Curry night! Murgh-Saag (Chicken with Spinach) tonight.

16 Apr

There are some people who have never tried spinach and think they hate it.  I would really encourage you to try this dish.  It may just change your mind about spinach for ever!  The flavours in this curry are absolutely stunning.  I can honestly say it is the best chicken and spinach curry I have ever tasted and I think I am a bit of an expert on such things, as I always choose Chicken Saagwala when we eat out!

Murgh-Saag is a Punjabi dish, originating from the Punjab region of northwest India and east Pakistan.  Saag dishes are usually spinach based when bought in the UK.  Elsewhere they can be made from mustard leaves.  Traditionally Saag dishes are served with Indian breads such as Roti or naan, although some areas prefer to serve it with rice.

Some of you may look at this recipe and wonder if it is worth buying all the spices to make it.  The initial outlay may be a bit costly but they will last for absolutely ages.  Once you have used them you will never want to buy a jar of ready-made curry paste or sauce again!  There is just no comparison in the flavours.  The best place to buy the spices, if you can, is in an Asian supermarket.  They sell them in bags at a fraction of the price you can usually buy them for in supermarkets such as Tesco.  start by buying the small bags unless you make lots of curries.  They will not go off but the flavour will deteriorate over time.

Anyway, here is the recipe.  You can make this ahead and warm up the next day (in fact curries usually mature if you leave them in the fridge overnight).  It also freezes well.  I make enough for four then freeze half for another time.  The slideshow starts at Step 2, I forgot to take a picture of step 1.

Murgh-Saag (Chicken with Spinach)           Serves 4

  • 3tbsp/45ml groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 1tsp/5ml fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1tbsp/5ml Ginger Paste
  • 2tsp/10ml Garlic paste
  • 8oz/225g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp/5ml ground turmeric
  • 1tsp/5ml ground coriander
  • 1/2tsp/2.5ml crushed dried chillies
  • 3 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch)
  • 3tbsp/45ml natural yogurt
  • 1/4pt/150ml hot water
  • 1tsp/5ml salt
  • 8oz/225g fresh spinach, finely sliced
  • 2tsp/10ml dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 1/2tsp/2.5ml black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp/2.5ml Garam Masala
  1. Add the oil to a wok and, when hot but not smoking, add the fennel seeds.  Stir fry for 15 seconds then add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, mix well with the fennel then continue to fry for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and just starting to colour.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 4 minutes more or until all the juice has evaporated.
  3. Add the turmeric, coriander and chillies, stir-fry for 1 minute to cook the spices then add the chicken.  Mix well and stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add the yogurt and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes more.
  4. Pour over the water and add the salt, mix well and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach, mix well and continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the fenugreek, black pepper and garam masala.  Simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through.  Serve.

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One Response to “Curry night! Murgh-Saag (Chicken with Spinach) tonight.”

  1. Serena September 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Yummm now this i’ve got to try!

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