Chicken Spinach Palak
Spinach or Palak Chicken Curry is also known as Palak Murgh in India. This devine curry is a
healthy meal full of an array of fragrant spices and is quick and easy to make. I could prepare this curry regularly and never get tired of the flavors and excellent nutritional benefits. Spinach Palak is a favorite of mine and for this reason I urged myself to learn to make it at home. I started a search for a true authentic Palak recipe, and came across many possibilities. Some of the best recipes were difficult to decipher, the measurements and even the ingredient terminology was confusing and hard to follow. I challenged myself to solve the puzzle by building a recipe with the flavors and authenticity I enjoyed from from my travels in India. I experimented with many variations, and admit the first time was not a great success. The flavors were genuine but the appearance was not visually appealing. After many more attempts I nailed the recipe and have shared it multiple times with success!
Most authentic recipes call for 1 ½ tablespoons of cayenne pepper making for an extremely spicy Palak! I enjoy a medium heat putting my comfort level at ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper as the recipe reads. Don't be afraid to play around with the amount of spice and do not feel the heat is necessary to add if you are not a fan of spicy foods. This Palak has plenty of pep from the additional spices!
A helpful tip: garlic and ginger paste come in tubes and can be purchased in the refrigerated section by the herbs. The tubes can be on the pricy side and have a short shelf life, so I found Trader Joe's frozen ginger and garlic squares in the frozen vegetable section as the perfect solution and the shelf life is much longer.
Best served with basmati rice or naan bread. For an awesome naan recipe, follow on Dina's instagram:
1 lbs chicken breast
¼ cup plain greek yogurt
1 ½ tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam marsala
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ tablespoon red pepper cayenne powder, as desired
2 tablespoons ginger paste
2 tablespoons garlic paste
4 tablespoons oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamon pods
1 bay leaf
½ cup water
7 ounces fresh spinach
1. In a large bowl mix together the yogurt, coriander, garam masala, turmeric powder, salt, red cayenne powder, 1 tablespoon each of both the ginger paste and garlic paste (reserving 1 tbsp. for later).
2. Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and add to the yogurt mixture. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Prep onions and tomatoes, set aside.
4. In a medium sauce pan, heat oil on medium low and sauté cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pod and bay leaf until the scent of the spice aroma fills the kitchen, only a few minutes. Add chopped onion and cook until it becomes soft.
5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon each of ginger and garlic paste and cook one minute until it loses its raw smell. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and mushy.
6. Add marinated chicken, half a cup of water, cover and simmer until the chicken is completely cooks through. Stir from time to time to avoid burning the onion, tomatoes and spices.
7. While the chicken is cooking, blanch the spinach in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water, then puree in blender until smooth. Add the spinach puree to the cooked chicken curry sauce and stir well, blending together until the sauce turns green. Keep warm on low heat for another 5 minutes.