North Indian tandoori palak murghi (chicken spinach)
April 10, 2015
This is a classic recipe made in many Punjabi households, apparently.
- 400g natural yoghurt
- 2 tbsp tandoori masala
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 700g of chicken breast, cubed
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 50g fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 fresh tomato, diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 6 green birdseye chillies
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 100g spinach
- Handful of fresh coriander, as garnish
- In a large bowl gently whisk the natural yoghurt to give it a smooth consistency, add the tandoori masala and the lemon juice.
- Cover the chicken in the yoghurt marinade and refrigerate for two hours.
- In a heavy-based pan, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and saute until golden brown.
- Add the fresh tomato and pepper to the pan and cook until they begin to soften.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, turn down the heat and allow the mixture to reduce until it turns darker reddish-brown. If it sticks to the pan, add a little boiling water.
- Finely chop four of the chillies and add to the pan. Add the other two whole (this allows you to control the heat in your sauce)
- Using a pestle and mortar, gently crush the cardamom pods and dispose of the outer shells. Add the cloves and coriander seeds and grind to make a basic masala mix. Add this masala mix to the pan along with the turmeric. Season to taste. The curry base is ready when it is of a thick consistency and the oil has risen to the top (this is achieved by keeping the sauce on a low heat).
- Add the chicken and its marinade, along with the spinach, and cook on low heat for 20–25 minutes, until the meat is tender.
- Sprinkle some coriander on top and serve with rice, naan or chapati.