Daal Saag / Lentil Stew with Garbanzo Leaves

Gosh! It seems too early to be really posting a winter dish but my garbanzo/ chickpea plants are getting dry and woody and I wanted to use the tender leaves before I uproot them. Every spring I make a small kitchen garden with selective plants. Since most of them do not survive after the frost its a new effort every year.



There is not  a lot of space for my kitchen garden but I choose vegetables that taste better when fresh and quick to grow. I plant tomatoes, few herbs, salad leaves, chillies, couple of veggies, and then I also make an effort to try one or two new plant every year. This year I experimented with chickpeas. I sowed few black chickpeas in early April and got beautiful plants. Unripe chickpeas or green garbanzo are often picked out of the pod and eaten raw as a snack or can be enjoyed in so many different ways. Check out my this, this and this post.



The tender leaves are used raw in salads, cooked in soup or a lentil stew. Lentils cooked with greens is a favorite combination in Punjab for taste and healthy eating.



Daal saag or Chane ka saag as we call this stew, is a comfort food packed with fiber, proteins and vitamins. It is not something many of us would come across very often. I know many of my Indian friends won’t even know that you could make saag (stew) with garbanzo leaves. It’s a simple looking stew with great flavors. I generally use moth daal to make this saag. They  are similar to mung beans in terms of shape and size but are brown in color and have strong, earthy aroma and a rich nutty flavor. You can use other lentils but I would not recommend the split variety. Garbanzo leaves with whole lentils is such a good combination, really hearty and delicious at the same time. Pair it with hot makki ki roti , some desi ghee on top and lassi (yogurt drink) for a comforting meal on any winter or rainy day.



Daal Saag / Lentil Stew with Garbanzo/chickpea Leaves

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 7-8 servings

A South Asian comfort food which is healthy and packed with fiber, proteins and vitamins.


  • 1 cup moth daal, soaked overnight in water
  • 2 cup tender chickpea leaves, washed and roughly chopped (can add more)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (heaped half cup)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 5 green chillies or red chilli powder to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbs desi ghee/butter


  1. Drain soaked lentils, cover with water (approx. 2") in a medium pot. Add garbanzo leaves, turmeric and salt. Bring gently to boil. Turn heat to low, cover pot with lid, leaving slightly uncovered.
  2. Cook till the lentils are soft. Stir occasionally.
  3. If more cooking needed and all the water has been soaked up add little more water.
  4. Blend the lentils and greens with your ladle till the two becomes one (quite stew like). Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. In a small frying pan heat oil over medium heat, add chopped onion, saute for 1 minute.
  6. Add chopped ginger and garlic, green chillies, stir fry for another minute or until everything turns golden brown.
  7. Add tomatoes. Cook until they are completely soft.
  8. Pour this into daal saag. Then stir desi ghee or butter. Let the flavors marinade for a few minutes and then serve with makki ki roti, and a glass of lassi/ yogurt drink for a comforting meal.


This recipe is part of Gluten Free Fridays, Gluten Free & DIY Tuesday.

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  • comment-avatar
    Angie@Angie's Recipes September 23, 2014 (8:26 am)

    The chickpea leaves are really cool! I surely will love this delicious and healthy lentil stew.

  • comment-avatar
    minnie@thelady8home September 23, 2014 (9:08 am)

    This reminds me of ‘chane ke khet me’ song…hahaha! Beautiful plant, you have a green thumb, and extraordinary cooking skills. That’s a beautiful dish. I don’t think I have ever tried chick pea leaves, and that makes this super interesting. Lovely!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder September 25, 2014 (1:43 pm)

      You are sweet, Minnie! and thanks a lot. Not a green thumb but I like greenery around me. So why not something which looks pretty and can be put to a wonderful use in the kitchen?

  • comment-avatar
    Kitchen Belleicious September 23, 2014 (9:50 am)

    this soup/stew looks delicious! I love the colors and the flavors of the chiles and ginger in it:)

  • comment-avatar
    Harvinder September 23, 2014 (9:52 am)

    Wow…interesting combination…never had garbanzo leaves ever…am big time into kitchen garden but never thought of planting garbanzos either…well definitely plant them next spring, and try this combination!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder September 25, 2014 (1:45 pm)

      Thanks Harvinder! You must grow them they are such a treat!

  • comment-avatar
    Coffee and Crumpets September 23, 2014 (12:51 pm)

    Looks so good! I’ve never tried garbanzo leaves but since I like chaane, I’m sure the leaves would be pretty good too. I really like daal with greens and often make it like that.
    I am envious of your garden! Ever since we’ve been in CO, in rental homes, I haven’t had one :(.

  • comment-avatar
    Norma Chang September 23, 2014 (2:50 pm)

    I like to plant something new every year and chickpeas it will be next year. I did not know about black chickpeas nor that chickpea leaves are edible, learnt something new, thanks. Your soup/stew looks very comforting.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder September 25, 2014 (1:55 pm)

      They are actually not black but dark brown in color, In punjabi we call it black chickpeas or desi chickpeas. You can grow whichever you want black or beige. Yes, the chickpea leaves are very much edible. Many thanks Norma, I love your garden blog.

  • comment-avatar
    Choc Chip Uru September 23, 2014 (4:49 pm)

    My mum makes a very similar daal, it looks absolutely lovely 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  • comment-avatar
    Monica September 24, 2014 (7:28 am)

    I don’t think we need to stick to seasons when it comes to posting delicious food! : ) I, for one, would be happy to eat this all year round, any time. I love this type of lentil stew. It is so comforting and tasty!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder September 25, 2014 (2:04 pm)

      Actually Monica, Chickpea leaves in India are available only in winters hence this dish is made in winters otherwise I don’t mind having it even in decent weather. Thanks for appreciating!

  • comment-avatar
    Sridevi Ravi September 25, 2014 (9:19 am)

    It’s a news that these leaves could be cooked. Never tasted it but I can quite digest the idea and imagine the taste. Such a lovely recipe. Next season I am planting some chickpeas just to make this dish…if they survive the bunny bites!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder September 25, 2014 (2:10 pm)

      Of course they can be cooked and can be eaten raw too. With attractive green foliage and pods hanging like bells it’s pretty fabulous plant to grow.

  • comment-avatar
    Juliana September 25, 2014 (8:25 pm)

    So interesting the garbanzo leaves, I have never seen before, let alone tasted…the stew sure looks delicious, very hearty, perfect for the season.
    Have a wonderful weekend Balvinder 😀

  • comment-avatar
    Surinder Kaur September 29, 2014 (12:58 am)

    This recipe reminded me to grow chickpeas in my kitchen garden.The combination of daal and leaves is itself delicious.Nice recipe for winters.

  • comment-avatar
    easyfoodsmith September 29, 2014 (9:40 am)

    Its been ages since I had this dal. I am craving to have it.

  • comment-avatar
    Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) October 9, 2014 (11:28 am)

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share this week! Its LIVE!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  • comment-avatar
    leena June 18, 2016 (11:50 pm)

    Is this the plant that grows “Cholua”? I have never heard about the leaves being cooked and I have lived in Punjab half of my life so far. I have seen these leaves but only the green beans are cooked and the rest is discarded.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder June 19, 2016 (7:06 am)

      Hi Leena, yes this is ‘cholua’ as called in Punjab. Its tender leaves are very much edible and used for medicinal preparation.

  • comment-avatar
    Treat and Trick September 24, 2016 (5:45 pm)

    Never seen or tasted garbanzo leaves but I really love this combo. Simply delicious and nutritious..