South Indian Style Chicken and Chilli Spinach

Creamy coconut chicken curry and fiery chilli spinach make a fabulous combination in this Indian style supper from Manju Mahli
By Manju Malhi
South Indian Style Chicken and Chilli Spinach
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 30 g butter
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 medium Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg skinless chicken drumsticks, and thighs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 155 ml boiling water
  • 155 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the chilli spinach

  • 255 g spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • ½ tsp brown orblack mustard seeds
  • 1 medium dried chilli
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 small Spanish onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • chopped coriander, to garnish
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve


1. Melt the oil and butter together in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until golden.

2. Add the chicken and salt and fry for 6 minutes, until browned all over. Cover and cook on a low heat for 18 - 20 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

3. Stir in the chilli powder and garam masala and cook, uncovered for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add the boiling water, coconut milk and lemon juice and simmer for 3 minutes.

5. Wash the spinach.

6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the mustard seeds. Cook for a minute or so, until they start to splutter.

7. Add the chilli, the curry leaves and half of the onion. Season with salt and stir in the spinach. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes so that the spinach begins to wilt.

8. Using a food processor or pestle and mortar, blend the garlic, green chilli, coconut and the remaining onion into a coarse paste.

9. Add this mixture to the spinach and cook for 3 minutes over a low heat.

10. Serve the chicken with the spinach and garnish with coriander leaves. Plain basmati rice makes a fabulous accompaniment.

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