Indian Chicken Saag


Indian spinach curry with paneer cheese.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 servings


  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, or more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, divided

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh spinach

  • ¼ tablespoon butter

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 fresh red chile pepper, minced

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root

  • 5 fresh curry leaves

  • 5 cardamom pods

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ (8 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 12 ounces paneer, diced

  • ¼ cup heavy cream, or more to taste


  1. Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon garam masala, salt, and pepper.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until nicely browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Add spinach and season with salt; cook, covered, until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Melt butter in the same skillet used for chicken over medium-high heat. Saute onion and a pinch of salt in the hot pan until onion has softened, stirring to pick up browned bits left from the chicken, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, chile peppers, and ginger; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, adding olive oil if necessary.

  5. Add curry leaves, cardamom pods, mustard seed, and turmeric; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and continue to cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, honey, and sauteed spinach; reduce heat to low.

  6. Blend sauce mixture in the skillet using an immersion blender until smooth. Continue to let simmer, 10 to 20 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat. Add chicken and stir in paneer and heavy cream.

Cook's Note:

If you don't have an immersion blender, you may pour the sauce mixture into an electric blender and pour back into the pan in batches for the final simmer. If you don't own a blender, consider chopping the sauteed spinach thoroughly before adding to the sauce mixture to simmer.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

530 Calories
32g Fat
18g Carbs
43g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 530
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 875mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 55mg 273%
Calcium 159mg 12%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 1105mg 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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