Everyone's favorite palak paneer but with chicken koftas instead of paneer. Tender chicken meatballs cooked in a spicy cashew spinach gravy, served with soft buttery naans to mop up all that sauce. This chicken koftas in palak gravy is well worth the effort!
What is chicken koftas in palak gravy?
Chicken meatballs cooked in spicy spinach sauce.
Soft, tender chicken meatballs cooked in a sauce made with blanched baby spinach leaves, toasted cashews, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and other Indian spices.
Flavorful. Spicy, Healthy. Delicious.
Ain't an authentic dish!
My attempt to create a chicken version of the popular palak paneer.
I will admit that is not the easiest of recipes. If you are used to making Indian recipes then this is not going to be any different.
If you aren't then don't you worry. I shall go through the process in detail for ya.
You are gonna be making this recipe again and again.
How to make chicken koftas in palak gravy?
Step-1 : Blanch spinach. Bring a large pot of water to rolling boil. Add half the spinach and cook for about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, drain spinach into a bowl. Repeat process for the remaining spinach.
Step-2 : Mix chicken kofta ingredients. Add ground chicken, bread crumbs, salt and egg, mix until thoroughly combined. Have a bowl of water handy, Dip your hands in water and shape meatballs. If you have a small ice cream scoop then this is the time to use it.
Step-3 : Cook meatballs. Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add meatballs in a single layer, cook for about 2 minutes until golden on the bottom. Gently turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain meatballs onto a plate. Meatballs will not be fully cooked at this point.
Step-4: Cook spice mixture. In the same pan, add cashews, onion, ginger and garlic. Suate in medium heat, until onion gets translucent. Add tomato, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder and garam masala powder. Suate, until mixture gets thick and oil begins to seperate.
Step-5 : Blend. Transfer sauteed mixture and blanched spinach into a food processor and process DO NOT MAKE INTO FINE PASTE (refer pictures above)
Step-6 : Finish. Add ground paste, water, sugar, salt and chicken koftas back into the pan, and stir well. (refer picture below). Bring to a boil over medium heat. let it come to boil and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
How to serve chicken koftas in palak gravy?
Serve with hot buttery naans, parathas, rotis, phulkas or any type of flatbread.
Or transfer them into individual lunch boxes and place in refrigerator when cold. Microwave until hot and add naan or any type of warm flatbread just before eating.
Chicken Koftas in Palak Gravy
- 8 medium handfuls baby spinach (8 ounces or 227 grams by weight)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 and ½ cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ inch ginger, chopped
- 20 raw cashews
- 1 medium - large tomato (about ½ cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 4 teaspoons coriander powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder or Indian chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 to 1 and ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground chicken (450 grams)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, refer notes
- Blanch spinach – bring a medium pot of water to rolling boil. Add half the spinach, push the leaves down to submerge in the water, and let cook for about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon drain the leaves on to a plate or bowl. Repeat process with the remaining half.
Shape chicken koftas
- Mix ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, ¼ teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Pinch of about 2 tablespoons measure and shape them into balls and place on a plate (a 2-tablespoon measure ice cream scoop comes handy). Place a small of water right next to you, dip your hands in the water before you shape each ball. This helps not to stick to your hands. (You could add about 2 tablespoons of additional breadcrumbs if it is difficult to shape meatballs, but they might not be as tender)
Make Chicken koftas in palak gravy
- Add vegetable oil into a large non-stick saute pan and place over medium high heat. When moderately hot, add chicken koftas in a single layer. Let cook until bottom is golden brown, gently turn over and cook until golden on the other side. Using a slotted spoon, remove koftas onto a plate , draining as much of oil as possible. (they will not be fully cooked at this point).
- Into the same pan (maintain the same heat), add group-1 ingredients and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute until it gets translucent and starts to get golden.
- Now add group-2 ingredients and saute until the mixture gets thick and oil begins to seperate. Take pan off heat and all ingredients along with blanched spinach into a food processor. Process for about 2 minutes until ground (DO NOT grind until super smooth).
- Transfer all ground mixture into the now empty saute pan along the the chicken koftas, 1 cup water, sugar and required salt. Place over medium heat and let it come to a boil (will start bubbling). Cook for 3-5 minutes and remove from heat for the meatballs to get cooked and the gravy will thicken.
- Serve with naans / parathas / rotis / phulkas.
Nutritional information is based on third party calculations, should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types, brands purchased, produce, the way ingredients are processed and more change the nutritional information in any recipe.
Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
So vibrant and GREEN! I love it! I want to dive into that gravy and sop up every last bit with some naan 🙂
Can we bake the koftas instead of cooking them in a pan?
Hi Pallavi, Of course, but I will not suggest that route.
To bake - Place shaped meatballs on a greased baking sheet and then spray a thin coating non-stick cooking spray on top and bake at 375 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, until cooked through. Add the baked meatballs in the final step of cooking.
But I will not suggest this method, since cooking kofta in the pan and then sautéing masala in the same pan, adds tremendous amount of flavor to the dish which is gonna be missed when baking meatballs separately.
Hope it helps:)