palak chole | spinach with chickpeas

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Palak chole recipe with step by step photos – North Indian style delicious curry made with spinach and chana (white chickpeas). It is yet anothe chickpea dish that is liked by many people.

palak chole recipe

The palak chole recipe is like the North Indian chole curry and just has the addition of spinach. Basically an onion-tomato paste sauteed with spices to which the spinach and then the chickpeas are added.

The recipe can be made with regular spinach or baby spinach. Instead of using dried chickpeas, which require cooking, canned chickpeas can also be used. For more spinach recipes, you can check this collection of 29 palak recipes.

This is a healthy dish obviously due to the combination of spinach and chickpeas. Together with rotis or rice it becomes a complete meal.

In our home chickpea is one of our favorite ingredients and we make a variety of curry recipes with it. I have shared a few such variations on the blog like:

You can serve Palak chole with roti, naan, tandoori rotis, steamed rice or jeera rice.

You can adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your choice. When we want to serve it with rice-based dishes like basmati rice or cumin rice then we keep the gravy slightly thin.

On the other hand when we want to have it with Indian flatbreads like roti or plain paratha then we keep the gravy slightly thick.

How to make palak chole

1. Rinse and then soak 1 cup of dried white chickpeas overnight or for 7 to 8 hours.

soaked chickpeas in a bowl

2. Drain the soaked chickpeas.

drained chickpeas in a bowl

3. Add chickpeas with 3 to 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker.

chickpeas in a pressure cooker with water

4. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt or as required.

salt added to pressure cooker

5. Pressure cook the chickpeas till they are cooked completely. You can also cook the chickpeas in a pot.

Pressure cooking the chickpeas

6. The boiled chickpeas should be soft and tender. If not then you can cook them for some more time.

cooked chickpeas

7. Meanwhile add 1 large onion, 1 to 2 green chilies, ½ inch ginger and 3 to 4 garlic in a grinder or blender jar.

onions chillies in a blender jar

8. Grind to a smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding or blending. Remove and keep aside.

onion paste in the jar

9. In the same jar, add one large sized chopped tomato. Grind to a smooth puree. No need to add water while grinding or blending.

tomato puree in the jar

10. Rinse the spinach leaves very well in water.

rinsing spinach leaves in water

11. Then chop the spinach leaves. Keep aside. You will need 4.5 to 5 cups of chopped spinach leaves.

chopped spinach leaves in the pan

12. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for the palak chole recipe.

ingredients  for palak chole recipe in a bowl

13. Drain the boiled chickpeas and keep aside.

boiled chickpeas in a bowl

Making palak chole

14. Heat oil in a kadai. Fry 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom and 1 tej patta till they are fragrant.

spices in a pan

15. Add the onion paste.

palak chole recipe

16. Saute and keep stirring often. Saute till the onion paste turns light brown.

palak chole recipe

17. Then add the tomato puree.

tomato puree added to pan

18. Stir and mix very well.

palak chole recipe

19. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder.

spices added to masala mixture in the pan

20. Stir and mix well again.

mixing masala mixture in the pan

21. Continue to saute till oil leaves the sides of the masala and the masala is well browned.

palak chole recipe

22. Then add 4.5 to 5 cups of chopped palak. Mix well.

palak chole recipe

23. Sprinkle salt as required.

palak chole recipe

24. Stir and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.

palak chole recipe

25. Add the cooked chickpeas.

palak chole recipe

26. Stir well.

palak chole recipe

27. Pour 1.5 to 2 cups water or as per the consistency you want.

water added to pan

28. Add crushed pomegranate seeds powder or dry mango powder. I used ¾ teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchur).

dry mango powder added to palak chole gravy

29. Stir well.

palak chole gravy in a pan

30. Also mash a few chole with the back of the spoon. This helps to thicken the gravy.

mashing chickpeas with a spoon

31. Simmer till the palak chole gravy thickens and becomes smooth.

palak chole gravy in a pan

32. Lastly add crushed 1 teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).

kasuri methi added to palak chole gravy

33. Simmer the gravy for 1 to 2 minutes.

palak chole gravy in a pan

Serve Palak chole hot with rotis or naan or steamed rice or jeera rice or biryani rice or ghee rice and onion-lemon salad.

