HomeCasseroleBaked Chana Saag (Vegan Spinach Chickpea Curry)

Baked Chana Saag (Vegan Spinach Chickpea Curry)

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Try this easy Vegan Baked Chana Saag recipe! A fragrant Spinach and Chickpea Curry cooked in one casserole dish along with onion, tomatoes & warming spices. Such a comforting meal served with rice or any bread of your choice.  Gluten-free Soyfree Nutfree.

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Today we are cooking a baked version of this Indian classic. Chana Saag – an aromatic and perfectly spiced chickpea spinach/greens curry made in the oven!

We are taking a classic Indian curry normally made on the stovetop using chickpeas, spinach or greens, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, and warm spices and turn it into an easy 1-dish casserole recipe. Making this in the oven means no standing around!

This is a great recipe you can make whenever you need to use up greens! Spinach is a quintessential ingredient, but other than that you can add any leafy greens you have in your fridge. Think chard or mustard greens.

You will love how easy this is to make and the recipe is totally adaptable to your taste. Served with warm bread or steamed basmati rice this really makes for a perfect weeknight meal.

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This is not only the ideal dish for busy weeknights. Being a real crowd-pleaser recipe, this baked chana saag could also be made ahead, and stored in the fridge and will surely be a hit at gatherings and parties. Meal-prep win!

For variation, you can use other cooked beans of choice, or add some red lentils, or use tofu or soycurls!

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More baked curries:

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5 from 14 votes

Vegan Baked Chana Saag

Try this easy Vegan Baked Chana Saag recipe! A fragrant Spinach and Chickpea Curry cooked in one casserole dish along with onion, tomatoes & warming spices. Such a comforting meal served with rice or any bread of your choice. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: baked chana saag, baked spinach casserole
Servings: 4
Calories: 331kcal
Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (or use 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves and add with onion)
  • 1 clove optional
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried red chili broken or use 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup (120 g) finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (113 g) frozen spinach or chopped (defrost if using frozen)
  • 4 ounces (113 g) chopped greens such as fresh chard ,mustard greens or other baby greens, or use more spinach
  • 8 ounce (226 g) tomato puree (or unseasoned tomato sauce )
  • 15 oz (425 g) can coconut milk full fat or light or other non-dairy milk of choice , thicker cashew milk or oat milk work well
  • 15- ounce (425 g) can chickpeas drained or 1.5 cups cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper flakes, lemon juice, and cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • In a 9×11 or similar size baking dish, add the oil and spread evenly. Add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, clove, bay leaves, and mix.
  • Put it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) to cook for 6-8 minutes or until the cumin seeds are fragrant. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  • Remove the dish from the oven then add in the red chilies and mix in. Add in the onion, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Add some splashes of water if spices aren’t sticking to the onion and mix
  • Then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 11-15 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Take the dish out of the oven. Add in the spinach, greens, tomato puree, chickpeas, salt, coconut milk and mix really well.
  • If using fresh greens, then they will take a minute to kind of mix in and get coevered in the sauce. You want the greens to be covered with the sauce otherwise they will get crispy. Cover with parchment.
  • Put the dish back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mix once in between so that all the greens get cooked evenly.
  • Take the dish out of the oven. Taste and adjust salt and spices and mix in. Garnish and serve over rice or naan, or flatbread.

    For creamier, mix in 2-3 tablespoons non dairy yogurt while still hot. For flavor variation, add in 1 teaspoon garam masala or Kashmiri garam masala or 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves ( kasoori methi) while still hot.

Notes

You can make this dish with other protein such as tofu or vegan chicken.

To make with tofu, add pressed and cubed 14 ounce tofu along with the onion mixture so that the tofu can crisp up a little bit as well and then add the greens and the rest of the ingredients.

To make it with the vegan chicken substitute, add the chicken sub with the greens. Use 3 oz rehydrated in stock soycurls or 4 oz seitan. 

To make with split red lentils (masoor dal): add 1/2 cup red lentils and 1 cup water and continue with the recipe.

Oilfree: Dry toast the spices in a skillet until they change color slightly, add onion,ginger, garlic  and spices and 1/4 cup broth and sauté over medium heat until golden. Then transfer this to the baking dish and proceed as the recipe.

Stovetop: toast the whole spices and chilies  in oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Then add onion, ginger, garlic, spices and sauté until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients, partially cover and cook for 15-20 mins. Stir occasionally, reduce heat to medium low towards the end to simmer. 

Instant Pot : toast the whole spices and red chilies in oil on sauté mode. Then add onion, ginger, garlic, spices and sauté until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients, close the lid, pressure cook for 8 minutes. Natural release. For creamier, fold in 2-3 tbsp non dairy yogurt . 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Baked Chana Saag
Amount Per Serving
Calories 331 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Sodium 435mg19%
Potassium 831mg24%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3314IU66%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Ingredients:

  • we start by toasting whole spices in some oil: cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, clove, bay leaves and dried red chili. This step is called tempering
  • chopped onion,  garlic and ginger are added to the tempering
  • ground spices: ground coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper
  •  greens: a mix of frozen spinach and chopped leafy greens such as fresh chard,  or mustard greens
  • tomato puree adds fruitiness and acidity
  • coconut milk adds creaminess. You can use any other non-dairy milk or cream  of choice
  • chickpeas – I used canned drained chickpeas but you can cook the chickpeas yourself

Tips:

  • Chana Saag tastes even better the next day when all the flavors had infused well, so go ahead and make a double batch
  • Play around with the amount of tomato and coconut milk. You can easily make it creamier or more tomatoey to preference by adding more coconut cream or tomato puree as it bakes.
  • You can make this dish with other proteins such as tofu or vegan chicken.
  • To make with tofu, add pressed and cubed 14-ounce tofu along with the onion mixture so that the tofu can crisp up a little bit as well and then add the greens and the rest of the ingredients.
  • To make it with the vegan chicken substitute, add the chicken sub with the greens. Use 3 oz rehydrated in stock soy curls or 4 oz seitan
  • To make with split red lentils (masoor dal): add 1/2 cup red lentils and 1 cup water and continue with the recipe

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How to make Baked Vegan Chana Saag:

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In a 9×11 or similar size baking dish, add the oil and spread evenly. Add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, clove, bay leaves, and mix.

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Put it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) to cook for 6-8 minutes or until the cumin seeds are fragrant.

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Remove the dish from the oven then add the red chilies and mix in. Add in the onion, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and a generous pinch of salt and mix well.

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Then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 11-15 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

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Take the dish out of the oven.

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Add in the spinach, greens, tomato puree, chickpeas, salt, coconut milk and mix really well.

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If using fresh greens, then they will take a minute to kind of mix in and get covered in the sauce. You want the greens to be covered with the sauce otherwise they will get crispy.

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Cover with parchment and Put the dish back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mix once in between so that all the greens get cooked evenly.

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Take the dish out of the oven. Garnish and serve over rice or naan, or flatbread.

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Storage:

You can refrigerate the baked casserole for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month

 

What to serve with Chana Saag?

You can with warm pita bread, roti, or Naan or homemade parathas.For a gluten-free meal, serve with basmati rice or brown rice

 

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