Perry Rylance

Personal & Professional blog

Chicken Saag

This is a recipe using the same spice mix listed in my Squid and spinach curry. This makes a great base for Saag Aloo, Saag Paneer or any other spinach dish. The spinach base is very similar to what I’ve tried and loved in many British-Indian restaurants. This base is something I’ve been trying to get right for some years now, the secret is to use frozen spinach rather than fresh.

This is a great, tasty low carb alternative to chicken and rice, it stores and re-heats very well. At some point I will be trying a less diet-conscious version of this with coconut cream, cooking the chicken in the sauce.

45 – 60 mins prep and cooking time, serves 3 – 4.

The spice mix.


  • 8 curry leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/3 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 750g frozen spinach
  • Dash of tamarind sauce
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 6 sweet vine ripened tomatoes
Once you can stir the spinach base and see that there is no moisture left in the bottom of the pan, the base is done.


Measure all the spices out into a bowl. Finely chop the garlic cloves, quarter the tomatoes. Grate the ginger.

Cut the chicken into ~1 inch cubes, wrap in foil and place on a baking tray. Put the chicken in a preheated oven on gas mark 6 / 200°c, cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a pan and when the seeds start to pop, add the spinach, garlic and tomatoes, add the garlic paste, tamarind sauce and stir well. Cook on a low – medium heat until all the moisture has steamed off, stirring frequently. As you stir you’ll be able to see the remaining water in the bottom of the pan, once that is all boiled off then the base is done.

All cooked, chicken in, ready to serve!

Take the chicken out of the oven and mix in with the spinach base, serve hot.