They can also be packed in lunch box with roti or poori or paratha or rice.

palak chole served in a plate with rice

Few more tasty Punjabi recipes for you!

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palak chole

Palak Chole

5 from 9 votes
Palak chole or chana palak is a North Indian style delicious curry made with spinach, chana (white chickpeas), onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices. 
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 45 mins

Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Main Course
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 4


For cooking chickpeas

  • 1 cup dried white chickpeas – 200 grams
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or as required

To be ground to paste

  • 1 large onion – roughly chopped or ¾ to 1 cup
  • 1 or 2 green chilies – chopped or ½ to 1 teaspoon, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves (small to medium) – chopped
  • ½ inch ginger – chopped, optional

Other ingredients

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
  • 1 large tomato – pureed or ⅓ to ½ cup tomato puree
  • 4.5 to 5 cups chopped spinach (palak)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water – for the gravy
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) or ¾ teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds – roasted and crushed finely
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) – crushed, optional
  • salt as required

Whole spices

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)

Ground spices

  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ¾ teaspoon Punjabi Garam Masala Powder or chana masala powder or garam masala powder



  • Soak the dried white chana (chole) overnight or for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Drain and Add chickpeas with 3 to 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt or as required.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas till they are cooked completely. You can also cook the chickpeas in a pot or pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the onion paste with green chilies, ginger and garlic. Also prepare the tomato puree. Keep aside. 
  • Rinse spinach leaves very well in water. Drain all the water. Then chop them. Also drain the cooked chickpeas and set aside.

Sautéing spices, onions and tomatoes

  • In a pan heat oil. Fry all whole spices till fragrant.
  • Add the onion paste. Sauté until light golden.
  • Add the tomato puree and all the spice powders mentioned in the above list.
  • Fry until oil leaves the sides of the masala and the masala is well browned.
  • Now add the chopped palak and salt. Stir and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.

Making palak chole

  • Add the cooked chole and stir. Pour 1.5 to 2 cups water.
  • Add crushed pomegranate seeds powder or dry mango powder.
  • Also mash a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon. This helps to thicken the gravy. Simmer on medium-low to medium heat until the gravy thickens and becomes smooth.
  • Lastly add crushed kasuri methi and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve palak chole hot with roti, naan or steamed rice or jeera rice and onion-lemon salad.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers for one to two days. Keep in a covered container and refrigerate.


  • Chickpeas: Though white chickpeas taste fabulous here, but you can swap them with black or brown chickpeas. The curry will taste good with black or brown chickpeas. Canned chickpeas can be also be used in the recipe and it will save some cooking time. Note that aged chickpeas will take a longer time to cook. 
  • Spinach: Use only the leaves of the spinach. Include stems only if they are tender. Rinse your spinach very well in water. If you prefer, you can blanch the leaves. For frozen spinach, thaw them completely and squeeze out the extra water.
  • Whole spices: Try to include all the whole spices as listed. If at all you have to skip any of them, then I suggest to omit black cardamom and tej patta.
  • Soaking and cooking chickpeas: Chickpeas which have been soaked overnight really cook and soften well. If you have forgotten to soak them, then boil water in a pan. Switch off the heat and add rinsed chickpeas. Cover and soak for two hours. You can cook chickpeas in a pot on the stove-top or in the Instant Pot.
  • Cooking chickpeas in Instant Pot: For cooking in an Instant pot, add 3 cups water to the chickpeas and salt. Pressure cook on high pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the lid.
  • Cooking chickpeas in a pan: Use a deep pan or pot. Add the chickpeas, salt and 3 to 4 cups water. Cover the pan and cook chickpeas on medium to medium-high flame until they have softened. If the water starts frothing and bubbling, partially cover the pan or remove the lid altogether. 
  • Consistency: You can choose to make the gravy thick or having a medium consistency by adding less or more water. 
  • Spicing: Adapt this palak chole recipe to your tastebuds by adding less or more of the red chilli powder and green chillies. 
  • Dry mango powder: To give some tangy taste to the curry, you can add either dry mango powder or dried pomegranate seeds powder. If you do not have either, add ½ to 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the curry once the cooking is complete. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Palak Chole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 331 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 484mg21%
Potassium 996mg28%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 7053IU141%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 34mg41%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 353µg336%
Calcium 153mg15%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 427µg107%
Iron 6mg33%
Magnesium 128mg32%
Phosphorus 243mg24%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I enjoy trying new recipes and you make it easy.5 stars

