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Slow cooker chickpea and bean masala

Justine Pattison / 29 December 2016

An easy veggie curry that's quick to prepare and can be left to cook in a slow cooker.

Slow cooker chickpea and bean masala
Slow cooker chickpea and bean masala

Preparation time

20 minutes

Cooking time

Up to 8 hours


4 - 6


  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 25g chunk of fresh root ginger
  • 1 long green chilli (deseeded first if you like)
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 400g can mixed beans
  • 2 medium carrots (about 200g)
  • 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra to season
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 100g young spinach leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • Minted yoghurt, to serve (optional)
  • Warmed flatbreads, to serve (optional)


This chickpea curry is the sort of thing you can rustle up easily using store cupboard ingredients. It’s worth frying the onions for just 5 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker, as they will bring a richness to the dish that would otherwise be lacking. Serve with yoghurt flatbreads for a healthy feast, or as an accompaniment – this quantity will make 6 smaller servings containing 156 calories.

Peel and thinly slice the onions. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

While the onions are cooking, peel and crush the garlic, peel and finely grate the root ginger and finely chop the chilli. Add to the pan and cook with the onions for a further minute, stirring. Sprinkle over the curry powder and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly, then scrape all the cooked vegetables into the slow cooker.

Tip the canned tomatoes on top. Rinse the chickpeas and beans in a sieve under cold running water, then drain. Add to the slow cooker. Half-fill one of the cans with water and pour it on top (you’ll need about 200ml). Peel the carrots and cut into roughly 1cm chunks.

Add the carrots, salt and sugar to the other vegetables and beans. Season with a little pepper and stir well. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 3–4 hours or LOW for 6–8 hours, or until the vegetables and pulses are very tender and the sauce is thick. When the curry is ready, remove the slow cooker lid and stir in the spinach leaves, a handful at a time. Cover again and cook for a further 3–5 minutes, or until the spinach has softened.

Remove the lid, season the curry with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm flatbreads or small portions of basmati rice and minted yoghurt.

234 calories per serving.

Freezing instructions

Freeze the cooked and cooled curry in labelled zip-seal bags or freezer-proof containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat thoroughly in the microwave or a large saucepan over a medium heat, stirring gently, until piping hot.

Extract from Slow Cooker Without the Calories by Justine Pattison, Orion, £14.99.

Visit our slow cooker section for more recipe ideas


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.