I was thinking of naming this post as Hulk Chicken or Alien Chicken Curry but it occurred to me that it would be the corniest click bait ever so decided against it. I had got these really awesomely fresh and tender baby spinach leaves at the local fresh market and there is plenty more available so, dear readers, you can expect quite a few spinach recipes from Sautéed and Baked in the next few days, though i do promise not to over do it with the spinach recipes.
Several years ago when I was working in Mumbai, I had eaten Chicken Hariyali at a restaurant close to Crawford Market and it was amazingly delicious! So every year when spinach is available, I make this recipe which is infinitely more delicious than what I had eaten in Mumbai. I add plenty of panache to it by adding fresh herbs to it as well which takes this age-old recipe up by a couple of notches. I am taking it very easy with the spices so that we get a well-balanced gravy. The emphasis has to be on the Spinach and Fresh Herbs rather than the spices.
Here’s what you will need for my special version of Murgh Hariyali:
Ingredients for Three Servings:
Chicken – 250 Grams Medium Sized Pieces
Spinach Leaves – 1/2 Kilo
Fresh Mint Leaves – 1/2 Cup
Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 Cup
Green Chilies – 2 Medium Sized
Onion – 1 Medium Size Sliced Finely
Ginger and Garlic Paste – 2 Teaspoon
Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder (Cinnamon, Clove and Cardamom) – 1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/4th Teaspoon
Fresh Cream (Optional) – 1 Tablespoon
Salt – To Taste
Water – 1 and 1/2 Cups
Cooking Oil – 3 Tablespoons
Prep for this dish:
In a vessel add one cup of water and place on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1/4th Teaspoon of Salt. Wash and roughly chop Spinach Leaves and add to boiling water. We need to blanch the Spinach for a couple of minutes only. Once done, strain water and cool Spinach leaves.
Once Spinach leaves are cooled, place in blender with fresh Mint,Coriander leaves and Green Chillies. Blitz till completely smooth. This paste is going to give you a really smooth and silky gravy.
Now in a Kadhai, heat up Cooking Oil on medium-high heat and sauté Onion Slices until translucent. Add Ginger and Garlic Paste and cook till oil separates. Add Powdered spices and stir.
Add Chicken Pieces.and stir really well. Turn heat down to medium-low and ensure that the Chicken Pieces are properly coated with the spices. Stir occasionally for three to four minutes and add half a cup of water. Add Salt now and stir. Cover and leave to simmer for ten minutes.
After ten minutes give the cooking curry a quick and gently stir and add the Spinach, Mint Coriander paste and green Chilies and stir really well but do so gently so as to not break up the Chicken Pieces. Cover and let it simmer for fifteen minutes more but remember to open and stir occasionally.
After fifteen minutes remove cover and stir. Turn heat up to medium-high and evaporate any excess water which might have been released in the cooking process. This tip might be a bit late in this recipe but its best to use a non-stick Kadhai for this recipe as you can really reduce the amount of liquid in the gravy easily in a non-stick Kadhai. The thicker this gravy gets the better your curry will taste. This should take about ten minutes tops.
Test for seasoning. You’ll know that the Chicken is cooked if the meat is falling off the bone when poked gently with a fork.
And it’s done. A delicious recipe with a truly mind blowing gravy! The Spinach, Coriander and Mint come together to form a truly well-balanced gray so sticking to the proportions I have mentioned above is really important. Add Cream to it and enjoy! Best had with Tandoori Roti or Parathas!