Murgh Saagwala is a delicious and comforting chicken curry from the land of greens- Punjab. ‘Saag’ is a common name in Punjab for dishes prepared with different green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, mustard, collard, radish, beets and basella greens.

Murgh Saagwala is cooked in assorted greens, but Spinach is the most prominent ingredient, enhanced by the robust coriander and strongly scented fenugreek. Some people don’t really like the bitterness in spinach and fenugreek. Blanching and adding some dairy product, like milk, cream or yogurt, minimises the bitterness and enhances the colour and flavour of these vegetables, making them palatable even for the pickiest of eaters.

You can imagine what a nutrient packed dish this is, with combined health benefits of Spinach, fenugreek and coriander. Spinach is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and powerful antioxidant. Fenugreek has been used in this region for ages as a medicinal herb to heal inflammation and cure eating disorders.
Coriander is the most underrated herb of all as we limit its use to garnishing dishes usually. It decreases the risk of several conditions, including cancer and eye diseases.
It has a versatile flavour profile and can be incorporated in food in many different ways, from marinades to dressings and sauces.

There aren’t many spices in this curry and the procedure is pretty straightforward too, because we want the flavours of the greens shine through. The mild, creamy curry is, therefore, perfect accompaniment for both plain roti and steamed rice. For a vegetarian version, just skip chicken and add potatoes, mushrooms, peas or toasted paneer cheese cubes instead.

If any of the greens in the recipe are not available, you can experiment using mustard, beets or daikon/radish greens too.


1/2 kg chicken cut ups
1 +1/2 kg spinach fresh leaves or 2 cups frozen chopped leaves
1 small bunch fenugreek leaves or 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1+1/2 cup thick yogurt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves
4-5 black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup milk or 1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

This Is What You Do:

If using fresh spinach and fenugreek, remove leaves from stems, wash thoroughly to remove grit and dirt.

Boil water in a deep pan. Add spinach leaves. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon submerge in a large bowl full of ice water. Add fenugreek leaves and boil for 30 seconds in the same water. Remove and plunge into the iced water.
(You don’t need to boil frozen spinach and dry fenugreek).

Once cool, drain and blitz in a blender with fresh coriander leaves.

Add oil to the cooking pan, fry onions till golden. Add ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon and salt.

Sauté for a few seconds, add yogurt and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat while stirring continuously so that the yogurt doesn’t split. Cook till the oil separates from the masala.

Add chicken pieces, sauté another 2 minutes or till the chicken is golden on the outside.

Add spinach mix to the pan with 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook till chicken pieces are completely cooked and spinach curry thickened (almost 20 minutes).

Stir in milk or cream to balance the bitterness from the greens.Cook another 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped green or red chilli peppers and onion rings.

Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.

Serves 4

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