January 11, 2024

Plant-Based Whole30 Chana Saag

In this Plant-Based Whole30 Chana Saag, chickpeas are wrapped in the warmth of an aromatic spinach curry. It’s like a comforting hug for your taste buds – hearty, wholesome, and brimming with flavors. It will bring you into the heart of Indian home cooking and is pure plant-based goodness! 

Chickpeas, a protein powerhouse, join forces with iron-rich spinach, creating a dish that not only tastes amazing but also fuels the body with essential nutrients.

Whether you’re a seasoned lover of Indian cuisine or a newcomer to its flavors, this Chana Saag is the perfect dish to savor the richness of traditional Indian flavors. We transform humble ingredients into a nourishing and flavorful meal.

Start by making the onions sweet and golden. Imagine them as the cozy base for your spices. Next, garlic, ginger, and, if you’re feeling brave, add some green chili for more flavor and depth. Allow them let them sizzle for just two minutes, filling your kitchen with an incredible aroma. Throw in crushed tomatoes and powdered spices, and the flavor base is complete. Next, bring in the spinach and let the leaves wilt and mingle with your spiced tomato base. Allow our mixture to cool down, then bring in some brightness with fresh cilantro and lemon juice. Blend everything together to make a creamy green, velvety smooth curry to add to your protein-rich chickpeas. 

Modification suggestions:

Please feel free to use thawed frozen spinach if you don’t have fresh. Just make sure to squeeze all the moisture out. 

If you want an extra creamy curry, add 1/2 a cup of full-fat coconut milk. This will make the curry rich and velvety and will bring out the vibrant green color.
Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh cilantro to complete the dish, and serve with a simple kachumber salad.

Plant-Based Chana Saag

Plant-Based Whole30 Chana Saag

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 in piece ginger grated
  • 1 green birdseye chili chopped (optional)
  • 1-14 oz (or 400g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander powder
  • 4-5 cups spinach leaves chopped
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 cans chickpeas rinsed and drained


  • HEAT oil in a heavy bottom deep pan or pot on a medium flame, fry onions until translucent and slightly golden.
  • ADD the garlic, ginger, and green chili (if using) and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • ADD crushed tomato along with your powdered spices. Stir through and cook for 2 minutes.
  • STIR in spinach and 1 cup of water. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • TURN OFF the stove and let spinach mixture cool a bit. Add in your fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup more water, and lemon juice.
  • BLEND mixture either using a hand blender or in a standing blender.
  • TRANSFER spinach puree back to the pot if you used a standing blender. Turn the stove back on to a medium flame. Stir in garam masala and chickpeas.
  • HEAT through, adding more water to adjust consistency if needed. Then taste and adjust seasoning to your preference, and serve!
Ryani Rupani wearing a white shirt, sitting in a chair with a coffee mug, smiling at the camera.

Riyana Rupani

Riyana is a Holistic Nutritionist (NTP), focused on helping others create lasting changes through real food & lifestyle. A Mom of 3 who worked in the corporate world for 15+ years, she understands the pressures of work and home. A real Foodie, Riyana is also a recipe developer and founder of Healthy-ish & Happy, a blog where she shares delicious recipes and useful tips to help you live life in balance, and Everiday Foods, a line of flavor-forward sauces and pantry staples created to elevate your everyday. Riyana's philosophy: “Nourishing yourself doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s all about finding what works for you.” Riyana found her passion for nutrition after suffering from health issues herself. After years of medication & doctor visits, she was able to turn her health around with the power of real food & lifestyle and is now passionate about helping others do the same.