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Shrimp, Chickpeas & Spinach with Ginger & Cumin

Scott Phillips

Servings: three to four.

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

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 270
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 820
  • Carbohydrates (g): 28
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 21


  • 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.

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


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Reviews (13 reviews)

  • CJMason | 07/03/2018

    This meal got a ‘This is great!’ from the whole family! I doubled the recipe and it was delicious!

  • TexanInMA | 01/31/2018

    This was a great recipe. I agree with those who thought it was a bit bland as written and have a sure-fire way to naturally boost flavor. I used 4 cloves garlic, 2 Tbs ginger, 2 tsp cumin, replaced the spinach with Kale (brings a better texture), and 1 lb 16/20 shrimp (the larger size makes it heartier).

    Without a doubt, the most important change is replacing the 1.5 cups of water with a RAPID SHRIMP STOCK from the reserved shells and heads. Simply add 2 tsp olive oil in a 12” aluminum or cast-iron pan over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until they start to brown. Add 2.5 cups water, bring to a boil, and cook on medium-high for 10 minutes or until it is about 1.5 cups. No salt. More shrimp flavor. Nothing more to buy!

  • Hig87 | 09/02/2017

    Made this dish the other night using 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth instead of water; the dish was excellent and something we will definitely prepare again. The only complaint we had, was after the three initial servings, there was only a small portion left - my son enjoyed that portion as well! Great dish! Thank you for sharing.

  • Pawtpi | 04/07/2013

    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.

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