Recipe: Chicken Saagwala

On my trip to India I made it a goal to order something different every meal. You’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t order the same curry dish twice! One of the healthier options that I came across (most Indian curries use a stack of cream, and little to no vegetables) was the saagwala: a rich green curry, made predominantly from spinach. This particular saagwala recipe is very easy to make and it doesn’t take that long either. Going against tradition, I added green capsicum and coriander to garnish, because a) both are delicious and b) it went with the green theme!


  • 3 T oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 t ground chilli
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, grated
  • 300 g spinach leaves
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • about 800 g skinless and boneless chicken
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 t cream or coconut cream (optional)
  • coriander, to garnish
  • rice, to serve


  1. Heat oil, fry onions for about 2 minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and other spices.
  2. Wilt the spinach by running it under hot water. Squeeze out any excess water and then blend it with the green chili, tomatoes, cooked onions and spices.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken pieces until they are lightly browned. Add the green capsicum and continue frying.
  4. Add spinach puree to the chicken and simmer on medium heat until the chicken is properly cooked (probably about 15 minutes). Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drizzle the cream across the curry. Garnish with coriander and then serve with rice.

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