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Spicy Chicken and Spinach (Saagwala)

Cook Time:

12 - 15 minutes cooking time


Serves 3 - 4 people

Spicy Chicken and Spinach (Saagwala)

To marinade -
2 packs of organic free range chicken breasts (4 breasts)
Juice of half a lemon
1.5 dessert spoons vegetable oil
1 dessert spoon thick sheep’s yoghurt
1 dried Thai red chilli
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon garam masala

For the Sauce -
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried Thai red chillies
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon powdered fenugreek
1 large pack of spinach (400 – 600 g)
1 tins chopped organic tomatoes
1 dessert spoon tomato puree
400 millilitres gluten free vegetable stock
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 dessert spoons of vegetable oil

Begin by adding the vegetable oil to a Tupperware dish, then add the yoghurt and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Now heat a dry pan and when hot add the Thai red chilli and coriander seeds then heat and stir until smoking, then add to a grinder, grind to a fine powder and add to the Tupperware dish with the garam masala. Use a whisk to mix it all together then set aside. Continue by removing any fat or sinew from the chicken breasts then cut into large pieces, add to the dish and mix thoroughly then leave to marinade for at least 2 hours.

Heat a large saucepan of water with a teaspoon of salt and when boiling add the spinach, stir in and push down for 1-2 minutes before draining in a colander and pouring over cold water. Leave to cool while heating a dry pan then adding the coriander and cumin seeds as well as chillies, heat until smoking while stirring then transfer to a grinder adding the turmeric, fenugreek and garam masala before grinding to a fine powder. Add the tin of tomatoes to a blender, add the spice powder and blend to a fine passata then set aside. Peel the ginger and then cut off one third before using a grater to finely grate 2/3. Heat one dessert spoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan and when hot add the grated ginger and stir fry for one minute, then add the tomato puree and stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the passata/spice mix and stir thoroughly. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally.

Now take an iron griddle and baste with vegetable oil. Heat the griddle and when hot add a few of the chicken breast chunks, cook for at least a minute before turning. Ideally you want them to sear across causing caramelised strips to appear. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes total then add to the sauce and continue with the rest of the chicken until it is all in the sauce. Cook the sauce for another 8 – 10 minutes stirring regularly and while this is happening, take the reserved 1/3 ginger and slice into thin slices before cutting across into thin fingers (this is called julienne). Serve the chicken and sauce topped with the julienned ginger along with rice. I also roasted some cherry tomatoes in the hot oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius to add on the side.

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