The first thing I will say, is that I am in no-way saying that this recipe resembles the Chicken Saag recipes that you get in Indian Restaurants. Reason being that I’m really not trying to!!
When I’m working hard, but also trying to eat healthily, I find that I constantly get led-astray by the portions of chips, pasta, cakes, etc in the work canteen. Consequently, I don’t eat healthily at all. The answer seems to be to take lunch in and make sure that it is interesting enough that I’m not tempted by anything else!
This dish came about from a ready-meal that you can buy in most supermarkets. Purporting to be healthy and compared to some ready-meals it was. I still figured I could still make it better though! I wanted the heat of a curry without the cream, ghee, fat, etc which makes it not so healthy! So I settled on what I’m calling a Chicken and Tomato Saag.
Because I wanted to take it to work to have for lunch and I’m a bit weird about re-heating rice in the unspecified-wattage work microwave, I opted for the potato option that you find in the ready-meals. You can just as easily serve with rice instead though!
This recipe easily makes enough for 6 portions. If you don’t want to make it all at once, I’d suggest making the sauce and freezing it until you need it, makes it much faster next time!
To make this, I firstly made the curry sauce as follows:
For the Sauce
- ginger (around 15g once peeled)
- garlic (2 cloves, around the same amount as the ginger)
- 1 small green chilli (de-seeded)
- 1 small red chilli (de-seeded)
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 onions
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 1.5tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4tsp cayenne Pepper
- 800g tomatoes
- splash lemon juice
- 2 tbsp sugar (I used sweetner instead!)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- pinch of bicarbonate of soda (not too much!)
- Blitz the ginger, garlic, chillies and 1tsp of the oil in a blender to make a paste
- Chop the onion finely and gently fry until softened with 1 tsp of the oil
- Once cooked, add the spices and stir through. Be careful not to burn them!
- Add the tomatoes, sugar and a splash of lemon juice then salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer gently for about 10 minutes then set aside.
Note: If you find that this sauce is too bitter (sometimes it can be!) then add a very small pinch of bicarbonate of soda, trust me, it neutralises the acid and takes the “edge off” – be careful not to add too much though, add a pinch then check, you can always add a pinch more if you need to but go too far and it tastes rank!
For the curry
- 800g chicken (diced)
- 300g spinach
- 2 red peppers
- 2tsp oil
- New Potatoes
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Chop the red peppers and add to the pan with 1tsp of the oil. Fry gently until softened
- Add the chicken to the pan and fry until browned
- Add the curry sauce and simmer for 20-30 minutes
- In the meantime, if you are having potatoes with it, pre-heat the oven to 200⁰-220⁰ and chop some new potatoes in half lengthways.
- Parboil the potatoes for about 5 minutes, until they are slightly softened, then toss in 1tsp oil and 2 tsp smoked paprika.
- Spread the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes until browned
- Wilt the spinach in a pan then squeeze as much of the water out as possible.
- Add it to the sauce and stir through.
- Put it on a plate and eat it all up!!