Chicken and Spinach Curry is a delicious dish made with tender chicken pieces and fresh spinach leaves cooked in a fragrant blend of spices and a creamy sauce. Not only is this Indian-style curry the perfect fakeaway, but it’s quick and easy to boot.
- The BEST Fakeaway Chicken Spinach Curry
- Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken and Spinach Curry
- Chicken and Spinach Curry Ingredients
- Ingredient Notes
- How to Make Chicken and Spinach Curry: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Recipe Substitutions
- Recipe Tips
- Nutrition Tips: What are the Potential Health Benefits of Brown Rice?
- What to Serve with Chicken Curry
- More Delicious Meals
- Printable Recipe Card
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Pin Recipe for Later!
The BEST Fakeaway Chicken Spinach Curry
My palate was trained to adore Indian food from a very young age. So, if you’re anything like me, you LOVE an Indian takeaway. And I still do enjoy a good old curry occasionally.
However, Indian takeaways, like any other, can be loaded with deep-fried foods (yep, that onion bhaji, samosa, and pappadam), and oil-laden dishes (anyone say lamb rogan josh?). And without a doubt, the excessively creamy sauces (yep, those UK favorites – korma and tikka masala). So, fakeaways can be a healthier option because you can control the ingredients and cooking methods. For instance, you can use lean proteins, add plenty of vegetables, and cook with healthy fats like olive oil.
Additionally, making your own curry at home can help you reduce the amount of sodium and other additives commonly found in restaurant dishes. Also, cooking at home allows you to adjust the spice level and flavors to your liking. Overall, fakeaways can be a great way to enjoy your favorite takeout dishes while still prioritizing your health and wellness – and this recipe for chicken and spinach curry is here to help you do just that!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken and Spinach Curry
- It’ll be ready in less than 30 minutes
- It’s loaded with protein, fiber, vitamin C and magnesium
- It tastes EVEN better than a takeaway!!
Chicken and Spinach Curry Ingredients
It’s quick and easy to make this chicken and spinach curry recipe at home, so when you next pop out to the grocery store, here’s what you’re going to need:
- Curry Paste: I greatly respect the time and effort that goes into making authentic Indian curry dishes, and it’s fun to recreate traditional recipes from time to time. But when you only have half an hour, the secret is a quick, easy, flavorful curry paste. This is achieved by using a quality curry powder in addition to tomato paste (tomato puree), ginger, garlic, and onion. Everything is puréed, instead of chopped, so that you don’t need to blend the sauce with an immersion blender or in a food processor. What’s more, there’s no need to marinate the chicken!
- Chicken Breast: I use skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces – they are tasty and also lovely and lean. However, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer. I do tend to avoid bone-in chicken for this recipe because it takes longer to cook.
- Baby Spinach: For a creamy spinach sauce, I like to chop the spinach before adding it to the curry because it creates a better texture – trust me on this. It’s also added at the very last minute to preserve as many of its valuable nutrients as possible.
- Chicken Stock: Contributes to a super-flavorful sauce.
- Coconut Milk: To make the sauce creamy and add even more flavor.
- Almond Butter: Gives more depth to the sauce.
- Brown Basmati Rice: Some slow-burning carbohydrates because we want maximum satisfaction.
- Cumin Seeds: Adds a warming blend of peppery and smoky notes to the rice.
- Sea Salt Flakes and Pepper: Both are equally important to help bring out the curry flavors so they pop.
How to Make Chicken and Spinach Curry: Step-By-Step Instructions
This chicken curry recipe comes together easily with just a handful of ingredients, so if you’re ready, here’s what you need to do:
- Cook Rice
Firstly, add the rice and cumin to a medium saucepan, and cook the rice according to package instructions.
- Curry Paste ~ Step 1
Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add the curry powder, garlic, and ginger to the hot oil, and then stir for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Curry Paste ~ Step 2
Then, add the tomato paste (purée) and grated onion and mix well – this is your curry paste. You’ll need to cook the onion down for about 5 minutes so it sweetens in flavor.
- Add Chicken
Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and stir until it’s coated with the curry paste.
- Curry Sauce
Add the chicken stock and coconut milk while stirring to combine. Add the lid and simmer on a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Stir occasionally.
- Add Spinach
Remove the lid, and add the chopped spinach and almond paste and stir until the spinach has wilted.
- Serve and Enjoy!
And now, for the best part – serve the curry sauce over rice, top with fresh coriander and a generous sprinkle of flaked almonds (optional), and enjoy!
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩Jump to Recipe
Don’t let ingredients you don’t like or can’t get hold of at your local supermarket stop you from making this delicious chicken spinach curry because there are always plenty of options to make the recipe work for you. Just remember, they will give you slightly different flavor outcomes, and you will be required to have some cooking experience to understand how and when these ingredients should be incorporated into the dish.
- Chicken Breasts: Chicken thighs, beef, tofu, or paneer
- Medium Curry Powder: Mild curry powder, garam masala, or korma spice mix
- Fresh Spinach: Frozen spinach (thawed), collard greens, or mustard greens
- Chicken Stock: Vegetable stock
- Coconut Milk: Coconut cream, Greek yogurt, heavy cream (double cream), milk, or cashew cream
- Almond Butter: Cashew butter or peanut butter
- Cumin Seeds: Ground cumin
- Brown Basmati Rice: Wild rice, white basmati rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa
- Use fresh spinach: By adding fresh spinach towards the end of the cooking time, you can stop it from overcooking and losing its vibrant green color.
