Palak Murg (Chicken in spinach gravy)

Last night while going through the vegetable aisle of the grocery store we found this really fresh looking bunches of full grown large spinach leaves. We have been seeing only baby spinach here lately so couldn’t stop myself from buying these, despite the fact that this family is not too big on greens! Usually the famous” eat you greens” phrase is heard repeatedly around the house in order to make them eat these healthy nutrition packed leafy veggies.

A typical bong luncheon would start with a simple shak  i.e. any kind of edible leaves which comprises of mainly greens and sometimes the red spinach (lal shak) followed by Dal (lentil curry), bhaja (i.e. kind of fritters either of potatoes or eggplants or basically anything which tastes good when dipped in besan (chickpea) paste and fried!!) followed by an amish or “non-veg” dish comprising usually of fresh water fish curry or dimer daalna(egg curry) or chicken curry. Now all this with plenty of hot steamed rice!!! And then we bongs wonder why loosing weight is such an ordeal!!! Hmmm ….wonder why?:D

But frankly except for the huge amount of rice the three coarse meal is balanced, healthy, more or less takes care of most of our nutritional needs but also time consuming!!!

I try to bring down our three coarse meal to a single dish which usually turns out a hearty well rounded nutrition packed dish like my hot lentil spinach chicken soup!(it has literally all three of the main course I just described! :))

This one is one such I call it “the one dish meal”

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Palak Murg Curry

Ingredients:

  1. 1 bunch of fully grown fresh spinach (about 500 gm)

  2. 2 medium sized onions.

  3. 4 cloves of garlic.

  4. 500 gm of boneless chicken.

  5. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.

  6. 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder.

  7. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.

  8. 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder.

  9. 1 tablespoon of oil

  10. 1 tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter)

  11. Salt to taste.

  12. one teaspoon of sugar.

For tempering:

  1. 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (saunf).

  2. 1/2 teaspoon of shahi jeera (cumin seeds).

  3. 2 cloves and  3 pods of cardamom.

  4. 3-4 pepper corns.

Procedure:

  1. Spinach needs to be first cleaned thoroughly under running water.

  2. Cut the stems off if they seem to be too matured and hard. But keep the tender ones because they can be easily incorporated while blending for the spinach gravy.

  3. Boil two cups of water with one teaspoon of salt. In the meantime chop the leaves along with the tender stems coarsely .

  4. When the water starts to boil add the chopped spinach to the boiling water and keep simmering till the leaves are cooked.

  5. After cooling, in a blender,  blend the cooked spinach into a smooth paste.

  6. Finely chop the onions and the garlic.

  7. Dice the boneless chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.

  8. In a wok/kadai heat oil and add the ingredients under tempering from step 1 through step 4.

  9. When spices start to crackle add the chopped garlic.

  10. When it turns light brown add the chopped onions.

  11. When the onions turn translucent add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt to taste and one teaspoon of sugar.

  12. Fry for two minutes and then add the diced chicken pieces.

  13. Fry till the oil separates.

  14. Then add the spinach paste and simmer for about ten minutes in low flame while stirring occasionally.

  15. Then add ghee and garam masala just before switching the flame off.

Serve this hot with Rice, Roti, Paratha, naan. We are avoiding gluten, so tonight we had this with some healthy raagi (millet) dosa!

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