Packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients, this Palak Chicken curry is a deliciously simple yet wholesome dish. Super easy to throw together and perfect for busy weeknights!
Palak Chicken, also known as Saag Chicken, is a hearty and satisfying Indian curry. Seasoned chicken pieces are cooked in a flavorful curry sauce and finished with loads of fresh spinach. You’ll love this easy Palak Chicken recipe because:
- It’s delicious AND healthy. This palak chicken recipe is brimming with flavor and full of nourishing goodness – you get your protein and greens all in one!
- It’s made with simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry and once you start cooking, it’s done in 30 minutes.
Ingredients in Palak Chicken
Chicken: Bone-in skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces will work best, but boneless chicken will work too.
Spinach: Washed and cleaned thoroughly, then roughly chopped.
Yogurt: For making the chicken marinade.
Whole spices and ground spices: : The aromatics for this curry.
Onions: An essential for making any curry base and for flavoring.
Ginger and garlic: Crush to get all the juicy flavour; can be substituted with 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade ginger garlic paste
Green chillies: To add a little heat.
Tomatoes: To add texture, flavor and color to the gravy.
How to make Palak Chicken
Marinate chicken: Start off by mixing the marinade ingredients. Coat the chicken pieces well, cover them and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Cook the onions and spices: Fry the curry spices in mustard oil on medium heat until fragrant. Then sauté onions until they soften and turn a light golden color.
Garlic, ginger, and green chillies: Now stir in the garlic, ginger and green chillies and sauté till it starts smelling amazing.
Cook the tomatoes till they soften, then cook off the ground spices on low heat for a minute. Deglaze the pan with half a cup of water to scrape off all the yummy bits stuck on the base of the pan and mix everything up into a flavorful curry sauce.
Toss in the marinated chicken pieces along with garam masala and salt and let them cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then,
Fold in spinach: Add the chopped spinach leaves and cook covered for 5 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Garnish with methi leaves if desired, then serve it hot over rice or flatbreads!
How to serve Palak Chicken
Serve the Palak Chicken curry with basmati rice, phulkas, parathas or naans along with raita for an incredibly satisfying weeknight dinner!
- Swap the spinach with any other greens that are available to you, like kale or mustard leaves.
- Frozen spinach works too. Just make sure to thaw and remove the excess water from them before adding to the curry.
- This recipe calls for bone-in skinless chicken. However you could also use boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite sized chunks, just take care not to overcook them.
- Swap the chicken for any other meat of your choice, like mutton, beef or prawns.
- As much as possible marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator. But if you don’t have the time it’s OK, 20 minutes will be just fine.
- Spice the curry up or down by adjusting the amount of chilli powder used.
- For an extra creamy finish or to make it a little mild in spice, stir in a dollop of cream at the end of cooking.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days and reheat on stove before use.
This palak chicken can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, and add a splash of water and some garam masala before reheating gently on a stovetop or microwave.
Easy Palak Chicken Curry
For chicken marinade
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, whisked well
- 500 grams bone-in skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 4 green cardomom pods
- 8-10 black peppercorns
For the curry sauce
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 3 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, crushed
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
- 2-3 green chillies adjust based on spice preferences
- 2 medium tomatoes finely diced
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 300 grams fresh spinach leaves, approx. 4 cups tightly packed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
Marinate the chicken
- Add all the marinade ingredients to a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and turn well to coat. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Thoroughly wash and clean the spinach leaves, dry them, and chop them roughly.
Make the curry
- Heat mustard oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the curry spices and let them sizzle until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add onions and fry until softened, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, add garlic, ginger and green chillies. Sauté stirring frequently for a minute.
- Add tomatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Cook until the tomatoes start to break down and turn mushy – about 3 minutes.
- Add turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander, stir for another minute.
- Then add half a cup of water to deglaze the pan and mix everything well for a flavorful curry sauce.
- Add the marinated chicken, along with garam masala and salt, and let it cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered or 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
- Add the chopped spinach leaves and toss everything well. Cook covered for 5 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Garnish with methi leaves if desired, then serve it hot over rice or with parathas, naan or phulkas!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days and reheat on the stove before use.
- This palak chicken can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, and add a splash of water and some garam masala before reheating gently on a stovetop or microwave.