I think you’re going to love this chicken saagwala!
Chicken saagwala is a lightly spiced curry that is as simple as it is appealing. I love it!
If you crave a bit more heat, a sprinkle of freshly chopped green chillies will do the job. The additional chilli also tastes great. Just be a bit careful so that the chillies zing rather than zap your tongue!
When I started my curry blog, I did so with the goal of learning how to cook authentic Indian food. After a while, however, I began to realise just how popular British Indian restaurant (BIR) style curries like this are. This recipe is based on several different recipes that were sent to me by top curry chefs around the UK.
For best results, it is important to use fresh baby leaf spinach. Many curry houses use tinned spinach which simply isn’t as nice.
As with all BIR meals, it will be much easier and faster if you prepare ahead of time. Be sure to cook your base curry sauce and pre-cook your chicken just like they do in curry house kitchens. If you do, this dish will only take you ten minutes to cook and serve.
I have written a large and small version of my curry sauce recipe which will need to me made before cooking this recipe. The large version is made just like they do in the best curry houses. Make a large batch for best results. It keeps in the fridge for three days and freezes well. The small batch version works well too though it’s not as authentic.
I pre-cook chicken in two ways. Most restaurants use this method to prepare their chicken for chicken saagwala. You could also add tandoori style chicken tikka to this recipe if you’d like to create tandoori Chicken Saagwala.
For best results when cooking chicken saagwala, please use fresh spinach. Tinned spinach just doesn’t get it!
- 4 chicken breasts - See link to pre-cooked chicken above
- 750ml (3 cups) Curry sauce - See links to my recipes above
- 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 200g (about two large handfuls of fresh spinach)
- 2 fresh green chilies (or more to taste)
- juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Start with the spinach. In a food processor, blend the fresh spinach, green chillies and lemon juice together with just enough water or stock from your pre-cooked chicken so that it blends to a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Now heat the ghee or oil in a wok or large frying pan.
- Pour in the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the cumin, coriander powder and chilli powder and stir to combine.
- When the spices begin to fill the room with their magnificent aroma, pour in the hot curry sauce and chicken pieces. Always add the curry sauce hot.
- Allow this to cook for about three to five minutes until the chicken is warmed through and the curry sauce is bubbling nicely.
- Now pour in the spinach mixture and stir it in. The red and bright green colours will look amazing together as the spinach and curry sauce blend.
- Cook for about another two minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and then check for seasoning. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and garam masala and serve with white rice or naans.