Indian Spiced Chickpeas with Rhubarb and Spinach Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

The tart rhubarb combined with earthy Indian spices and sweet plump golden raisins is a flavor trilogy that just makes sense when you think about it.  Each component cutting the others’ intensity while adding a little bit of its own so that they come together in one deliciously coherent whole.  And it’s so good for you that, unlike pie (though there’s always a time and a place for pie, don’t get me wrong) you can eat it at just about every meal of the day with no fear for the state of your cardiovascular health.

A win/win situation.  For both your pretty in pink obsession and your taste buds.

Adapted from Vegetarian Times June 2011

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and second year medical student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others.

Prep Details

Servings: 4


2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
3 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/2 lb fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch slices
6 cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Photos: Joanne Bruno

Photos: Joanne Bruno


1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 2 minutes or until the mustard seeds start popping. Cook 1-2 minutes after that, or until they stop popping, shaking the skillet frequently so that they don't burn. They should smell nice and toasty! Like mustard seed popcorn. Remove from the heat, stir in the ginger and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in that same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and raisins and saute for 10 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.

3. Add the chickpeas and 3 cups broth. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes, covering for the last 15 minutes so that the chickpeas cook through.

4. Stir in the rhubarb and the remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook for 6 minutes. Add the spinach, cover, and cook for minutes more. Stir the mixture to incorporate the rhubarb and the spinach. Stir in the spice mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve.