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A bowl of spicy chickpeas with tomatoes and kale.

Spicy Chickpeas with Tomatoes & Kale

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe has been slightly adapted from Jenny Rosenstrach’s latest book, The Weekday Vegetarians

A few notes: 

  • I’ve been making this with these slow cooker chickpeas, which couldn’t be simpler, and which are so tasty. If you don’t have a slow cooker and want to cook the chickpeas from scratch, here’s my guide. Of course, canned chickpeas are fine. I like the Goya brand.
  • The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup of coconut milk. It also suggests serving it with rice, so I have been making this coconut rice to serve along side. The coconut rice calls for 3/4 cup coconut milk, and so I have been reserving this amount for the rice and then using the rest of the can for the chickpeas. The extra coconut milk makes the dish a little richer, I suppose, but it certainly does not taste too rich or sweet.
  • Finally, the original recipe calls for stirring 1/4 cup of warm water into a teaspoon of miso and stirring this in at the end. If you have miso on hand, go for it! If you don’t, don’t run out and get it. The dish is plenty flavorful without it, especially if you add a splash more coconut milk, as noted above. 


For the chickpeas:

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed, olive, or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon or less)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder, I love Madras brand
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or two 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed
  • one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes or 1 lb. diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock (I always use water)
  • 2 to 4 cups stemmed and chopped fresh kale
  • 1 teaspoon miso, optional, see notes above
  • 1/4 cup (or more) unsweetened coconut milk

For serving:


  1. In a large skillet set over medium-low heat, combine the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, pinch salt, and black pepper to taste. Cook until slightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder, and stir, coating it in the aromatics and toasting it a bit, another 2 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring it into the curry-coated aromatics, and cook for another minute or until the red color darkens and it smells toasty. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them in the curry mixture. Cook for another two minutes or until the chickpeas are evenly coated in the spices; then taste a chickpea for seasoning. Adjust accordingly if it needs more salt or pepper to taste. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and water (or stock) and simmer for 10 minutes or until everything is warmed through. Add more water as needed if it looks too thick — chickpeas can absorb a ton of liquid. Add the kale and cook until wilted. 
  4. If using the miso, stir it into 1/4 cup warm water and add it to the skillet along with the coconut milk. Stir to combine and cook for another minute or two. As noted above, I add more like 3/4 cup coconut milk and use another 3/4 cup coconut milk for this coconut rice
  5. Serve with rice or naan, a lime wedge, and a sprinkle of cilantro, if you wish. 
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Indian

Keywords: spicy, chickpeas, chana, masala, curry