A search for spinach and chicken recipes online will throw up many options of spinach, chicken, and cream. While this recipe does have all three ingredients, this spinach and chicken Indian style, is perfect for a cold winter day.
I woke up to a relatively chillier day today. It is mid-January and so far winter has not made its presence felt, but today was nippier. 18 degrees may not seem like cold at all for people living in colder climates but for us dwellers of the sub-tropics living in apartments with no internal heating, it starts to feel like winter has finally arrived. Let me be honest, I do not mind the cold weather. What I miss is the lack of sun on most days. That makes it harder for me.
That said, cold weather is also a good excuse to enjoy good food. This Palak Murgh recipe I am sharing today is one such. Apart from the fact that this is bursting with flavours and quite simply a one-pot meal, it is also extremely forgiving as a recipe. You can easily tweak the spice and richness levels based on your taste. To start, you could use pureed, blanched, or chopped spinach as I did. Please feel free to omit the tomatoes. But I do like how spinach and tomatoes complement each in a dish and would recommend adding it. You may consider decreasing or increasing the number of tomatoes based on the level of tang you desire.
Things to Keep in Mind
1. I have used 2.5 cups of chopped spinach but if you would like, you could easily up it to 3.5 cups and might consider blanching and pureeing it. Make sure to adjust tomatoes accordingly. The ration I usually work with is 2.5 cups chopped spinach for 700 grams of chicken.
2. Another thing I always stress upon is to use thighs and drumsticks. They taste best in Indian Curries. I almost never use breasts. And when I do I make sure to marinate them overnight or a minimum of 3-4 hours in oil, lime, red chili, turmeric, and salt so the meat doesn’t taste as chewy and dry.
3. And last but not the least, for your spinach and chicken Indian style, add a teaspoon or two of ghee while roasting the spices. It takes the taste to another level. However, I usually avoid this step for everyday meals. Adding half a cup of heavy cream towards the end helps in balancing spices but makes the dish very rich too. I have added just a teaspoon or so in the recipe shared below but feel free to omit or increase the quantity based on your preference.
- Chicken, cleaned and cut into desired sized pieces- 700gm (I used thighs and drumettes)
- Turmeric- 1 tsp
- Red Chili Powder-1 tsp
- Lemon juice -2 tbsp
- Ginger-Garlic paste-1 tbsp
- Whole Cumin-1 tsp
- Bay leaf-2
- Cinnamon-1 one inch stick
- Star Anise-1
- Dried Red Chilies -2 (optional)
- Coriander powder- 1 tsp
- Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
- Chicken Curry Masala or Garam Masala- 1.5 tsp
- Ginger-Garlic paste-1 tbsp
- Spinach, chopped fine- 2.5 cups
- Onion, vertically sliced- 2 cups
- Tomatoes, pureed- 3/4 cup
- Salt- 1.5 tsp or as per taste
- Heavy Cream- 1tbsp
- Mustard Oil-2 tbsp
- Mix the cleaned chicken with all ingredients of marinade and keep aside for 30-45 mts
- Then heat oil in a deep, thick bottomed wok and add whole spices (cumin, red chilies, bay leaf, cinnamon and star anise) and stir on a medium high heat till the spices are fragrant
- Add onions and stir on a medium high flame till they are light brown, then add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, coriander and cumin powder and mix well for 2 minutes
- Then add Chicken Curry Masala or Garam Masala and sauté for another 3 minutes
- Add marinated chicken and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, then add chopped spinach, mix well and cover on a medium flame
- Cook covered with intermittent stirring till the chicken in 60% done, then add tomato puree and salt, cover and cook till done
- Turn off the heat and drizzle with some heavy cream and serve hot with a side of chapatis or rice