  2. i just discovered this is best if you have a COLD:). Loved it, the flavours. Thank You5 stars

  3. An excellent recipe with a wonderful balance of flavors. Here in the US, a company called Earthbound Farms sells a prepackaged mix of young and tender (“baby”) spinach, kale and chard under the name “Power Greens.” For those with access to a Costco store, they can be bought in big 1.5 lb bags (about 680 g). I used one of these bags and doubled all of the other quantities in the recipe. To save time I used 3 cans of cooked chickpeas rather than cooking from scratch, and pureed a 400 g can of diced tomatoes (good ripe tomatoes being very difficult to find out of season here).

    Because the greens were so tender I gave them considerably less cooking time than is called for here, so they would retain some fresh taste.

    This was the fourth or fifth recipe I’ve made from your site and everything has been delicious. Making Indian food at home is a fairly new interest for me and I’m so glad I found my way here!5 stars

    1. thanks a lot steve. i wish in india we would get “power greens”. we do get spinach but chard and kale is not easily available. luckily an online store where i live sells kale. when the greens are tender, we don’t need to cook them more.

      glad that the recipes you have made so far have been good. happy cooking and do try more of indian food.

  4. Hi D

    My son has a food sensitivity to chickpeas. Can I substitute the chickpeas with any other, say black eyed peas or so?

    Uma.5 stars

    1. yes you can use beans like rajma or black eyed beans or any beans that are available where you live.

  5. Hi Dassana,

    Do you think substituting palak with Kale would work?

    Thank you,

    1. kale can be substituted with palak. but whereas spinach softens, kale will have crunch and will taste somewhat like drum stick leaves 🙂

  6. Hi D,

    Made this today! its turned out superb! this is inspite of not adding the whole masalas(dont have those as currently living the nomad life). Awesome dish. thank you!!

    I tried the besan ladoo yesterday – the besan got a bit darker that the displayed one(am guessing it got a bit burnt). I cant figure out when to sptop cooking it. Also i put fine sure which dint melt – so the final product had these grains of sugar to bite into. overall the dish is delicious – except for these minor issues.
    Is there point at which i should stop cooking the besan to avoid the extra browning – also i kept stirring it for long in the hope of melting the sugar!Help!

    Happy cooking! Liz5 stars

    1. nice to to know that the palak chole was good even without the whole spices. when you start getting the nutty fragrance from besan and it just turns a shade darker and you see the ghee from the sides, then you move to the next step. continuous stirring also gives a uniform color and does not allow the besan to get burnt. best is to use powdered sugar. the sugar i used is organic unrefined sugar and they are so fine, that they got melted. basically depends on the quality of sugar. next time you can use powdered sugar.

  7. Made this last night. Excellent balance of flavors & way better than my usual version. Best I’ve had. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  8. Hi Dassana, Nice combination of Palak with Chhole to make for a one pot lunch or dinner. One dish including greens and proteins. Such recipes make life a lot easier 🙂