Indian-Spiced Chicken and Spinach


The flavor of this dish is rich, fragrant, and mellow—not hot. You can make the sauce ahead of time and simmer the chicken in it just before serving.Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

Indian-Spiced Chicken and Spinach
Photo: © Nicole Franzen
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced

  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all), cut into 3 pieces each


  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute, and then stir in the jalapeños and tomatoes. Add the cream, cinnamon stick, and water. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid and add the spinach to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the chicken and the remaining 12 teaspoon salt, cover, and simmer the stew until just done, about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Serve With

Indian basmati rice would be an ideal accompaniment here, but plain white rice will work well, too.

Suggested Pairing

An off-dry Chenin Blanc from California or a Chenin-Blanc-based French Vouvray (look for a demi-sec) will be lovely with the aromatic cream sauce. The acidity of these wines and their melon and apricot notes are perfect foils for the exotic stew.

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