This chicken saag recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that combines tender chicken with spinach and aromatic spices to create a flavorful and nutritious meal. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a comforting meal for a special occasion, this recipe is sure to satisfy you.
Here is why you might love this chicken saag recipe:
1. Healthy and nutritious: Chicken saag is full of healthy ingredients like spinach and chicken, making it a great choice for those looking for a healthy and nutritious meal.
2. Flavorful and aromatic: With its combination of spices and herbs like cumin, coriander, and ginger, chicken saag is bursting with flavor and aroma that will make your taste buds dance.
3. Easy to prepare: Despite its complex flavor profile, chicken saag is an easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in under an hour. This makes it a great option for busy weeknights when you want to make a delicious meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
Chicken Saag Curry Recipe
- 500 g (1.1 lb) chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 cup water
- 0.5 pound baby spinach leaves
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp (1.5 tsp) dried fenugreek
- Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large saucepan which is on medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped onions, followed by the garlic and ginger paste, stir to combine for 5 minutes.
- Keep the heat high and add the chicken thighs, and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Add the spices. Stir to combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the saucepan for 15 minutes on medium-low heat to allow it simmer.
- Remove cover and add 1 cup of water. After you stir to combine, add the baby spinach leaves and cover on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove cover and stir to combine. It will be ready to serve.
2. If you have time, try to marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger, garlic, and spices for at least 6 hours for maximum flavor.
3. Toast and grind your own spices for the best flavor, including cumin and coriander.
4. Rather than vegetable oil, you can use ghee for cooking the saag and chicken for added flavor. 5. Add a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten and balance the flavors.
6. Serve with rice or naan bread for a complete meal.
7. Adjust spice levels to your preference, adding more or less chili powder or cayenne pepper as desired.
8. Use bone-in chicken for added flavor and moisture in the dish.
9. Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint leaves for added freshness and color.
10. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Data source: USDA
Chicken Saag can typically last in the fridge for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container. To store it for a longer period, freeze it in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. It can last for up to 4 months in the freezer.
When storing in the fridge, make sure to cool it down to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. Place it in the fridge immediately after cooking to avoid the growth of bacteria.
To freeze, portion the chicken saag in individual servings or in batches depending on your serving size preference. Allow it to cool down completely before covering it with a lid or plastic wrap. Label the container with the date and freeze it.
To defrost, remove the chicken saag from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Ensure that you never thaw it at room temperature as it increases the risk of bacterial growth. Once thawed, reheat it thoroughly on the stovetop or in the microwave.
For best results, it is recommended to consume frozen chicken saag within a month or two of freezing it. Make sure to discard any leftovers beyond this time frame.
|Chicken Thighs||Boneless or bone-in chicken can be used.||Chicken breasts, lamb, paneer (for vegetarian option)|
|Garlic and Paste||Adds flavor to the dish.||Garlic powder, onion powder, ginger paste, ginger powder|
|Baby Spinach Leaves||Main ingredient of the dish, adds nutrition and flavor.||Frozen spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, chard|
|Tomatoes||Adds tangy flavor to the dish.||Canned tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes|
|Ground Coriander||Adds a citrusy flavor to the dish.||Ground turmeric, ground ginger, curry powder, paprika|
|Ground Cumin||Adds a warm and earthy flavor to the dish.||Ground coriander, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon|
|Garam Masala Powder||A blend of spices that adds flavor to the dish.||Curry powder, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom powder|
|Dried Fenugreek Leaves||Adds a bitter and nutty flavor to the dish.||Mustard seeds, celery seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds|
What is Chicken Saag Known For?
Chicken saag, or chicken saagwala is a popular and delicious Indian dish that combines spicy chicken with spinach, creating a flavorful and healthy meal.
Making it at home can be quick and easy, making it a great choice for weekly meal prep. The dish can be made using leftover spinach and can be prepared with chicken thighs or breasts for a combination of protein and greens.
There are many variations of the recipe, but the core ingredients include chicken, spices, tomatoes, and spinach. Chicken saag can be served with basmati rice, naan bread, or roti, and leftovers often taste even better.
