Indian Cuisine: Chicken Saag with Basmati Rice

Chicken Saag Indian cuisine is infinitely flavorful, and full of spicy, savory tones and lots of great vegetables.   This dish can be made with chicken, or fried tofu for a true vegetarian version.  Frozen or fresh spinach works perfectly...

Chicken Saag
Chicken Saag

Indian cuisine is infinitely flavorful, and full of spicy, savory tones and lots of great vegetables.   This dish can be made with chicken, or fried tofu for a true vegetarian version.  Frozen or fresh spinach works perfectly well.  If you use fresh spinach, make sure it is well-washed before using, or you may end up with gritty saag.

Chicken Saag with Basmati Rice

Makes 4 Servings

  • 16 oz of frozen spinach, or one bunch of fresh
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of diced ginger
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs diced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups salted, boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Directions:

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, place the spinach and the milk. Cover and allow to simmer.  In a medium pan over high heat, combine the rice and water, cover and allow to come to a boil.  Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer approximately 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Once you have your spinach and rice going, take out a third large pan, and combine the butter and olive oil, and place over medium high heat.
  3. Once the butter is hot and melted, add the garlic, ginger and onions.  Stir until the onions become slightly translucent and then add your chicken thighs.
  4. Cook the chicken thighs until browned on all sides, approximately ten minutes.  Add all your spices and the tomatoes and stir, reducing the heat to medium low.  Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes.  
  5. Strain the spinach, discarding milk.  Stir spinach into the meat mixture until well incorporated.  Remove from heat, and stir in your greek yogurt.   Don't leave the pan on the heat when you add the yogurt, or it will separate.  Taste, and salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Check your rice. It should have absorbed all the liquid and feel soft but not mushy.  If it still feels hard or looks watery, give it a few more minutes. If it looks dry but not completely cooked, you may need to add a little more hot water.
  7. Once your rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, and divide into four portions. Serve your Saag over the rice.

Enjoy!

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