Chickpea Spinach Stew from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen

30th June 2015

For years I have enjoyed reading Richa Hingle’s Vegan Richa blog and I have a deep curiosity in Indian cuisine but I’m admittedly a novice when it comes to cooking it. I love eating Indian food but since it’s a cuisine I’m not too familiar with, those rich flavors and spices I associate with Indian food can be a bit intimidating. So when I found out that Richa was writing a cookbook though, I knew I had to get it.

Richa has poured her heart into this cookbook and it’s clearly a project of passion for her. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook is a brilliant introduction to Indian cuisine with gorgeous photos throughout. It’s well organized, well written and you’ll be amazed just how easy it can be to make these flavorful Indian dishes.

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen will introduce you to a number of ingredients and techniques common in Indian cooking while also helping you learn how to develop complex, authentic and varied Indian flavors. Regions from across India are represented in the cookbook, but about half the recipes are from North India. Richa even includes recipes for gluten-free flatbreads that have the versatility to work with a number of different cuisines.

If there’s one vegan Indian cookbook to purchase, then this is the one! Her recipes are creative, healthy, uncomplicated, easy to follow and include gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free substitutions. Thank you Richa for making vegan Indian food so much more accessible and eliminating the mystique of this rich cuisine! I look forward to creating more crowd pleasing Indian dishes packed with complex flavors and exploring more of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.

A generous 40% of the proceeds from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen cookbook will go to animal-welfare organizations in India (Visakha Society for the Protection and Care of Animals, Help Animals India, Aimal Aid Unlimited and Wildlife SOS). Thanks Richa xoxo!

Vegan Richas Indian Kitchen

Photographs from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. Copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC

Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes (Chilla/Pudla)

Pg 24 Two: Breakfast

Moms Chickpea Flour Pancakes

We have a passion for savory breakfast, so this recipe Richa picked up from her mom for a beautifully savory pancake with chickpea flour (besan), red onion, cilantro, chile and spices was absolutely sublime. This is exactly the sort of thing that I love to start my day with and the versatility makes it a recipe we’re bound to reuse. We enjoyed these savory Indian chickpea flour pancakes with chutney and curries but they’re equally as good on their own.

Tip: For a spicy version, be sure to save and use the white pith from the green chile – be sure to remove the white pith and seeds if you prefer it less spicy. Cook longer for a crisper edge, we enjoyed ours slightly charred/burnt around the edges.

Richa’s Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes (Chilla/Pudla) recipe is available at Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (

Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor)

Pg 98 Five: Dal – Lentils and Beans

Vegan Masala Lentils

A firm backbone of ground spices makes these lentils a great addition to any Indian thali. I love the versatility of this brown lentil recipe and look forward to pairing it with one of Richa’s Indian bread recipes, you could really serve them with just about anything though and they would be delicious. The flavors were reminiscent of an Ethiopian brown lentil recipe I made a few months ago and absolutely loved. Masala Lentils are also great leftover.

Tip: Use a mini-prep food processor to make your paste. It was a bit challenging to blend into a paste using a standard blender.

Richa’s Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor) recipe is available at Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (

Veggie Balls in Manchurian Sauce (Vegetable Manchurian)

Pg 184 Seven: Main Dishes

Veggie Balls in Manchurian Sauce

Rich, spicy and full of flavor. This is a bit like a spicier green chile version of Chinese sweet and sour. Since we love sauce, we double the sauce for this recipe and the small amount of leftover sauce was perfect for leftover rice the next day. The veggie balls are surprisingly robust and didn’t fall apart in the Manchurian Sauce. They also have a nice ginger flavor that we really enjoyed.

Tip: If you like it on the spicier side, use the white pith from the hot green chile. Due to the corn starch, the sauce will thicken if refrigerated.

Richa’s Veggie Balls in Manchurian Sauce (Vegetable Manchurian) recipe is available at Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (

Mint Cilantro Chile Chutney

Pg 244 Ten: Chutneys, Spice Blends and Basics

Mint Cilantro Chile Chutney

We love spicy, tangy flavors. Since this chutney ticked both of those boxes it was an instant hit. Super simple to prepare and bursting with flavor, it’s inspired us to try more of her chutneys. The Mint Cilantro Chile Chutney helps bring balance and bite to your plate and pairs perfectly with the Chickpea Flour Pancakes.

Tip: You may need to taste and adjust the seasoning with more freshly squeezed lemon juice or salt. The chutney is best served on the same day that you prepare it.

Richa’s Mint Cilantro Chile Chutney recipe is available at Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (

Mango Curry Tofu

Pg 148 Seven: Main Dishes

Mango Curry Tofu

I used fresh mangoes to make my own mango pulp so the color varied from the pictures in the cookbook, that’s to be expected with fresh ingredients though. Richa’s Mango Curry Tofu is to die for – It’s so creamy and the mango provides a subtly sweet and tangy base to build a complex, savory flavor. There’s something hearty, yet refreshing about this dish that I absolutely love.

