I am a HUGE fan of Indian food. It is not a category of cuisine that I grew up eating, though. In fact, I can remember my first Indian dinner. I was in college and a dear friend of mine took me out and introduced me to her favorite dishes. Everything was intensified compared to what I was used to eating. Even the rice was exciting, with notes of cumin and buttery, savory flavor. From creamy and mild to spicy and sour, every single taste bud in my mouth was stimulated in new and exciting ways, and so begin my life long love of Indian food.
When I started my Whole30 adventure last month, I loved all the recipes I came across that packed a big flavor punch. The smell of warm Indian spices simmering always makes me hungry, so this Palak Chicken was a great boredom-buster and gave me another great alternative to salad at lunchtime. I made the dish for my photo shoot/ playdate with Amy and she enjoyed eating it as much as I did.
This savory chicken and spinach dish is Whole30 compliant, which means you are free to indulge even while watching your carbs.
For the chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp ghee
For the spinach
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 1 inch cube of ginger grated
- 1 tsp freshly ground coriander
- 1 tsp freshly ground cumin
- 1 fresh tomato pureed
- 1 lb frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp garam masala
- cayenne pepper or chili flakes
- salt to taste
- white vinegar to taste
Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and curry powder. Heat the ghee in a pan and cook the chicken for about 8 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
For the spinach sauce, heat the ghee in a deep pan. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coriander and cumin and cook for another 1 minute until you start to smell the spices' aroma.
Stir in the tomato puree. Fry the mixture for 5-10 minutes, until the oil begins to separate a bit and the mixture is thickened. Add the spinach and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
If desired, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. You may also leave it chunkier for more texture if you like it better that way.
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the spinach mixture. Cook through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garam masala at the end of cooking and season with cayenne and salt according to your taste preference. If the flavor of the curry needs a little brightening, adding a tablespoon or so of white vinegar or citrus juice can be a welcome addition.
Serve over cauliflower rice if desired. If you are not following the Whole30 plan, rice or naan make great accompaniments.
I hope you enjoy this Palak Chicken recipe and that it helps you to stay on track with your healthy eating lifestyle. Don’t forget to come back and rate my recipe if you make it and share with friends!