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Shrimp, Chickpeas & Spinach with Ginger & Cumin

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Serves three to four.

  • To learn more, read:
    Warming Soups and Stews
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 81

This dish has the essence of a long-cooked soup or stew, but takes only a fraction of the time to make. Onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne punch up the flavor.

  • 3/4 lb. large shrimp (31 to 40 count), peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon, cut into 5 wedges
  • 1 small onion (about 4 oz.), chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 14- to 16-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz. mature spinach, well washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the shrimp and cook until one side is pink, about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to cook until pink all over, still a bit translucent in the center, 1 to 2 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and transfer the shrimp to a plate. Squeeze one of the lemon wedges over the shrimp.

Put the skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining 1 Tbs. oil into the skillet, then add the onion. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and cook until the edges of the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add 1-1/2 cups water, the chickpeas, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.

Using a potato masher, mash about half of the chickpeas right in the pan. Add the spinach and cilantro. Using tongs, carefully toss the greens to help them cook evenly and wilt, about 2 minutes.

Add the reserved shrimp and any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Cook for another 1 or 2 minutes to reheat the shrimp and cook them fully (be careful not to overcook them). Season with salt to taste. Portion into warm bowls and serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with toasted pita, or even better, crisped pappadams.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings, Calories (kcal): 270, Fat (kcal): 9, Fat Calories (g): 80, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 21, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5, Carbohydrates (mg): 28, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 820, Cholesterol (g): 125, Fiber (g): 6,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I doubled the cumin and the cayenne to give it a little more zip. I also used kale instead of spinach and it was outstanding. Will definitely be making this one again.

Made the recipe basically as described, probably a little less salt than stated in the recipe and used 1 cup chicken stock + 1/2 cup water vs the 1 1/2 cup water called for. My wife and I both liked it very much and will make it again as is was savory and delicious yet quick to make with widely available ingredients.

I made this by the recipe and it was yummy!! I thought it might not fill me up but it did and I had some left for lunch the next day. I did use dried garbanzo beans that were soaked and sprouted prior to cooking them to promote digestion and decrease gastric problems.

Easy simple and tasty, but would be even better without added salt. I only used a half of suggested amount and still found it too much

Loved it. I used chicken broth instead of water and I thought the subtle seasoning was lovely. Will definitely make it again.

Bland. The flavors are good in this dish but extremely subtle. Were I to make it again, I would double the spices and aromatics.

Such a great weeknight meal. I didn't have cilantro on hand, so I just added some additional seasoning of my own (Singapore Seasoning from Penzeys). My husband raved about this, and he eats pretty well most nights, he concedes!

Made it December 30, partly as a break from heavy holiday food. Wanted something easy, which it was, and healthy, which it is. Being fortunate enough to live in Vancouver, where we have endless Asian choices, we are oh so picky about Asian flavours. We are also very happy with a bit of "kick" in our food. This left a bit out. All in all, enjoyable, but could use a bit more adventure in the spicing. Taught me a good trick, however...mashing the chickpeas was a great idea. Also filled us with lots of spinach, and that all important fibre. A warming dish on a frosty Vancouver night after a day in Steveston looking at the fish boats with our 4 year old grandson.

Very good. I'm alergic to seafood and used chicken instead. Wonderful and easy. Very tasty

This works quickly and is a very satisfying dish for everybody. If you're feeding truly hungry kids, put it over rice or rice noodles, adding some liquid.

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