Time Required: ~1 hour

Saag Chicken/Tofu

By no means do I claim this is a perfectly authentic saag recipe.
But it is a healthy, delicious saag that lasts really well as leftovers.

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Notes:

If you want a very spicy saag, try adding a full jalapeño and/or an extra ½ tsp of cayenne pepper.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week. Store saag and rice separately, then combine when reheating.

Saag Chicken/Tofu

Ingredients

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (roughly 1-1.5 lbs)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • ½ jalapeño or serrano pepper (optional)
  • 15 oz spinach (3 5oz packages)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • up to ½ cup water, olive oil, or milk to adjust consistency as desired (optional)
Serve With:
  • Basmati rice (or any preferred rice), cooked as directed
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper, plus a pinch
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, plus a pinch
  • garlic powder to taste

Steps

  1. Freeze chicken for 20 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is in the freezer, dice onion and pepper. Peel and mince ginger.
  3. Slice the chicken into 1-2 inch cubes, then place it in a bowl with the lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic (pressed with a garlic press), the turmeric, the cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Marinate for 15-30 minutes, stirring gently once or twice to evenly coat.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the coriander, cardamom, garam masala, and fenugreek. Stir to create a rough paste with the oil and sauté roughly 2 mins until it starts to smell slightly toasted/nutty.
  5. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the ginger, the remaining 3 cloves of garlic (pressed with a garlic press), and the jalapeño or serrano if you're using one, and cook 2 minutes or until cohesive, cooked through, and fragrant.
  6. Add ⅓ of the spinach and sauté until wilted. Set all but a small amount of the onion/garlic/ginger mixture in a medium bowl. Add another ⅓ of the spinach to the remaining onion/garlic/ginger mixture in the skillet, wilt, and add to the bowl. Repeat with the remaining spinach.
  7. Set the bowl aside and let cool while you cook the chicken.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the pan. Add the chicken to the pan and stir fry until cooked through and evenly browned.
  9. Add the spinach mixture to a blender and blend until mostly smooth but not fully pulverized. Mix in the lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  10. Add the spinach mixture back to the pan with the chicken and reheat over low heat, stirring to coat the chicken and heat evenly.
  11. In a second nonstick pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cumin and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add the cumin paste to the spinach and chicken and stir to combine.
  12. Taste and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder as needed. Add water, oil, or milk to the pan to thin the saag if desired.
  13. Serve over basmati rice, or rice of your choice.
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