North Indian Style Spinach Chicken

I love Indian food, but sometimes those curries can be heavy. This dish, on the other hand, is more brothy than saucy, and still has that flavor I love. It has tomatoes, spinach and chicken breast, but it would be good with garbanzo beans instead, if you wanted to make it vegetarian.

I saw this in Sunset Magazine, which has been full of good recipes lately (See: Ginger Pear Crisp). My mom and I loved how light it felt while still filling us up.

Of course we changed it up a bit. Instead of serving with plain yogurt on top and cucumber salad on the side, I combined the two in a raita. I liked the cool crunch of cucumbers mixed in with the cooked vegetables. It’s all about layering flavors, textures and temperatures.

North Indian Style Spinach Chicken
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (or pre-ground)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or pre-ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, quartered (we didn’t have mushrooms so we left them out)
  • 2-in. piece fresh ginger
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks (or use garbanzo beans for a vegetarian meal)
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • basmati rice for serving

In a small saute pan (or the large stock pot you’ll be using next) toast fenugreek, cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat, swirling around so they don’t burn. After a minute or two, when the seeds start to pop or become fragrant, transfer to a mortar or spice grinder. Grind spices, then stir in turmeric, and cayenne.

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, spice mixture, and some salt. As onion start to sweat, add mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, mince ginger and garlic.

Add ginger and garlic. Sizzle a few seconds. Add chicken and a little more salt, at your discretion. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until no longer pink on the outside. Add tomatoes and simmer, covered, about 8 minutes.

Stir in spinach and simmer, covered, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, chop half a bunch or a large handful of cilantro. Stir into pot, along with lemon juice.

Serve with cooked rice and cucumber raita.

Cucumber Raita

I’ve made this raita before with grated cucumbers, but here I wanted them in larger pieces for crunch.

  • 1 large English cucumber (Peel if using a big waxy one. Seeding is a good idea too, but not necessary, especially if you eat it right away)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Cut cucumber in chunks. Add to a bowl along with all other ingredients. Keep chilled, then serve on top or to the side of Indian dishes, like the chicken one above.

4 Replies to “North Indian Style Spinach Chicken”

  1. Fenugreek has been used either short-term to boost milk supply or long-term to augment supply and/or pumping yields. There are no studies indicating problems with long-term usage. Per Kathleen Huggins “Most mothers have found that the herb can be discontinued once milk production is stimulated to an appropriate level. Adequate production is usually maintained as long as sufficient breast stimulation and emptying continues” …..`

    Have a nice day http://healthmedicinebook.comae

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