This Saag Chicken is a curry dish with chicken and a mix of different leafy greens cooked with various aromatic indian spices. Saag means leafy greens in Hindi and Saag is also very loosely used to refer to any vegetable dish. For this Saag Chicken dish, you can use any mix of greens however I like to use a combination of mustard greens, turnip greens and either swiss chard or spinach. Whatever combination I use, I do add the mustard greens as it gives the dish an unique flavor. I created this Saag chicken recipe based on the traditional Indian dish of Sarson ka Saag. Adding the chicken gives the greens a lot of flavor and cooking with the greens gives the chicken more flavorful too!
This chicken curry is very nutrient dense because of the addition of three different leafy greens to this! According to Dr Sarah Ballantyne, the creator of Nutrivore – Mustard greens have a Nutrivore Score of 5464, which makes them a super nutrient-dense food! They are particularly rich in glucosinolates, vitamin K, vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, manganese, copper, and vitamin A, plus more! All leafy greens provide great benefits to our body. A 2018 prospective study of 960 participants found that in older and elderly adults, green leafy vegetable intake correlated with slower cognitive decline and an average of only 1.3 servings per day was associated with the equivalent of being 11 years younger in cognitive age! Now that’s a great reason to eat more leafy greens! And this recipe is a great and delicious way to add more greens!
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and nut free. My cookbook, AIP Indian Fusion has an AIP version of this vibrant and flavorful dish!
You can also pair it with gluten free naan or with white rice or cauliflower rice. When paired with cauliflower rice, this Saag chicken is Whole30 compliant.
What are the ingredients in this Saag Chicken?
- Mustard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Swiss Chard or Spinach
- Boneless Chicken thighs or breasts
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cumin seeds
- Fresh Ginger
- Sea salt
- Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
- Coriander powder
- Cumin powder
- Garam Masala
What are the steps to make this Saag Chicken?
- Cook the greens – You can do this in a regular cooking pot or in the Instant Pot.
- Marinate chicken with the dry spice blends and salt.
- Saute the onions along with the garlic, ginger. Add the marinated chicken and cover and cook.You can cook this again in the Instant Pot or just use a regular cooking pot.
- Blend the cooked greens and add to the chicken.
- Simmer till the gravy thickens.
Do you need a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook this dish?
No you do not need a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook this dish. I like to use the Instant Pot to cook the greens quickly however you can do that in a regular cooking pot as well. You can cook the chicken in the Instant Pot as well. I have mentioned instructions for both types of cooking in my recipe below.
Watch Step by Step Video Tutorial of Saag Chicken:
- 8 oz, Mustard greens (About 3 cups, roughly chopped)
- 4 oz, Turnip greens (About 1.5 cups, roughly chopped)
- 4 oz, Spinach or Swiss Chard (About 1.5 cups, roughly chopped)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch (flour)
- 1.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 medium size onions, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
- Wash the greens well and then roughly chop them and add to a large size cooking pot or Instant Pot. Add the salt and the water too and cook covered on medium heat for about 7 minutes. (If using Instant Pot, pressure cook for 5 minutes and then release pressure immediately and open the lid). Let cool for 5 minutes (You can add a few pieces of ice to keep the vibrant color) and then add the arrow root starch and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Keep aside.
- Take the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and spices. Mix to toss the chicken well with the spices. Keep aside for 5-10 mins.
- As the chicken is marinating, heat a wide bottomed cooking pot (or an Instant Pot) and add the olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and as they turn golden brown, add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute on medium heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Next add the marinated chicken pieces into the pot and stir fry the chicken for 5-7 minutes. Then cover and cook on low medium heat for about 20 minutes stirring in between to make sure there is no scorching of the pot.(If using Instant Pot, pressure cook for 10 minutes and let pressure release naturally)
- Finally add the blended greens puree into the pot and stir to mix. Let simmer for a few minutes until you get desired consistency of gravy. Turn heat off and serve warm with gluten free rotis / naan or white rice or cauliflower rice.