Bowl of white wine curry with chickpeas and spinach and toasted rice on the side
Entrees

White Wine Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach

Every so often I get a bottle of white wine to use for cooking, but there’s always too much left over. This week, I’ve been on a mission not to let it go to waste! And waste it I did not with this deliciously savory white wine curry with chickpeas and spinach.

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Loading up on the flavors in white wine curry

This recipe also contains a pound of mushrooms as well as my famous bonus rice (aka toasted rice) from my book, Just Recipes, and several other elements for a delicious combination of flavors!

Mushrooms being sauteed in a large skillet in preparation for white wine curry.

Mushrooms

Can I just say that mushrooms are unsung heroes of so many recipes and that I deeply mourn those who dislike these wonderful little fungi? They have been my favorite topping on pizza since I was a little girl and my favorite complement to steak since I was a teenager. As an adult, I learned to appreciate them raw in a salad, and I try to put them in as many recipes as I can, including white wine curry, or even just fry them up in butter for the perfect side dish to many a meal.

Ginger

I love the scent of ginger. It’s also the main ingredient in my favorite herbal tea. In this recipe, it provides that perfect bit of zing to brighten up the heavy curry flavors.

Chopped ginger

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Spinach

I normally don’t like my greens cooked to mush, so that’s why I add spinach to the white wine curry at the very end when everything else is cooked. I even go so far as turning off the heat before I stir it in and then serve up the meal immediately. Some nutrients become more available when spinach is cooked, while others are lost. I figure adding the spinach at the end is a happy medium. The hot vegetables in the pan do a good job of cooking the spinach down anyway.

Spinach being stirred into the white wine curry

Curry, cumin, and garlic

Cumin is another spice that finds itself at the top of my list of favorite spice smells. It’s also included in curry powder, but I like to pump it up a bit more when I can. Among other health benefits, it is known to promote digestion, provide iron, and may help with diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammation. And garlic, besides being a tasty addition to any recipe, contains manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium.

White wine

Almost empty bottle of sauvignon blanc
The sauvignon blanc I got from Trader Joe’s with Vacu Vin stopper to keep it fresh between uses.

I used the cheapest sauvignon blanc from Trader Joe’s I could find. A dry white wine is always best for cooking, and this one fits the bill. If alcohol didn’t make my GERD act up, I probably would have bought something a little fancier … but then I’d have drunk it and had none left for white wine curry! To keep it fresh in between uses, I get out my trusty Vacu Vin. If you don’t have any white wine, though, try using apple cider vinegar instead.

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Chickpeas

Finally, the other star of the show: chickpeas. I believe this chickpea recipe is the fourth I’ve posted in about as many months (preceded by my roasted chickpea bowl, chickpea kale as a side for gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs, and Mediterranean buckwheat salad), so I may lay off for a while. Hm, or not. I love these versatile little garbanzo beans and love even more that they are good for me too. They are not only inexpensive and easy to find, but they are also loaded with nutrients, including fiber and protein, can control blood sugar, and go perfect with white wine curry!

Preparation is king

Saucepan filled with toasted rice
Toast the rice; then prep the other ingredients while it simmers.
Saucepan filled with cooked toasted rice ready for serving alongside white wine curry
The rice will be ready to serve after everything else is cooked.

I would recommend that you get pre-sliced mushrooms to save time and start by toasting the rice (or prep that ahead on a weekend) so that you can prep all the rest of the ingredients while the rice is simmering in water. Quick and final tip: This meal definitely benefits from measuring out all your ingredients before you start doing anything on the stove.

I hope you enjoy this white wine curry with chickpeas and spinach … and mushrooms and ginger and cumin!

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Meal prep options

bonus rice, chopped ginger

Just a note

This chickpea curry is loaded with flavors and veggies.

Make this …

Vegetarian: It already is!
Paleo: Use rotisserie chicken instead of chickpeas, arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch, and riced cauliflower instead of rice.
Gluten-free: Check that your cornstarch is gluten-free.
Non-dairy: It already is!


Shopping list

Produce

1 lb. mushrooms
mini peppers
4 carrots
fresh ginger
1 lb. spinach

Grains

brown rice
cornstarch

Oils, spices, and spirits

olive oil
dried onion
kosher salt
curry powder
cumin
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
white wine

Canned goods

2 cans chickpeas

Tools

kitchen knife
cutting board
colander
medium lidded pot
wooden spoon
large deep skillet with cover
whisk
small bowl


White Wine Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach

Serves: 4
Total time: 1 hour

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients and preparation

1 cup brown rice
3 cups water, divided
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms: Peel and chop
1 tbsp dried onion
3 tsp cornstarch
1 cup white wine
1-2 inches fresh ginger: Peel and finely chop
2 cans chickpeas: Rinse and drain
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper, to taste
2 cups spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil on high in the medium lidded pot until hot. Turn the heat down a bit, and add the rice. With the wooden spoon, gently stir the rice for even frying and to prevent it from burning. Fry until most grains are browned. Stir in 2 cups of the water (it will sizzle loudly). Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 25–30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet, and stir in the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are browned and have lost most of their moisture. Stir in the peppers, carrots, and dried onion, and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Make a slurry by whisking the cornstarch with about 1 ½ tablespoons of water in the small bowl and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet. Add the wine, the remaining 1 cup of water, and ginger, and bring to a slight boil. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and stir until the sauce is thickened (about 5–10 minutes). Stir in the vegetable mixture and the chickpeas. Then stir in the salt, curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking, turn off the heat, stir in the spinach, and serve it all with the rice.

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