Many folks whom I know will tell me “Oh I just love Indian food but it is so complicated to cook it! “. My answer of course has always been – ‘that’s not true at all. Once you know the basic spices that make a curry, you can then really try and make it your own way!’. You don’t always need to follow the exact steps which in some recipes I must admit can make one feel intimidated. And as for easy cooking, I for one am a huge proponent for simplifying things and thereby making life simpler 🙂 For instance I am always trying to cook easy weeknight dinners where I try to use short cuts and experiment every once in a while. This Chicken curry is such a recipe where I really tried to make it easier on myself. I eliminated the sauteing/browning of the onion and tomatoes step so that saves a lot of time without much of a compromise in taste.
Typically an Indian meal at our house consists of a curry either a (vegetable/a bean or a lentil or chicken/fish) with either rice or chapati accompanied with a vegetable side dish. So in this chicken dish I decided to add the vegetable(spinach) also to the chicken – that way I saved time by not cooking it separately. In addition to saving time, this way, my youngest who is fussy about eating her vegetables also gets her veggie intake without any additional exertion(and consequently high stress) on my part.!
This recipe is similar to the Easy Kerala Chicken curry which is my dad’s recipe (There again I think dad was trying to keep it simple! 🙂 ) And of course, I also almost always add potatoes to my chicken curry because I love the potatoes in the gravy more than the chicken! Hence the name Saag (spinach) Aloo(potatoes) Chicken! 🙂
Update: You can also make this recipe in the Instant Pot. I have included directions for cooking in the Instant Pot in the recipe below. Plus I have tried this recipe with different combination of greens – my favorite these days is Swiss Chard and Kale! I also omit tomatoes now since they trigger pain and inflammation in my body. Even without tomatoes, the curry comes out fantastic!
- 2 lbs chicken,cleaned and cut into bite size pieces(I prefer chicken with bones but you can use boneless)
- 2 onions,thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic,finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger,finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, slit length wise(omit if want mild)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder(use 1 tsp for mild)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp kasoori methi or fresh fenugreek leaves(optional but adds a great flavor)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 4-6 black peppercorns
- 1 , 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 tomatoes,finely chopped
- 4-5 fresh curry leaves
- Spinach - ¼ lb about 3 cups chopped (or any mix of leafy greens like swiss chard, kale etc)
- 2 medium size potatoes,cubed
- ½ cup water (for thinner gravy)
- Take a large size cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and add all the ingredients except the tomatoes,curry leaves, potatoes and spinach. Use your hands to coat the chicken pieces well with the dry spices,onions and the oil. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes stirring half-way thru to make sure nothing was sticking to the pot.
- Next add the tomatoes and the curry leaves and again cover and cook for another 10 minutes on low to medium heat again stirring in the middle to avoid any scorching / burning of the meat or the spices.
- Although we have not added any water, the pot will now have liquid from the chicken and now to this curry add the potatoes and the spinach (and the water if you want a thinner gravy) and again cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Enjoy the chicken curry with some freshly cooked parboiled rice or chapatis or any kind of bread.
- Add all the ingredients together in the insert pot along with the water and then pressure cook for 6 mins. Release steam manually and open the pot. If there is too much gravy, then put saute function on and let simmer for 3-4 mins more and turn heat off.