- Chop the spinach: Chopping the spinach like a herb rather than adding whole leaves improves the overall texture of the dish.
- Don’t overcook the chicken: Simmering the chicken longer than the recipe recommends will cause it to dry out.
Nutrition Tips: What are the Potential Health Benefits of Brown Rice?
I wasted so many years worrying about consuming carbohydrates due to weight gain, and what happened? I gained weight anyway – because low-carb diets were too restrictive for me personally. As a result, I now look at carbohydrates very differently. And perhaps, the following examples of how slow-releasing carbs benefit health might help you do the same.
- Brown Rice May Help Lower Cholesterol: Brown rice contains soluble fiber, a nutrient that may help lower cholesterol levels. [Source] In brief, it works by attaching to the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your small intestine and prevents it from entering the bloodstream, where it can cause damage. The LDL cholesterol is then released through your stool. [Source]
- Brown Rice May Contribute to Stable Blood Sugar: Fiber also helps to slow down the rate that carbohydrates are absorbed during digestion, ensuring a steady flow of glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, fiber plays a crucial role in keeping blood sugar levels in check. [Source]
- Brown Rice May Support the Removal of Toxins from the Body: Fiber can also bind to and absorb nasty carcinogens, and toxins, eliminating them so they can’t harm the body. [Source]
What to Serve with Chicken Curry
- Cauliflower Rice
- Spicy Mango Salsa
- Bombay Potatoes
- Aloo Chaat (Crispy Spiced Potatoes)
- Bread like Naan, Roti, or Chapatis
More Delicious Meals
Ready for more delicious and nutritious meals? Here are some ideas:
- Green Goddess Pasta
- Ground Beef and Zucchini Pasta Casserole
- Spiced Lamb Lettuce Wraps
- Easy Chicken Tikka with Mint Sauce
- Chipotle Fish Pie
- Easy Sticky Soy Garlic Chicken
Thinking of making this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I always LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Chicken and Spinach Curry
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- 1 cup (200 g) brown basmati rice
- 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1⅔ cups (400 ml) cold water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp medium curry powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (purée)
- 1 brown onion, coarsely grated
- 3 (500 g) chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (230 ml) chicken stock
- ⅔ cup (160 g) coconut milk
- 2 packed cups (60 g) baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients.
- Cook Rice: Add rice and cumin seeds to a medium saucepan of cold water and cook rice according to package instructions.
- Curry Paste: Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add the curry powder, garlic, and ginger to the hot oil, and then stir for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Then, add the tomato paste (purée) and grated onion and mix well – this is your curry paste. You'll need to cook the onion down for about 5 minutes so it sweetens in flavor.
- Add Chicken: Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and stir until it's coated with the curry paste.
- Curry Sauce: Add the chicken stock and coconut milk while stirring to combine. Add the lid and simmer on a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Stir occasionally. Add some cold water to loosen the sauce if it becomes too thick. In the final minute of cooking, add the chopped spinach and almond butter and stir to warm through and evenly distribute throughout the sauce.
- Serve and Enjoy! And now, for the best part – serve the curry sauce over rice, top with fresh coriander and a generous sprinkle of flaked almonds (optional), and enjoy!
- HOB: Reheat in a saucepan over a medium heat. Ensure the chicken is piping hot throughout before serving.
- OVEN: Place the curry in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until piping hot throughout.
- MICROWAVE: Place the curry in a microwave-safe dish and reheat until piping hot throughout. All microwaves vary.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
Frequently Asked Questions
The word ‘saag’ means green leafy vegetables. Therefore, a chicken saag recipe contains one or more leafy greens, like spinach, mustard greens, or collard greens, that form a deep green sauce. Whereas this chicken and spinach curry simply contains spinach.
The word ‘palak’ means spinach. Therefore, this chicken and spinach curry recipe could be described as a chicken palak recipe. Although in authentic Indian cuisine, the differences would also include spice variations.
This recipe uses a medium curry powder which is readily available from most grocery stores. However, you could use garam masala (2 tablespoons as it’s stronger), a korma spice mix, a tikka masala spice mix, or a mixture of spices like ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground turmeric (1 tablespoon of each), plus 1-2 teaspoons of ground red chili powder, depending on the spice level you want. Each option will provide a variation in flavor.
Curry powder is a blend of ground spices. Usually, varying amounts of ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cardamom. As such, curry powder has a complex flavor profile that adds lots of depth to many dishes like soups, stews, and curries. Ground turmeric has a mildly bitter taste with notes of ginger and pepper. It’s commonly used as a natural coloring agent in foods such as pickles or rice dishes like biryani.
Ground cumin is made from the seeds of the Cuminum cyminum plant. It has a warm and earthy flavor with hints of sweetness and bitterness. On the other hand, curry powder is a blend of several spices.
Garam masala typically contains a combination of warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg that create a warm and spicy taste that’s typically more pungent than curry powder. Curry powder usually includes turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, or powder, as well as chili peppers which gives it more heat.
Instead of using chicken as this recipe suggests, you would instead use paneer, a cheese that is common in the Indian subcontinent. It also makes for a tasty vegetarian option.