Palak Chicken, i.e. spinach and chicken curry (or in its proper Urdu form, Palak Murgh), is a dish I hold quite close to my heart (there are very many of those, mind you).
No, but for real, this is a special one.
The reason for this is it’s actually the first curry I cooked for my husband after we got married.
If only you could have seen the look on his face when I served a dish in a pool of half melted butter, with stringy pieces of spinach I hadn’t though to have chop. Oh, the look on his face when he broke into a piece of chicken to find it still half raw, or the surprise when upon his first bite he bit into TWO whole cardamom pods.
Yeah, I wasn’t always food blogger material.
I’ve come a long way from that incident! I am so so happy to share this recipe with you today – it comes from a much more knowledgeable, experienced and confident Fatima who knows what she is doing. This recipe is a Pakistani-style dish with a beautiful fragrance and flavour thanks to the combination of whole spices that we will be blending. It’s a total must-try!
How Do You Make Palak Chicken?
Palak Chicken is actually an incredibly easy curry to prepare. We start by frying onions until brown, then adding chicken to fry alongside. We then proceed to add the spices and spinach leaves, and then cook until it’s done. It’s super simple!
The only fancy addition in this recipe is the grinding of the whole spices in the beginning. If you don’t have a spice grinder, fear not. Just add the spices in whole – and keep on the look out for any rogue cardamom pods!
Choosing The Right Kind of Ingredients
If you’re living outside of Pakistan and have access to bags of baby spinach, definitely use those. Those are significantly easier to clean, cut and generally handle. The less hassle, the better, right? I like getting those bags and putting them directly into the freezer – when it’s time to add them to your cooking you can pull the bag out and crush the leaves by repeatedly banging the bag onto the kitchen counter. Lol, yes I said it. That’s what I really do. And it WORKS, so it’s OK 🙂
In terms of the chicken, if you don’t have any issues with bone-in chicken, then that is definitely the way to go for the best flavour profile. Ask your butcher for curry-cut chicken. If you have issues with bone-in, then you can replace the amount of chicken stated in the recipe with boneless without any changes. But please, think about making the switch to bone-in! You’re missing out on SO MUCH FLAVOUR!
What Can I Serve with Palak Chicken?
Palak Murgh goes great with both roti and rice. I find that roti is the most popular option amongst Pakistanis – not to say rice isn’t ok either. I am very partial to rice 🙂
Also – this curry is absolutely beautiful served with a dollop of butter added to the top just before serving. Alternatively, you can serve this alongside a heavily buttered roti (choprri roti, if you know, you know ;-))
On to the recipe!
Enjoy, with love x
- 6-8 tbsp ghee
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp freshly cut garlic
- 1 tbsp freshly cut garlic
- 700 grams chicken, bone on
- 400 grams spinach, chopped well
- 1 black cardamom
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 inch long piece cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 0.5 tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 2 tsp butter
- In a pot, heat the ghee and once hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry till brown
- Whilst the onions are frying, take the black and green cardamoms, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cinnamon and grind this to a fine powder
- Once the onions have browned, add the chicken. Fry till the chicken is no longer pink
- Add in the spinach, the spice powder we ground, the salt, red chilli powder, dried fenugreek and turmeric. Mix in and then turn the flame to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and turn the flame to low. Dry out the curry, stirring often to make sure it doesn't burn. Continue to dry out the curry, sauteing it till most of the water has dried out and the spinach begins to cling onto the chicken pieces.
- When plating the curry out, drizzle 2tsp of melted butter over, or place a small dollop of it in the middle. Serve with warm chapatti or rice. Enjoy!