Spiced chickpea stew

This recipe is full of flavour – heady and fragrant with spice, while also being incredibly comforting. It's the kind of immune-boosting stew that serves as a great pick-me-up on cold evenings, but doesn't disappoint when it comes to taste.

Although this dish is a great winter staple, it's not so heavy that it can't be enjoyed during warmer months, too: it's light and fresh, and can be adapted year-round by using seasonal vegetables. I've used spinach here, but kale, broccoli, chard, or any other dark, leafy veg will also work beautifully.



1 tbsp groundnut or coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

4 fat cloves garlic, grated

4-inch piece ginger, grated, to yield about 3 tbsp

1 heaped tbsp ground ginger

1 heaped tbsp garam masala

5 cardamom pods, bashed

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

2 x 400g tins full-fat coconut milk

500ml vegetable stock

600g jar chickpeas or 2 x 400g tins

1 tbsp tamari sauce

Juice of 1 lime

4 handfuls spinach

To serve

Coconut yogurt

Chilli flakes

Fresh herbs, chopped – I like coriander and basil

Shoots or micro herbs (optional)

Black onion or nigella seeds (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat, and add the diced onion. Cook gently, stirring regularly, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the grated garlic and ginger, stir to combine, and cook for a further minute or two, then add the ground ginger, garam masala, cardamom pods, turmeric, and chilli flakes. Stir to combine, and cook until fragrant – this should take just a couple of minutes.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and 300ml of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  4. Add the chickpeas, including the liquid if you're using jarred, or drained and rinsed if you're using tins.
  5. Add the tamari and lime juice, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, and leave to simmer on a low to medium heat for 15 mins.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and lime to taste. At this stage, if things are looking a little dry, you can add some more stock.
  7. When you're ready to serve, stir in the spinach. Allow it to wilt a little, then divide the stew between 4-6 bowls. Top with a dollop of coconut yogurt, chilli flakes, fresh herbs, and some micro herbs and black onion or nigella seeds, if using.

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