It’s perfect paired with basmati or jasmine rice and I could see adding any available vegetables in your fridge to this curry – like baby corn, peas, capsicum, greens or green chili amongst others.

Tip: If you’re using fresh mango pulp, I recommend blending the coconut milk and mango pulp together so they combine.

Richa’s Mango Curry Tofu recipe is available at Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (

Chickpea Spinach Stew with Lentils and Quinoa

Pg 128 Four: One-Pot Meals and Casseroles

Vegan Richa Indian Kitchen

From top: Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor); Chickpea Spinach Stew with Lentils and Quinoa

We love the simplicity, ease of preparation and complete flavor of this one pot meal. This hearty stew combines a quick and flavorful Indian spiced pureed spinach base with some of my favorite pantry staples. The green chile gives this stew a surprising bit of kick as well.

We recommend eating it the same day, since the quinoa will absorb more liquid and begin to dry the stew out overnight.

Tip: It’s a massive, hearty stew that can easily feed four. I would recommend halving the recipe if you’re only cooking for two.

Chickpea Spinach Stew with Lentils and Quinoa

Prep: 20 minutes | Active: 15 minutes | Inactive: 30 minutes | Yield: 3 to 4 servings

A one-pot meal with all the protein for the day, this stew came about one weekend when we wanted something warm and filling that was not dal or tofu or salad. I found a bunch of greens in the refrigerator and from the pantry, I picked up red lentils, quinoa, and canned chickpeas, and went from there. This recipe became a big hit on the blog. I hope you will love it, too. Serve with flatbread or crackers. Omit the cashews to make it nut-free.


  • 1 teaspoon safflower or coconut oil
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 hot green chile, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
  • 1½ teaspoons Garam Masala
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 packed cups spinach or other greens
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (1-inch) knob of ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns (or ground black pepper to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water, divided (2½ cups for soupier stew)
  • 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon raw sugar or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup red lentils, washed and drained
  • ⅓ cup quinoa, washed and drained
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons cashews, chopped (omit to make nut-free)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cashew cream (optional)
  • Vegan cheese shreds (optional)


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and green chile, and cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. Mix well, and cook for 1 minute.

In a blender, combine the tomato, spinach, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, and vinegar with 1 cup of water and blend into a smooth puree. Add the puree to the skillet and mix well. Add the lentils, quinoa, and chickpeas, and mix well. Add the salt, sugar, and 1 to 1½ cups water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, or until the lentils and quinoa are cooked and the sauce does not taste of raw garlic. Stir once about halfway through. Mash a few of the chickpeas, then stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust salt and spices, if needed. Cook a few minutes longer for desired consistency. Serve hot, garnished with red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and/or cashew cream or shredded vegan cheese, if using.


Recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook, copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.

• Add ¼ cup almond or coconut milk for creamy soup.
• Add vegetables such as cauliflower or sweet potato.
• Use millet, couscous, or rice instead of quinoa.
• Cook the stew a few minutes longer so all the liquid is absorbed, and use as sloppy Joes.

Veggie Balls in Manchurian Sauce

Vegan Richa Indian Kitchen Cookbook

More Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Recipes

Fudgy Cardamom Squares from SpaBettie
Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor) from Fettle Vegan
Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor) from Veggie Inspired Journey
Masala Lentils (Sabut Masoor) from Veg Kitchen
Mango Curry Tofu from Hungry Vegan
Mango Curry Tofu from Keepin’ It Kind
Mango Curry Tofu from Olives for Dinner
Mango Curry Tofu from Taste Space
Mango Curry Tofu from Veg Kitchen
Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes from Go Dairy-Free
Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes from Vedged Out
Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets (Gobi 65) from Kelly’s Vegan Kitchen
Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets (Gobi 65) from Robin Robertson’s Global Vegan Kitchen


US Giveaway

A massive thanks to the lovely Richa Hingle and her publisher Vegan Heritage Press for giving away a copy of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook cookbook. The giveaway is only open to entrants with U.S. shipping addresses, sorry international readers (xoxo).

Use the Gleam widget below to enter for a chance to win. You can come back everyday for a bonus entry and re-share a tweet.

If no widget appears, try refreshing the page or use this direct link.

Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway

Contest Details

• This is a sponsored giveaway provided by Richa Hingle and her publisher Vegan Heritage Press.
• The Giveaway ends 11:59PM 13th July 2015. (Pacific Time / PST).
• One winner will be drawn randomly by using Gleam and will be notified via a certified vegan miam email, unless otherwise stated. Winner must respond with current/correct address within forty-eight (48) hours or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be drawn.
• Prize will be shipped directly to the winner by Richa Hingle of Vegan Richa. VEGAN MIAM is not responsible for any unsent, lost or stolen prize(s).

Disclosure: The book was kindly provided to us for review. All reviews are our own personal opinions, we have not been compensated to provide any feedback positive or otherwise.

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