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Paalak Chicken

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I’ve aways called this quick paalak chicken recipe chicken saagwala. Until now.

30 minutes to make from start to finish

30 minutes to make from start to finish

I am currently writing a series of Indian curries and other main dishes that can be made in 30 minutes or less from start to finish. The idea started when my kids talked me into purchasing a ready made indian meal and it was nothing short of terrible. I won’t mention that supermarket or brand as I don’t really want to get sued.

Convenient as the dish was, it was really bad. As the ready made meal wasn’t exactly cheap, it must have been created by someone for convenience only.

I have so many recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less so I decided to write them out. There is no reason to resort to purchasing such trash, regardless of how busy you are.

To give this spinach based chicken recipe a special name, I opened a conversion up on my Facebook page to see what ideas popped up. There were quite a few great suggestions.

Martin Kitcher suggested ‘Chicken DanSaag’ and got a few thumbs up. I did like that one.

Tracey Gwynne came up with ‘chicken popeye’ and then Steve Barlow referring to the the epic nature of the dish and the ingredients suggested Chicken Saaga. I loved both of these ideas too.

In the end, I went for the Hindi name for the dish which was recommended by Ashita John. This will help people find the recipe through searches online so it makes sense to keep it real. Ashita wrote ‘Spinach is called ‘Paalak’ in Hindi…You can name it ‘Paalak Chicken’ or ‘Haryali Chicken’. ‘Hara’ in Hindi means Green color(color of gravy).’

I liked the haryali chicken idea too but I had to pick one so there you go.

Whatever you decide to call this spicy spinach curry, I really hope you give it a try. It’s a nice weekday recipe. You can literally get home from work and make it in less than a half hour. Of course, if you have a little more time, it will get even better.

Slicing chicken

Chef slicing chicken at a diagonal. This will help the chicken cook faster.

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My 30 Minute Quick Paalak Chicken

My 30 Minute Quick Paalak Chicken


  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (the healthy choice) or vegetable oil
  • 3 - 4 chicken breasts cut at an angle as above
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 large onions - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece ginger - grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 200ml tomato pasata
  • 2 - 5 fresh green chillies
  • 125ml (1/2 cup water or chicken stock)
  • 200g fresh baby spinach
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. When bubbling, add the peppercorns followed immediately by the chopped onions.
  3. Allow the onions to sizzle for about five minutes until transparent and soft.
  4. While the onions are frying, place the spinach, chillies, coriander and water/stock in a blender and blend until very smooth. About two minutes
  5. Add the garlic and ginger to the fried onions and then add the sliced chicken.
  6. Stir well and let the chicken begin to cook for about tow minutes.
  7. Add the cumin and coriander and the tomato pasta.
  8. Now pour in the spinach mixture and cover the pan.
  9. Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is hot and cooked through about 12 minutes.

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Anna Edwards

Sunday 1st of May 2022

I really enjoyed this curry, it was very tasty

Dan Toombs

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Thanks so much, Anna. Really nice to hear. Dan

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