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Saag Murgh
(Chicken Cooked with Spinach)

This dish is from North India. It is a favorite choice in many of the Indian restaurants you might visit. This home version with its smooth spicy sauce, is a wonderful way to get close to that restaurant version. Serve with plain boiled rice, or Pulao, and lots of Indian breads to mop up the sauce.

Top view of a bowl of Saag Murgh by Simon Majumdar

Saag Murgh (Chicken Cooked with Spinach) Recipe

(Serves About 4-6)



  • 6 Chicken Thighs (Bone-in skin removed)

  • 5 Cups of Spinach (Blanch and puree half, and keep the other half as fresh leaves)

  • 1 Yellow Onion (Pureed)

  • 4 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and Pureed)

  • 4 Serrano Chilies (De-seeded and Pureed)

  • 2 Inches Fresh Ginger (Peeled and Pureed)

  • 1 Small Cinnamon Stick

  • 2 Green Cardamom

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar

  • 2 Teaspoon Ground Fenugreek (Methi) Leaves (Optional)

  • 1 Can 12-Oz Chopped Tomatoes (Pureed)

  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Ghee


  1. Put the oil in a deep sided saucepan and bring to a gentle heat.

  2. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom and bay leaves and cook until they begin to sizzle.

  3. Add the pureed onion and cook on a medium heat for five minutes.

  4. Add the pureed ginger, pureed garlic and pureed Serrano chilies. Cook for five minutes.

  5. Add all of the ground spices, salt and sugar. Cook on a gentle heat for five minutes.

  6. Add the chicken and toss in the spice/onion mix until each piece gets a coating.

  7. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for five minutes.

  8. Uncover the pan and add the tomatoes.

  9. Add the pureed spinach and combine well.

  10. Cover the pan and cook on a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes.

  11. Simmer uncovered until the sauce is the consistency you like.

  12. Add the fresh spinach leaves and allow them to wilt.

  13. Check for salt before serving.

  14. Serve with plain Basmati rice or with my Pulao recipe.

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