For weeks I have been putting this recipe off, being completely at a loss for an appropriate story. I have no recollection of how or when I came across this recipe, when I made it first, or where I ate it first. All I could string together in the last couple of weeks are the three following sentences: I love saag chicken. I make it every week. You will love it too.
In any case, it seems completely inappropriate that such a delicious recipe should remain unpublished on account of my writer’s block. So here is my unripe post, although, with a sophisticated recipe.
PS: I like to make a huge pot of saag sauce and store it in individual zip bags for up to a month, taking out a small bag of sauce every now and then, throwing a bunch of veggies, paneer, chicken or even eggs. Being both easy and inexpensive to make, this recipe definitely gets my vote for the best grad school Indian recipe.
Restaurant Style Saag chicken recipe
Level: easy Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 25 mins
1 kg (approx 2 lbs) boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
500 grams (18 oz) spinach, blanched
1 bunch coriander leaves (cilantro)
4 tbsp oil*
1 bay leaf
1 whole dry red chili
2 cups red onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh cream
a dollop of butter
Grind the spinach and coriander leaves into a paste in a food processor.
Marinate the chicken with lime juice, chili powder, black pepper powder, and salt. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add cardamoms, bay leaf, whole dry red chili and cloves. As soon as they start spluttering (about 30 seconds), add the onions.
Saute the onions over medium heat until golden, about 8-10 minutes.
Add garlic paste and ginger paste. Saute for 1-2 more minutes.
Add cumin powder, coriander powder, and chili powder and cook for 2-3 additional minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes or until oil separates.
And the spinach paste, sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. If at this stage the gravy looks too thick then feel free to add some water.
Next add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook over high heat until the chicken is just done (3-4 minutes).
Remove from heat, add cream and butter.
Serve with rice or naan.
*It sounds like a lot of oil, but it is not that much if you count per serving. Also, you need enough oil to bring out the restaurant style texture and consistency. You can however use as little oil as you want.