My Oven-Baked Madras Palak Chicken is a recipe I devised not long ago when I had loads of spinach in the fridge that needed using up. As a huge fan of the well-known North Indian dish Palak Paneer, which is simply cubes of firm paneer cheese doused in a curried spinach sauce, I wanted to try something a little different using chicken thighs.
Palak, meaning ‘spinach’ in Hindi, takes wilted spinach, loads of aromatics and fragrant spices and fresh tomatoes and is blitzed into a beautiful jade-coloured sauce that’s so tasty! For this edition, I decided to mix the North with the East by incorporating our Mild Madras Curry blend that’s inspired by the flavours of the Madras region in East India. This fusion of two wonderful foodie regions is baked in the oven until the meat is super tender, and the sauce is bubbling and oozing with flavour!
Serve with tangy yoghurt and loads of fluffy rice to mop up all that yummy sauce and enjoy!
Spices used in this recipe
Curry Madras – Mild
Madras Curry blend is characterized by a delicious rich earthy tangy flavor, mild heat, and intense yellow color. Although it is not a traditional Indian spice blend, its history goes back to British colonial rule and the city of Madras in southern India.$3.45
Place a dry pan on a low heat and add your Madras powder, allowing it to bloom for 1 minute, until nice and fragrant. Remove and set aside.
Place your pan back on a medium heat and add your spinach leaves – cooking for 1-2 minutes, until wilted.
In a blender or food processor, add your wilted spinach, 3 garlic cloves, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and half your water and blitz until blended and smooth.
Return your pan back to the heat with a drizzle of olive oil and when hot, add your diced onion with a punch of salt and saute for 3-4 minutes, until nice and soft. Crush your remaining garlic cloves in and saute for a further minute.
Add your spices and spinach puree in with your remaining water and bring to a medium simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover, leaving for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in your cream and allow to cool slightly.
Place your chicken thighs in a deep oven dish and pour your cooled creamy spinach mix over them and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While your chicken marinates, preheat your oven to 220c degrees/200 fan forced. Place your chicken in the hot oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the thighs are cooked all the way through.
Serve with your fluffy rice, yoghurt and plenty of your palak sauce and enjoy!