Indian Saag (Spiced Spinach Sauce)

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We live in a small military town that is full of boring chain restaurants. We have red lobster, olive garden, ruby tuesdays, etc. There are a few sushi places that we will go to but other than that’s there really arent any good healthy options. But we just discovered a new indian place in town! Its SO good, not a chain, and its all prepared after you order it.  We have now gone twice and instantly fell in love the the saag. We have had both lamb and chicken and both were amazing.

With my abundance of greens in my garden right now, I figured this would be a perfect recipe for me to recreate at home. With 3 lbs of green (that’s a lot of greens!), lean protein, and a little healthy fat, it makes a great meal when served over soaked brown rice or whole wheat soaked naan. I use a combination of spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, radish greens, kohlrabi green, and kale or any combination of greens I have on hand. Traditionally its made with spinach, but because of the spices, it overpowers the taste of any green.

Saag

serves 6

1 Tbs olive oil

2 lbs chicken or lamb, cut into 1-2 inch chunks

3 lbs greens, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup water

1 large onion, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 large tomatoes, chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam marsala

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne (optional, or more to taste)

1/2 tsp ground tumeric

2 cardamom pods or scant 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 inch piece ginger, minced or 1/2 tsp dry ginger

2 whole cloves or scant 1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup + 2 Tbs greek yogurt

1 Tbs butter

1.5 cups brown basmati rice

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add chicken, onions, and garlic and cook until chicken is browned, roughly 10 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, place spinach in a pot with 1/4 cup water and steam until fully wilted. Place in blender or food processor until roughly pureed.

To the chicken in the frying pan, add tomatoes, milk, and all spices and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir in spinach puree and cook for another 10 minutes.

Stir in greek yogurt and butter. Simmer for another minute or two until its all heated through.

Serve over brown basmati rice. Soak rice in 2 cups water and 2 tbs apple cider vinegar for 24 hours. Drain. Soaking is not required. it does not effect taste, just nutrition. Add rice and 3 cups water to rice cooker or stovetop and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Nutritional Information (with brown rice in parenthesis)

Calories: 368                                      (540)

Fat: 10.3 g                                           (11.6 g)

Sodium: 601 mg (25%)

Carbohydrates: 17 g                         (53 g)

Dietary Fiber: 6.6 g                          (8.2 g)

Sugars: 6 g

Protein: 53 g                                     (57 g)

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