Punjabi Chicken with Tomatoes & Spinach
If you are new to Punjabi cooking, you will find deliciously rich, creamy meals reminiscent of the most delicious comfort foods. While many of these dishes are drenched in ghee, a type of clarified butter, others utilize yogurt for their creamy texture. We used Greek style yogurt in our Punjabi chicken recipe. Greek style yogurt is thicker than American style yogurt, and if you have never had it before, it is slightly more bitter. This gave us the room to create a creamy dish without loading it up on saturated fat, but giving it a good boost in protein.
We cut our chicken into four-inch pieces. Pieces of any other size may affect the cook time, so try to keep these chunks uniform. The chiles we used were the serrano, but any hot chile could be substituted. He suggests jalepeno if you don’t have serranos on hand. This is an interesting looking dish because you think it’s going to have more tomato flavor and red coloring, but then it turns green when you add the spinach to it. The color is cool. Our taste testers liked this recipe, they said that it smelled especially fragrant and that the scent translated into the flavor quite nicely. It was a welcome new twist to eating chicken.
We served our Punjabi chicken with basmati rice, which is indigenous to the Punjab region, and na’an bread. Be sure to remove the cardamom seeds, the bay leaves, and the cinnamon stick before serving.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 Black Cardamom Pods
- 2 Organic Bay Leaves
- 1 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 - 4 small hot green chiles
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cups (or 1 can) diced or whole tomatoes - try to find low sodium
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger Powder
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into 4 ounce portions
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 bag of fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup Greek style yogurt
- In a large dutch oven or saucepan heat oil to medium high heat.
- Add Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cinnamon Stick and chiles. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add onions, saute until onions begin to be transparent.
- In a food processor, combine tomatoes, garlic and ginger - puree until smooth.
- Add cut chicken and tomato puree to the onions - stir to combine.
- Rinse and dry the food processor and add spinach. Process about 1-2 minutes, making sure that all the spinach has been processed.
- Add Cumin, Coriander, Garam Masala and Salt to the chicken and tomato mixture, stir to combine.
- Add spinach and yogurt, stir.
- Cook on medium heat about 10-12 minutes until liquid starts to reduce.
- Remove Cardamom, Bay Leaf and Cinnamon Stick and serve over rice or with Indian flatbread.