Saag refers to leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, basella, fenugreek, and dill, which is why there are many variations of the dish.
The variations allow for different spices and ingredients to be added, but the recipe can still be cooked quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for weeknight dinners or meal prep.
Chicken saag is a classic Indian dish that combines tender chunks of chicken with a nutritious blend of spinach and spices.
This dish is not only delicious but also offers several health benefits due to its nutrient-dense ingredients.
Here are some of the health benefits of this chicken saag recipe:
1. High in protein: Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles, tissues, and cells. A 3-ounce serving of chicken provides about 25 grams of protein, making it a great post-workout meal.
2. Rich in vitamins and minerals: Spinach is a nutrient powerhouse that is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining healthy bones, skin, and eyes, and for boosting the immune system.
3. Low in calories: The chicken saag recipe is relatively low in calories, making it a great option for those trying to maintain a healthy weight or reduce their calorie intake. Additionally, the high fiber content in spinach can help you feel full and satisfied.
4. Contains anti-inflammatory properties: Spices like ginger, turmeric, and cumin are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
Time Saving Tips
- Use a food processor or blender to quickly chop onions, garlic, and ginger instead of chopping them by hand. This will save you time and effort.
- Use frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach. Frozen spinach is already chopped and blanched, so it can be added directly to the curry without the need for washing and chopping.
- Use boneless chicken instead of bone-in chicken. Boneless chicken cooks faster, and you don’t have to spend time deboning it.
- Use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook the chicken and the spinach curry together. This will save you time and reduce the overall cooking time.
- Use pre-made spice blends or pre-mixed curry pastes instead of measuring out individual spices. This will save you time and ensure consistent flavor in your dish.
- Cook a large batch of chicken saag and freeze the leftovers in individual portions. This way, you can have a quick and easy meal ready to go whenever you’re short on time.
- Use a slow cooker or Crockpot to make chicken saag. You can prep the ingredients in the morning and let it cook all day, freeing up your time to focus on other tasks.
Substitute the chicken with lamb and prepare the dish using the same method. Lamb Saag is a popular variation of this dish in some regions of India.
Vegetarians can substitute the chicken with paneer, a type of Indian cheese, to make a delicious Paneer Saag.
Spinach and Broccoli Saag
This variation includes the addition of broccoli along with spinach to make the dish more nutritious and add some texture. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
Saag Murgh Makhani
This variation of Chicken Saag incorporates the rich and creamy tomato-based sauce of Murgh Makhani, also known as Butter Chicken, with the spinach-based curry.
Saag Aloo Chicken
In this variation, potatoes are added to the chicken and spinach curry, making it more filling and adding some extra flavor to the dish.
Saag Chicken Tikka
This variation is made by marinating chicken tikka in a spicy yogurt sauce, grilling it, and then adding it to the spinach curry. This gives the dish a smoky and slightly charred flavor.
Saag Chicken Korma
In this variation, the chicken is simmered in a rich and creamy korma sauce along with the spinach curry. The combination of the two creates a delicious and flavorful dish.
Saag Chicken Biryani
This variation combines the flavors of Chicken Saag with biryani, a popular Indian rice dish. The chicken and spinach curry is layered with fragrant rice and then baked in the oven.
What To Serve With
- Basmati Rice: Chicken Saag is often served with steamed basmati rice, which helps to soak up the delicious gravy and spices.
- Naan: Naan is a type of Indian flatbread that is perfect for scooping up the saucy goodness of Chicken Saag. It is typically made with flour, yeast, and water and is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven.
- Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that can help to cool down the spiciness of Chicken Saag. It is usually made with yogurt, cucumber, mint, and spices.
- Papadum: Papadum is a thin, crispy Indian cracker that is often served as an appetizer or side dish. It can be a great addition to Chicken Saag, as it provides a nice crunch.
- Salad: A simple salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions can be a refreshing accompaniment to Chicken Saag. It can help to balance out the rich and spicy flavors of the dish.
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