar68 says:

        Definitely! I don’t shoot much with the meetup groups anymore. Now, i just do it with friends. When you are back, let me know.

  3. This looks delicious, Heidi.

    1. Heidi Medina says:

      Thank you Jovina 🙂

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