Chicken Saag Recipe or Palak Chicken recipe – This is a classic semi thick Indian curry of chicken and pureed spinach that is cooked together along with spices. What a splendid combination of flavours and nutrition it is! Intensely delicious, keto friendly and gluten free recipe ready under an hour.
Saag is basically the greens that goes into any food preparation either one of the green or in combinations. These are namely spinach, kale, mustard, fenugreek, dill, collard or turnips. And, when any of these saag melds with meat protein or vegetable protein, the end result is heaven!
Meat proteins can be your choice of red meat or chicken and even fish. Vegetable protein that pairs amazing with greens are paneer, tofu, kala chana or white chana (chickpeas), soya chunks and what not. You yourself can try out various combination of saag with different proteins.
So, today I am sharing my family recipe of palak chicken which may be a little different than the one you might be aware of. This classic saag wala murgh is absolutely finger licking chicken dish which will elevate your spread to an imperial one.
Once you try it, you will want to make it to your family’s favourite list. Presenting to you today, a recipe that you can make on stove top as well as in instant pot and even in slow cooker.
Best Chicken cut to go in Saag
Honestly, you have freedom to use any cut of chicken to make this saag wala murgh. Personally, I always go for either drumsticks, chicken thighs or regular chicken on bone cuts. I don’t know why, but I do not like using boneless chicken into this dish.
But, as I said you have freedom to use any of your favourite cut, you can go on ahead with boneless chicken as well. The extra flavours and juiciness that imparts zing in this dish comes from chicken thighs or drumsticks.
What to Serve with this Palak Chicken?
Any of your favourite Indian breads like roti, phulka, lachha paratha pairs perfect with palak chicken. If you wish to serve it with dinner rolls, ensure the rolls aren’t the sweeter ones but the regular. Check for its sugar to be less than 2 % as it works best with any Indian curries.
You can also serve this chicken saag with jeera rice, zafrani pulao, peas pulao or simply plain rice. With whatever pairing you go for, the only thing you will have is Yumminessss!
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Tips to make best Chicken Saag wala at home
Personally, I love to use blanched spinach for the recipes like the one. But, you are free to go ahead with blending the spinach directly without blanching it. However, I would still recommend you to blanch the spinach and then proceed. because, it retains the flavour, colour and nutritional value of the veggies.
Marination of the chicken allows the maximum penetration of the flavours into it. Further, making chicken tender, juicy and helps to cook faster. Therefore, consider the chicken marination for at least 30 minutes, if you are short of time.
You are free to modify the amount chillies in the dish to suit to your taste.
Don’t have store bought tomato puree with you? No worries! Then, simply blanch 1 large ripened red tomatoes, blend it to puree. Strain and use. You can also use 2 teaspoon of tomato paste mixed with 2 tablespoon of water.
How to Blanch Spinach To Make Palak Chicken?
To begin with, clean wash and trim the spinach leaves. Boil enough of water in a vessel. Add soda and spinach. Allow the spinach to blanch in the water for 2-3 minutes.
Take the blanched spinach out and immediately put them into an ice cold water.
Add blanched spinach in a blender and blend it to a puree.
How To Make Chicken Saag on Stove Top – Step by Step
In a large bowl, combine chicken pieces and all the ingredients mentioned under marination. (photo 1)
Mix everything well, cover and refrigerate for an hour. (photo 2)
In a heavy bottom pan, heat an oil and ghee or butter together. Now, Add bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorn and fry until fragrant. (photo 3)
Add marinated chicken and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes, stirring in between. (photo 4)
Then, add red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, tomato puree and mix well. (photo 5)
Add /12 cup of water, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes. (photo 6)
Add pureed spinach, garam masala powder, crushed nutmeg and mix well. Adjust the consistency of the gravy as per requirement, cook on medium heat for another 4-5 minutes or until done. (photo 7)
Dish out, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve chicken saag with hot phulkas, parathas or pulao. (photo 8)
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Saag – Step by Step
Start off with marinating the chicken. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients along with chicken. (photo 1)
Combine everything well, cover and allow it, marinate for an hour under refrigeration. (photo 2)
Switch on the IP and press ‘Sauté’ button. Once it displays ‘Hot’ add oil and ghee together. Then, add whole spices and fry for 30 seconds. (photo 3)
Add marinated chicken and sauté for a minute. (photo 4)
Cover IP glass lid or any lid that fits the IP to and cook for 3 minutes. (photo 5)
Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, tomato puree, salt and mix well. Cook for another 1 minute. Ensure to deglaze if anything is stuck at the bottom. (photo 6)
Add spinach puree, garam masala powder, nutmeg powder. Now, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending upon the gravy consistency you need. (photo 7 and 8)
Put the IP lid with pressure valve in sealing position. Cancel ‘sauté’ button and press manual/pressure cook button, set the timer to 4 minutes on high pressure. Allow it to pressure cook.
Once the IP beeps, do quick pressure release with pressure valve in venting position. Open the pot, and only if the gravy is thin, switch on the ‘sauté’ mode and simmer on low for another 2-3 minutes, to evaporate some of the liquid giving semi thick creamy consistency. Instant pot chicken saag is ready, dish out, garnish and serve.
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Chicken Saag Recipe Card
- 1 kg Chicken
- 300 gms Spinach blanched and pureed.
Ingredients to marinate chicken
- 250 gms Yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic paste
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Green chilli paste
- 3 Onions medium sized, ground to paste
- 1 tsp Black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 Bay leaf
- 8-10 Black peppercorn
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 4 Cloves
- 4 Green cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ tsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala powder
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg grated
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- Salt as per taste
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2 tbsp Ghee
How To Make Chicken Saag Recipe on Stove Top
- Heat an oil and ghee or butter together in a pan.
- Add whole spices and allow them to crackle.
- Add marinated chicken and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in between.
- Add red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, tomato puree and mix well.
- Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Add pureed spinach, garam masala powder, crushed nutmeg and mix well.
- Adjust the consistency if required. Add lemon juice, cook on medium heat for another 3-4 minutes or until done.
- Dish out, garnish with coriander leaves.
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Saag Recipe
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients along with chicken.
- Combine everything well, cover and allow it, marinate for an hour under refrigeration.
- Switch on the IP and press 'Sauté' button. Once it displays 'Hot' add oil and ghee together. Then, add whole spices and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add marinated chicken and sauté for a minute.
- Cover IP glass lid or any lid that fits the IP to and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, tomato puree, salt and mix well. Cook for another 1 minute. Ensure to deglaze if anything is stuck at the bottom.
- Add spinach puree, garam masala powder, nutmeg powder.
- Now, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending upon the gravy consistency you need.
- Put the IP lid with pressure valve in sealing position. Cancel 'sauté' button and press manual/pressure cook button, set the timer to 4 minutes on high pressure. Allow it to pressure cook.
- Once the IP beeps, do quick pressure release with pressure valve in venting position.
- Open the pot, add lemon juice and mix.
- Only if the gravy is thin, switch on the 'sauté' mode and simmer on low for another 2-3 minutes, to evaporate some of the liquid giving semi thick creamy consistency.
- Instant pot chicken saag is ready, dish out, garnish and serve.