Chickpeas Indian Spices Saffron RiceThis quick, warming dinner starts with canned chickpeas, light coconut milk, and tomato paste. It’s dressed up with complex Indian spices and saffron rice for a hearty and complete meal of chickpea masala curry, perfect for Meatless Monday.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, migraine, reduced-sugar diets

Chickpeas Indian Spices Saffron Rice

Indian-style chickpeas with saffron rice

Spicy chickpea masala-style curry served over saffron rice.
5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings


Chickpea masala

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 onions white, or one leek (use leek for migraine diet)
  • 2 carrots large
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 chipotle pepper dried
  • 14 ounces coconut milk light or regular
  • 6 ounces tomato paste no-salt-added
  • 3/4 cup kale chopped, juicer pulp, optional (200-500 g)
  • 15 ounces chickpeas canned or cooked, low-sodium or no-salt-added

Saffron rice

  • 1-1/2 cups white rice basmati preferred (270 g)
  • 3 cups water (filtered or spring)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron


Chickpea masala

  • Heat 2 C. (500 ml) filtered water almost to boiling. Add the chipotle pepper and let it steep while you are doing the other prep. If you are making saffron rice (see below), heat the water now and put the saffron in to steep.
  • Wash the leek or onion and slice it thinly. Scrub and dice the carrots. Peel and mince the garlic. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Wash and chop the kale.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the seeds, stirring until they pop. When they crackle, add the garlic, leeks, bay leaves, and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the soaked chipotle chili, coconut milk, tomato paste, juicer pulp or kale, and chickpeas. Fill the coconut milk can with some of the chili-soaking water, stir, and add to the pan. If making the saffron rice, start cooking it now.
  • Stir until everything is mixed. Bring almost to a boil, then turn down. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Before serving, remove the chili and bay leaves. Serve over brown rice or white rice cooked with saffron unless you are on a grain-free diet.

Saffron rice

  • Heat the water in a medium-sized saucepan with a lid. Add the saffron and let steep at least 15 minutes. In another bowl, cover the rice in filtered water and let it soak.
  • When you are 20 minutes from wanting to eat, bring the water to a boil and add the drained rice. Put on the lid, turn down to low, and cook 10-12 minutes. Turn off and let sit with the lid on until you are ready to serve. Fluff with a fork.


Per serving:
  • 404 calories
  • 21 g fat
  • 13 g saturated fat
  • 4 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 48 mg sodium
  • 636 mg potassium
  • 47 g carbohydrate
  • 6 g fiber
  • 5 g sugars
  • 10 g protein
  • 11 Weight Watchers Points Plus