Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Chicken Saag

Chicken Saag

This Indian classic is brimming with vegetables and wonderful spices.


  • 6 cups fresh spinach, tightly packed, washed, and drained, or 2 cups frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilis, stemmed and finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste*
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder  
  • 1/2 salt or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes  
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaf (crushed to powder)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Step 1

If using fresh spinach, blanch it for 1 minute in a large pot of boiling water, and then use a large strainer to transfer it to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Squeeze out the excess water, place the spinach in a blender, and purée it; set aside. If using frozen spinach, once it has thawed, squeeze it gently to remove any excess liquid.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet and, when it’s hot, add the butter and olive oil. Add cumin seeds, onion, and chilis and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are light brown. Add ginger garlic paste, garam masala, cayenne, salt, and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until firm and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through. Add the nutmeg and fenugreek and stir for 2 minutes, then add the puréed spinach and a cup of water, and cook for another 5 minutes. For a creamier sauce, add the heavy cream and cook 3 to 5 more minutes. Serve with naan or over basmati rice.

*To make your own ginger garlic paste, in a small food grinder process 2 ounces peeled garlic cloves, 1 ounce peeled fresh ginger, and 1 teaspoon olive oil to a paste consistency, adding water by the teaspoon if necessary.

Yields 4 to 6 servings