Kale Chana

by 18 Feb 2019Healthy, Main Meal, Quick

Hazel Thornicroft

VI Owner, Foodie, Blogger & Planet Enthusiast

Hazel Thornicroft

VI Owner, Foodie, Blogger & Planet Enthusiast



Ready In:

25 mins


20.2g per portion

Good For:

Quick Weekday Dinner

Kale Chana

I am particularly excited to share this blog with you today, because this was my first ever vegan dinner! Okay, so probably I’ve eaten a bowl of chips and ketchup from the fish and chip shop on the odd occasion (if you’ve ever lived in the UK, who hasn’t?!) – but this was my first ‘proper’ plant-based dinner. I discovered the recipe whilst I was still an omnivore but I tried it because I love Indian food and knew how good kale was for you…

Over the years I’ve changed the recipe many times, but this is my favourite version, which I hope you will love just as much as me. And if you’re a kale sceptic, this one is likely to change your mind about kale. You lose the tough leaves and slightly bitter taste with the spices, so it’s a win-win all round!

This recipe takes hardly any time to make, so it’s perfect for a weekday dinner. It’s really creamy with the coconut milk and not at all spicy so it’s suitable for children too.

The longest element to the whole dish is the rice, so I always get this cooking before I do anything else. My choice is always brown basmati as it has lovely slightly nutty taste, is more nutritious than its white counterpart and has a lower GI (meaning the sugars are slower to break down, be absorbed and metabolised in the body). It’s always important to rinse the rice well before cooking and to cook with plenty of water. This is to mitigate the arsenic levels found naturally (and via pesticides) in rice.

I first dry-fry my leeks (you can also use an onion if you prefer). If you’ve never dry fried before, you it’s just a method of cooking the leeks with 4-6tbsp water and allow the leeks to soak up the water to soften them.

Once soft, I add a tsp of oil and fry the leeks. At the same time I add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and fresh root ginger. I tend to limit the oil I add because the leeks don’t need to be soaked in it. However, you release more flavour from the spices by coating them in fat.

n.b. If you find the pan going a little dry, you can add a little more water which helps to create a paste.

During the cooking process so far, you’ll usually find me washing and then tearing the kale leaves from the thick stems. You don’t want to keep these in your curry because they can be pretty tough. The thinner stems should be okay though.

So, now I add the kale with vegetable stock, tomato puree, cooked chickpeas and coconut milk in with the leek and spices. The coconut is great to balance out the spices and gives it a lovely creamy sauce. Covering the pan, I let it all cook for 10 minutes, at which point, the kale will be beautifully wilted.

N.b. If you are on a diet however or want to reduce the fat content, then in the past I have removed the coconut milk, and instead added 100ml coconut yoghurt at the end. I actually like this just as much. It’s a little lighter, so why not try both methods and see which is your favourite.


Serve your kale chana with the rice and fresh coriander. The rice will only keep for 24 hours in the fridge, but the kale chana will last for up to 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. This is great dish to bulk cook, so why not make your weekdays even easier and double your portions!

I’d love to know how you get on and which version you prefer, so please do let me know in the comments!

Kale Coconut Chana

gluten free | soy free | nut free | dairy free | no added sugar
This dish was my introduction to vegan and kale all in one go! It's one of my favourite go-to recipes because it's delicious, really healthy and nutritious, cheap and to top it off, takes hardly any time to throw together! I call this my win-win!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Indian
Keyword: Chana, Chickpeas, easy to make, gluten free, Kale chana, plant-based, Quick Meal, simple recipe, Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 675kcal


  • 300 g Brown basmati rice rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 Leek sliced
  • 1 tsp Oil e.g. canola or sunflower
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp Ground coriander
  • 2 tsp Fresh ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 500 ml Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 320 g Kale chopped with large stalks removed
  • 480 g Chickpeas cooked, washed and drained
  • 400 ml Coconut milk (1x can) include the cream and milk
  • 2 tbsp Freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) optional


  • Boil your rice as per packet instructions
  • Place your sliced leeks in a large saucepan with 4 tbsp of water on a medium heat. Cook for around 3 minutes, when the leeks are starting to soften.
  • Add your tsp of oil and fry the leeks. At the same time add the spices and ginger in and cook for another 2 minutes. n.b. If the pan goes dry, add a little more water to create a paste.
  • Add in the vegetable stock, tomato puree and kale, chickpeas and coconut milk and mix well with the leek and spices. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the kale has wilted well.
  • Serve over your cooked rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander (if using).


You may also wish to try stirring in your favourite chutney at the end of the cooking to add more sweetness and another layer to this dish.
This is great if you have a big family gathering as it works really well doubling or tripling the recipe and leftovers will last 3 days in the fridge.
Please let me know how your Kale Coconut Chana turns out in the comments!
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Calories: 675kcal

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