Palak Chicken with Peas Pilau Rice

Palak Chicken, or, spinach and chicken curry (or in its proper Urdu form, Palak Murgh), is a dish we hold quite close to our heart. Palak Chicken is a popular Indian dish where Chicken is cooked with Spinach in an Onion and Tomato curry base until it becomes tender. It is delicious served with a Pea Pilau Rice

Palak Chicken with Peas Pilau Rice

Ingredients

For the Palak Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
300 g Spinach, roughly chopped
400 g Chopped Tomatoes
1 large Onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 Tsp Green Chilli Paste
2 Tbsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
20 g Coriander, chopped
4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
40 g Unsalted Butter
200 ml Water (optional)
Sea Salt to taste
1.5 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Mild Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds

For the Peas Pilau Rice

150 g Basmati Rice, washed and soaked for at least 1 hour and then drained
100 g Frozen Peas
2 Medium Onions, peeled and sliced finely
2 Tbsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
200 ml Water
1 Tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
6 Green Cardamom Pods
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds

Method

For the Palak Chicken

In a saucepan, heat the Vegetable Oil and add the Cumin Seeds
Let the Seeds sizzle in the Oil for about 1 minute
Add the Onions to the saucepan and cook until they are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes stirring continually
When the Onions are caramelised add the Green Chilli, Ginger and Garlic Paste and cook for about 1 minute on a medium heat
Add the Chopped Tomatoes and cook for a further 1 minute until all ingredients have combined well
Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a hand blender, blend the masala until it is fluffy and the colour has changed to pale orange
Return the pan to the heat
Add the Turmeric, Chilli Powder, Salt and Butter and cook for a good 12c minutes on a medium heat
Add Water if the masala begins to thicken too much
You may need to cover the saucepan as the masala may begin tom split so it is important to stir regularly
Add the Spinach and cook for a further 10 minutes until it combines well with the sauce and the masal becomes a little thicker
Add the Chicken and cook for 12 minutes, or until the Chicken is cooked
Add Water if needed
Finally add the Garam Masala and chopped Coriander
Cook for a final 1 minute


For the Peas Pilau Rice

Heat the Vegetable Oil in a pan, keep on a low heat and add the Cumin Seeds, Cardamom Pods and Cinnamon
When the spices begin to sizzle add the Ginger/Garlic Paste and cook for about 30 seconds
Add the Onions to the pan and cook on a medium heat until golden, about 5-6 minutes
Add the Peas to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds
Add the Water and Salt and bring to the boil
Then add the drained Rice and stir occasionally until the Water has reduced
Once the Water has been reduced, decrease the heat to low and cover the rice with two small pieces of kitchen foil to cover the rice fully in the pan and let it steam cook for about 4 minutes with the lid on
Then switch off the heat and leave the pan for about 5 minutes
Remove the lid from the pan and the foil and use a spoon to flick the rice from the side of the pan whilst shaking the pan to open and fluff up the rice
Serve