True Indian taste: Spinach and Ginger Chicken Curry

The hallmark of north Indian cuisine is to combine green, leafy vegetable with meat. I love pulao and a classic palak, which is a spinach and chicken curry. 


850g skinless chicken on bone, cut into medium-sized portions

400g spinach leaves, washed.

4cm ginger root, roughly chopped

5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 green bird’s-eye chilli

3 tbsp vegetable olive oil

4 whole green cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

2.5cm cinnamon stick

250g finely chopped white onions

1 heaped tbsp tomato purée

1 heaped tablespoon ground coriander

Salt, to taste

½ tsp garam masala

1 tbsp chopped cilantro, to garnish

To garnish, chop ginger root into matchsticks


3 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or mild chili powder

1½ tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed

  • Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Allow the marinade to soak in for a while before you cut into the chicken pieces. Once the marinade has soaked in, add the chicken to the bowl. Mix well to coat the chicken. Ideally, leave overnight in the refrigerator – but even 30 minutes is fine.
  • Blend the spinach with 3 tablespoons water in a blender until it becomes a smooth paste. You may need to do this in small batches. To make a paste, separate the ginger, garlic, and green chilli. Add 2-3 tablespoons water. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in an oven-proof saucepan or kadhai on medium heat. Fry the whole spices for a few seconds. Stir in the onions, and fry for 15 minutes. Continue to stir until the colour changes. Stir in the chilli paste, ginger, garlic, and garlic. Fry for 2 more minutes. Add a splash of water if it begins to stick to the base of the pan, then add the tomato purée. After frying for a few minutes, add the tomato puree and stir in the ground coriander.
  • Mix the marinated chicken with the oil and fry for about 7-8 minutes. Stir frequently and make sure to seal all pieces. Reduce the heat to low, season to taste, then cover and cook for 15-17 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, stirring halfway to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the puréed spinach and continue to simmer over a low heat for a further 5-7 minutes, with the lid on. Stir in the garam masala and fresh coriander and ginger matchsticks. Serve with naan/pulao, some pickled onions and raita.