Spicy Chicken with Watercress and Spinach

Sanjay Diwivedi makes a vibrant green curry, the perfect antidote to heavy Indian takeaways
By Sanjay Dwivedi
Spicy Chicken with Watercress and Spinach
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


For the spice powder (makes extra)

  • 3 whole dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

For the ginger and garlic paste (makes extra)

  • 40 g ginger, peeled
  • 25 g garlic, peeled
  • 20 ml water
  • 45 ml olive oil

For the watercress and spinach puree

  • 1 1/2 bunches watercress, trimmed
  • 1 bunches spinach

For the spicy chicken

  • 5 chicken thighs, boned and skinless
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 dried red chillies
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste, (see recipe)
  • 1/2 red chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 100 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp spice powder

To serve

  • chopped coriander
  • ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • yogurt
  • rice


1. For the spice powder: gently roast the spices in a very low oven, until they release an aromatic aroma. Blitz in a coffee grinder or pound to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar. This mixture will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

2. For the ginger and garlic paste: blitz all ingredients to a fine paste in a blender. Store excess in an airtight container in the fridge.

3. For the watercress and spinach puree: blanch the watercress and spinach in boiling water. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Drain again and blitz to a puree in a blender.

4. For the spicy chicken: wash and dry the chicken, then trim off any fat.

5. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds. Cook until they start to splutter then add the dried chilli and onion. Cook until the onion is a light golden brown.

6. Add chicken thighs, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring. Add the ginger and garlic paste, chopped chilli, ground spices and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

7. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until the meat is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Stir in most of the watercress and spinach puree (reserving some for yogurt). Check the seasoning and stir in the spice powder.

8. To serve: garnish the chicken with chopped coriander and strips of ginger. Mix the reserved watercress and spinach puree with yogurt and season with salt and ground cumin, to serve alongside the chicken. Eat with rice.

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