Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: For the four weeks between January 14th and February 11th, I'm adopting a completely vegan lifestyle. Every weekday I'll be updating my progress with a diary entry and a recipe. For past posts, check here!

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
This recipe appears in: Vegan: Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney


  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into rough 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane grater
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on a microplane grater
  • 4 to 5 small green Thai bird chiles (or other green chiles, if you prefer)
  • 1 small red pepper, finely diced
  • 8 stems cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, tender stems finely minced and reserved separately
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (a canned tomato is fine)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
  • 8 ounces curly spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon juice from 2 limes
  • For the Cilantro Chutney
  • 2 cups picked fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small green Thai bird chile


  1. 1

    Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. 2

    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add grated onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, cilantro stems, and red pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the moisture has evarporated and mixture is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add turmeric, coriander, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. 3

    Add chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, spinach, 1/2 cup of water, and cooked potatoes. Stir until spinach wilts. Add half of lime juice and season to taste with salt. reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and keep warm while making chutney.

  4. 4

    For the Chutney: Combine cilantro, garlic, chile, and remaining lime juice in a blender or in the cup of a hand blender and add 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides and adding water as necessary. Season to taste with salt.

  5. 5

    Add more liquid to jalfrezi if necessary and serve with chutney and steamed basmati rice or naan.


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