Chicken Saagwala ( Chicken in a Spinach Gravy )
The variation stems from the local greens that go into this recipe along with the staple palak or spinach. For example, they add fenugreek leaves in Hyderbad . In Pune, it is coriander whereas in the Northern regions they add mustard greens (sarson ka saag). I personally prefer going solo with baby spinach, though I do add a fistful of fresh methi leaves if I have some in stock.
Read on for my recipe -
Preparation Time - 40-45 mins
- 400 gm Chicken legs ( one can use regular pieces too )
- 2 cups shredded baby spinach leaves
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 tsp GG paste
- 3-4 garlic flakes ( chopped )
- 2 medium sized tomatoes ( finely chopped )
- 2 green chilis ( finely chopped )
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- 1/5 tsp garam masala
- 2 green cardamom
- 2 inch long cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 peppercorns
- 2-3 cloves
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp oil
- 2-3 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp kasoori methi
- salt to taste
- cilantro for garnishing
Preparation - Clean the chicken pieces. Add a pinch of turmeric, lemon juice and salt. Rub all over the pieces and keeps aside for 20 mins.
Blanch the spinach. Grind into a smooth paste and keep aside.
Cooking - Heat the oil and 1 tsp butter together. Add the whole spices and fry till fragrant. Then add the onion pieces and fry till light brown.
Add the GG paste, garlic slices and green chili. Fry for 2 mins before adding the powdered spices along with the tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Cook till the tomatoes are done and the oil starts to separate.
Add the marinated chicken and fry on a high flame for 2 mins. Then reduce the flame, cover with a lid and allow the chicken to cook till it is 3/4th done.
Add spinach paste/puree, mix together and cook for another 5 mins.
Finally add the kasuri methi ( rub it between your palms before adding ) and the butter just before removing from the flame.
Garnish with onion rings and cilantro. Serve hot.