Chicken Saag
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Posted by Pramila Fernando

Serves 4.

The word saag means greens and traditionally, spinach is the usual choice for adding to meat and poultry, although other greens also work well. Chicken saag is one of the best-known dishes to have originated in the state of Punjab in India.

225g fresh spinach leaves, washed
2.5cm/1 in piece fresh root ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh green chilli, roughly chopped
200ml/ 1 cup of water
30ml/ 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
1tsp chilli powder
2tsp curry powder
1tsp salt
3 tbsp natural (plain) yogurt, plus extra to serve
8 chicken thighs, skinned
naan bread, to serve

1. Cook the spinach, without water, in a tightly covered pan for 5 minutes. Put the spinach, ginger, garlic and green chilli with 1/4 cup of water in to a food processor and process to a puree.
2. Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and peppercorns and fry for 2 minutes. Add the onion and fry for 6-8 minutes more.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt and chilli powder and stir well to mix. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add spinach and the remaining water to the pan, and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
5. stir in the yogurt, about 1 tbsp at a time, and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add the chicken, cover and cook for 25- 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
7. Serve with warm fresh naan, drizzle over some natural yogurt and dust lightly with the chilli powder.

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