Chickpea, tomato, and spinach korma

This wonderful korma is enriched with ground almonds and yoghurt. It can be made almost entirely from store-cupboard items and frozen spinach - and it will be perfectly acceptable as a quick weekday supper. Made with chickpeas you've boiled yourself and fresh spinach added during the final minutes of cooking, it becomes something you could happily serve to dinner guests. Vegetarians will be delighted; meat eaters probably won't grumble too much once they've tasted it. You could even make it vegan by substituting the Greek yoghurt for something plant based.

Garam masala is a spice mix, the recipes for which differ from brand to brand. I always keep two on hand so I can mix things up. I normally use Tesco's own brand for this - it has a really well-rounded flavour. When I first started making this recipe decades ago, I would also add the tiniest pinch of kalia spices (a black spice mix I ground at home from black peppercorns, cloves, and cardamoms. It gave the dish a certain lift but, when my stash ran out, I realized it really wasn't necessary.

Serves 4 - 5 with the addition of a dahl, some rice, a salad on the side, and maybe some naan bread.


120g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight then cooked

or 1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

a scant tablespoon of oil

1/4 of a fresh chilli, finely sliced

or a tiny pinch of chilli flakes or powder

1/4 inch root ginger, finely grated

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 heaped teaspoons ground almonds

1 tin chopped tomatoes


1/3 teaspoon salt

125g of perfect baby spinach leaves

or 4 -5 blocks of frozen spinach

3 heaped tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt

coriander leaves and toasted almond flakes to serve (optional)

If you're unfamiliar with any of the ingredients, find out more about them here:



Start by measuring out your dry spices. Then, if you have a pestle and mortar, grind and pound the ground almonds (the more you do this, the better the texture of the finished dish). Slice the chilli finely and grate the ginger, then make sure you have the the chickpeas and tinned tomatoes to hand.


Heat the oil in a medium or large saucepan, add the chilli and ginger and fry for a minute before adding the spices. Fry these for another minute, stirring all the while, until they give off their aroma.


Add the ground almonds and stir them in, then immediately add the tomatoes, a third of a can of water, the salt, and the chickpeas. Bring to a boil, pop on a lid, then simmer for 15 minutes. (If using frozen spinach, add this after the first 5 minutes of cooking.


Use this time to pick over the fresh spinach, discarding any leaves that do not look their best. You want 125g of perfect leaves. When the 15 minutes is up, remove the lid and pile them on top. Pop the lid back on and let them steam for 3 - 4 minutes.


Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the yoghurt. Pop the lid back on and leave to stand for 5 minutes in the residual heat.

Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves (only if everyone likes them!) and toasted almond flakes.

Any questions? You can use the comments form at the bottom of the page.

Did you know?

You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series:

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