01 December 2009

Chicken Saagwala and a Challenge

Was it really a month ago that I was promising new posts and recipes with regular frequency? Alas, my innate laziness has manifested itself in the blogosphere was a severe lack of postings. As I need a swift kick to get the posting started again, I have joined the NaBloPoMo- the National Blog Posting Month Challenge. The official big month of daily blog posting was in November, but NaBloMaPo goes on every month and I'm looking forward to the challenge so check back every day (gasp) for a new food related posting.

And now, for my first November posting, what could be better than this Chicken Saagwala? After all the Thanksgiving turkey and cranberrry sauce, and with all the holiday parties with cookies, hams and the rest of it, this light chicken and spinach dish is full of flavor but easy on the waistline. Did I mention you can make it in about 30 minutes?

This recipe is based off one I found in the Weight Watcher Cookbook. Before you write it off as 'diet' food and therefore tasteless and me as having abandoned good food altogether, hear me out. We all, from time to time, need to focus more on healthy eating. For me, that time is now, and I have to think that some of you out there would like some lighter options to make at home during a month when there are tempting holiday treats at seemingly every turn. I'll never post anything on the blog just because it's healthy- it also has to be delicious and something that I would be happy to serve to guests in my home.

I made this recipe last night fully expecting it to be a mediocre homemade Indian dish but Zach and I were blown away wth how tasty it was. The spices really pop thanks to a quick toasting in oil and since it cooks quickly, the spinach and tomatoes retain their color and the chicken breast doesn't dry out. I added some yogurt at the end to round out the flavors and add a hint of creaminess dish and served it with some (leftover) white rice. This really is one of the tastiest dishes I've made in a long time and I'm excited to have another winning Indian dish in my repertoire. Also a plus- it's gluten-free and could easily be made vegetarian with the substitution of tofu instead of the chicken. Don't have yogurt on hand? Stir in a little cream for a richer flavor or leave it out all together if you're lactose intolerant.

Note: this flavor of this dish depends on the quality of your spices. If you curry powder has been hanging out in the spice rack since the last administration it's probably time to get a new one. I used McCormick brand curry powder (the one in the glass jar with the green lid) and would recommend it.

Chicken Saagwala
Adapted from the Weight Watchers Cookbook
Serves 4

1 T plus 2t vegetable oil
2 T minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T + 1 t curry powder
1 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
12oz/350g chicken breast or tenders or tofu, cut into chunks
2 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
12 oz/300g frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/3C/75g low-fat plain yogurt
hot white or brown rice, naan, or pita bread (optional to complete your meal)

- Put the oil, ginger, garlic and spices in a non-stick skillet (that has a lid) and turn the heat to medium. Once the mix starts sizzling and bubbling, stir and toast for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant.

- Add the chicken and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Add the tomatoes, mix again and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, still on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

- Add the spinach, stir, re-cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

- Add the yogurt, stir and and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with your accompaniments.


kat said...

That does have a lot of really good flavors in it. I totally agree with you about the quality of your spices really effecting dishes like this.

Mamie said...

Sounds yummy! I'll be trying it soon! This will be some new flavor combinations for us, and trying new things is good, right?!