Murgh Saagwala – Spinach Chicken Curry

Murgh Saagwala is essentially chicken (murgh) cooked in pureed spinach (saag). It’s a mild curry that I quite like and I so badly wanted to cook it recently that I braved the c-c-cold Bangalore weather in search of spinach. By the time I got the leaves in the fifth shop I went to, I could barely feel my fingers and toes.

But the curry was worth the effort. If you live in some part of the country where even the item dancers are covering up from top to toe, then you need some hot rice and a bowl of this curry to warm you up!

  • Servings: 5-serving
  • Time: 55 mins
  • Difficulty: easy

Murgh Saagwala is essentially chicken (murgh) cooked in pureed spinach (saag). It’s a mild curry that I quite like and I so badly wanted to cook it recently that I braved the c-c-cold Bangalore weather in search of spinach. By the time I got the leaves in the fifth shop I went to, I could barely fe

Summary

  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

500 grams Chicken Drumsticks / Chicken curry cut pieces ,
To marinate chicken
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder ,
1/2 teaspoon Salt ,
1/2 teaspoon Pepper powder ,
1 tablespoon Lemon juice ,
1 teaspoon Ginger ,
1 teaspoon Garlic ,
Oil , to shallow fry
To blanch spinach
600 grams Spinach leaves (4 bunches),
4 cups Water ,
4 cups Cold water ,
1   teaspoon Lemon juice ,
1 teaspoon salt ,
For gravy
4 Medium onions ,
1 teaspoon Finely chopped ginger ,
1 teaspoon Finely chopped garlic ,
3 Green chilies slit lengthwise ,
1/4 cup Oil ,
3/4   teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 Cardamom ,
1 Tomato ,
Salt
Pepper
1 teaspoon Kasuri methi ,
1/2 cup Water ,
1/4 cup Cream (optional),
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala ,

Steps

  1. Clean chicken pieces and pat dry. Make shallow gashes into chicken as shown below so that the marinade is well absorbed into the pieces. If you use curry cut pieces, then you don’t need to do this.
  2. Grind together all ingredients listed under marinade except oil. Rub the marinade well into chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for atleast 4 hours.
  3. Remove thick stalks and roots of spinach and wash very well under running water.
  4. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add lemon juice and salt. Keep another pot of cold water ready. Add washed spinach leaves. Let them remain in boiling water for a minute and half. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer into a pot of cold water.
  5. Heat oil in a pan to shallow fry chicken. Fry chicken pieces on one side, so the outside just changes color. (You only want to seal the chicken pieces, not cook them completely at this stage).
  6. Turn and seal chicken on the other side in a similar way. Remove from oil, keep aside.
  7. Chop up the onions, and grind to smooth paste.
  8. Transfer 1/4 cup of the oil used to fry chicken into a wok. Fry cumin seeds and crushed cardamom pod till they stop spluttering. Pour in onion paste and fry on medium flame till color turns light brown.
  9. Toss in garlic, ginger, green chili and fry till the onion paste turns golden brown.
  10. Grind tomato to paste and add it to the wok. Saute again, till the paste turns brown and thick and leaves the sides of the pan.
  11. Add chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper. Mix well so that tomato and onion paste coats the chicken. Cover and cook for a few minutes.
  12. While chicken is cooking, remove spinach leaves from cold water, squeeze out water, and grind to smooth paste. Add spinach paste along with remaining lemon juice, water and kasuri methi to wok. Mix well. Taste and season if required. Cover and cook, till chicken is completely done, and gravy has reached desired consistency. If desired, mix in cream and garam masala before removing from heat.

Enjoy with rice, roti and onoin salad.

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