Chicken Saagwala

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooks In: 20-25 minutes

Chicken Saagwala

Every Indian restaurant has a version of saagwala – it’s generally one of the healthier options as it has little to no cream, and plenty of spinach!

Don’t be alarmed at what seems like a mountain of spinach in the beginning – it all wilts down to create a rich, tasty saagwala curry. One serving of this will probably give you more greens than most people would have in a whole week!


Print Recipe


  • oil (e.g. soy, canola) 3-4 tablespoons
  • onions 2, sliced
  • ground cumin 1 tablespoon
  • ground chilli 1-2 teaspoons
  • ground cloves ¼ teaspoon
  • ground turmeric ½ teaspoon
  • garlic 3 cloves, minced
  • ginger 2 inches, grated
  • spinach leaves 300g, chopped
  • green chilli 1 large, chopped
  • crushed tomatoes 1 x 400g can
  • chicken thighs 800g skinless and boneless, cut into large chunks
  • lemon juice of 1
  • cream or coconut cream 2 tablespoons (optional)

To serve

  • naan bread 2-4 (or rice for GF)
  • raita* (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large fry pan, fry onions until golden, about 5 minutes. Add spices, garlic and ginger and fry a further 2 minutes.
  1. Wilt fresh spinach by blanching in boiling water or steaming in microwave. Squeeze out excess water and puree spinach with green chilli, tomatoes, cooked onions and spices.
  1. Season chicken with salt. Heat a little more oil in the same pan and fry chicken pieces until lightly browned.
  1. Add spinach puree to chicken and simmer on medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.


  • Just before serving, drizzle cream over curry. Serve curry with naan bread and raita.
  • *To make the raita, mix 3 chopped tomatoes with ½ chopped telegraph cucumber (seeds removed), ½ small finely chopped red onion, a handful of chopped mint leaves, and 1 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt.



Nutritional Information Per Serving
34.8 g
8.9 g
Total Fat
23.7 g
47.6 g


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  • I made this for dinner tonight…yum! Mine didn’t look as pretty as your, but it was delicious!

    • Not to worry, it’s all i the taste! Looks don’t matter! 😉 Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Hannah

    Hi could you do this with lamb ?

    • you sure could, it would be delicious! Make sure you get a nice tender cut of lamb though if you’re going to quick cook it like the chicken. Otherwise, I would suggest slow cooking the lamb first (in stock), and then adding to the saagwala sauce.

  • Sandy McFadyen

    This is the most delicious curry! Think it will be a regular on the menu! Easy recipe too! Thanks

  • Bridget Hurcomb

    So tasty, and healthy too! Great way to get lots of spinach into my 2 and 5 year olds, they loved it. Will definately be making again and so simple to 🙂

    • Awesome to hear! And yes, such a good way to get your greens in 🙂

  • Desiree Bennison

    Hi Nadia, This looks wonderful and I am planning on fixing it for tea tonight. I was just wondering how you work out the carbs and fat for this recipe. Did you include the naan and the cream in the measuring? I don’t plan on using either of these ingredients and wondered if that would effect the numbers at all.

    • Hi Desiree, yes the nutrition analysis does include both the naan and the cream – if you take both out (which is fine), there will be next to no carbs in the meal (can’t tell you exactly without working it out with a nutrition analysis programme in front of me, but at a guess it would only be about 5-10g carbs per serve), and a bit less fat. Enjoy dinner tonight! 🙂

      • Desiree Bennison

        Thanks for that. My honey is going no carbs…Oh my goodness! This is so delicious. I used tandoori chicken thighs that were marked down at the supermarket. Served it on rice and used natural yogurt on top. Will definitely be making this again.

  • Maureen Pettersson

    Making it for the 2nd time – YUMMY !!!! Thanks so much for this recipe 🙂

  • Harri Baillie

    Hi have you tried this with chicken breast instead of thighs? Thanks !

    • Yes, and works great too for a leaner option! 🙂

  • Kirsty Robinson

    Hi there Nadia, unfortunately I am allergic to onion – usually I just omit it from recipes like this one. Can you suggest anything to replace the onion with given there is quite a bit in this recipe? (I also can’t eat spring onion or leek). Look forward to any suggestions you might have 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Kirsty, celery would work well, or a mix of celery and carrot (like a mirepoix with no onion). You could also add fennel and/or green pepper to this mix for extra flavour 🙂

      • Kirsty Robinson

        Fantastic!! Thanks so much for your quick reply, looking forward to trying it out this week 🙂

  • Victoria

    Hi Nadia, I have made this a couple of times and loved it! I was hoping to make a big batch of the sauce and jarring it so I would have some ready to make quick dinners. Would it be ok to freeze in batches? And if so, how long do you think it could be frozen for? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Victoria, glad to hear you like it! Yep it would freeze well for around 3 months 🙂

      • Victoria

        Thank you!