My spinach and chicken curry may not be the best looking dish as compared to other curry dishes I’ve made. But I can tell you once you have tried this recipe, you’ll appreciate how light and subtle a curry can be. Forget about the rich and creamy restaurant styled curry we’re all accustomed to, this is something you can enjoy without feeling the need of an extra gym session after a meal.
Whenever I visited a South Asian takeaway shop where one is greeted with a bain marie full of curries varying in hues of sunset colours, spinach curry which normally be a vegetarian dish called palak paneer often got missed amongst other more vibrant-coloured curry. (For those who are not familiar with Indian cuisines, palak means spinach; paneer is a South Asian fresh cheese made by curdling the milk with some lemon juice).
With that being said, when I was given this recipe (the meat version) from a close family member, I was hesitant to try at first given my lack in interest in greenish and not-so appetising looking curry (*cough * vain!). But then, my beloved convinced me to try it ….well it is his favourite dish after all….and did I mention this close family member happens to be my beloved’s mum? So I got to try this somehow, hehe! Anyway, after the first time making this curry, the rest is history. It has been my staple cook ahead meals for week days. So I hope you’ll love it too!
Spinach & Chicken Curry
Serves 3 to 4 people
- 750g (26 oz) chicken breasts, diced (you can substitute the meat with paneer)
- 250g (8 oz) frozen chopped spinach
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp store-bought ginger paste
- 1 tsp store-bought garlic paste
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- A handful of coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot (small red onion), finely sliced
- 1/2 fresh chilli, finely chopped
- Heat up 2 tbsps of cooking oil in a large pot over medium flame. When the oil is hot, add onion and saute until lightly brown. Then turn the flame to low, add ginger & garlic paste, 1 tsp of salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Once you’ve added the ingredients, turn the flame to low-medium and saute until the spices are aromatic and oil begins to separate from the paste. I used a really good non-stick pot while making this curry, therefore I didn’t add water for this instance. If you use a stainless steel pot, you may need to add about 1/4 cup water to prevent the paste from sticking to the pot.
- Add chicken and mix to combine the spices with the meat. Saute the chicken for a couple of seconds over medium flame.
- Add frozen chopped spinach.
- Then add boiling water to just cover all the ingredients.
- Turn the flame to high wait until the curry starts to bubble. Then cover the lid and allow the curry so simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked and spinach is fully no longer frozen. Taste the curry and add more salt to taste. Set aside while we prepare the garnish.
- Garnish preparation: Mix coriander leaves, chilli and onion in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To serve: Serve curry with basmati rice topped with the garnishes above.