Murgh Saagwala/Chicken in Spinach curry

Chicken cooked in tomato-onion masala and then simmered in spinach puree.

Murgh Saagwala/Chicken in Spinach curry
Murgh Saagwala/Chicken in Spinach curry

This recipe is like the twin sibling of Palak Paneer but with a few tweaks and variations. I love the goodness of this dish. It is one complete dish packed with protein and the goodness of spinach. Quite a treat to the taste buds in a healthy way.

This dish takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Goes well with plain rice or Jeera rice and rotis.

To speed up on the cooking time, cook the spinach on one burner. Meanwhile on the other burner, start with the masala preparation. Addition of nuts is completely optional and can be replaced very well with cream. I usually never buy cream and hence use nuts to give the dish a slightly creamy texture.

Any spinach dish tastes so much better with lots of garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. But again, cooking is all about making the dish palatable to your taste buds. No two cooks, even when they follow the same recipe to the T, can end up with the same taste. So yes, go ahead, customize it, adjust the spices to your liking and enjoy all the goodness!

Murgh Saagwala/Chicken in Spinach curry
  1. Chicken - 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
To Make Spinach Puree
  1. Water - 1/4th cup
  2. Spinach leaves - 10 oz/284 grams
  3. Cashew nuts - a handful (Optional)
  4. Green Chilies - 3 whole
  5. Salt - 1/2 tspn
For the Curry
  1. Oil - About 3 tbspn
  2. Whole Spices - 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 2 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 5 peppercorns, a bay leaf
  3. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn
  4. Onion - 1 big, chopped fine
  5. Ginger - 3/4th inch, grated
  6. Garlic - 3 big, minced
  7. Tomatoes - 2 medium, de-seeded and cubed
  8. Kasuri Methi - 1.5 tbspn
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn
  10. Red Chili powder - 3/4th tspn
  11. Cumin powder - 1 tspn
  12. Coriander powder - 2 tblspns
  13. Garam Masala - 1/2 tspn ( I used Kitchen King Masala pdr )
  14. Nutmeg powder - a small pinch (Optional)
  15. Salt - to taste
  16. Sugar - About 2 tspns (Optional)
To Make the Spinach Puree
  1. 1) Heat water in the pan over medium high heat. Add the nuts, salt, green chilies. Once the water starts boiling, add the spinach and let cook uncovered until the spinach wilts. Let cool. Blend this into a fine puree.
To make the Chicken Curry
  1. 1) Heat Oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the whole spices and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle a bit.
  2. 2) Add onion, ginger and garlic. Add 1/2 tspn salt and mix well. Let cook until the raw smell of onion goes away.
  3. 3) Add tomatoes, kasuri methi and all the powders except garam masala and nutmeg. Mix well and turn heat to medium low. Let cook until the tomatoes almost melt into the mixture.
  4. 4) Turn the heat to medium high. Add Chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the spices. Turn heat to medium. Cover with lid and let the chicken cook in its own liquid for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is about 80% cooked.
  5. 5) Add the spinach, salt and sugar and let cook until the chicken is tender. Add garam masala and nutmeg powder. Adjust seasoning. Do not add any extra water. This curry is slightly on the thicker side. Switch off the flame.
  1. Serves: 4-6
  1. 1) If you do not prefer nuts, omit it from the recipe completely while making the puree. Optionally you may add some cream just before switching off the flame.
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