Before I get to today’s Palak Keema recipe, let me tell you a little bit about what some of my eating habits used to be like. I used to be a very picky eater! Yes, strange as it may seem to you, it’s true. Even enthusiastic cooks don’t eat it all, sometimes. Up until a little while ago, I wasn’t even very adventurous with my palate. I would stick to flavours I understood and skip anything I wasn’t familiar with.
Being born and bred in the Arabian Gulf, everyone simply assumes I am the Guru when it comes to Mid-Eastern fare. But, in fact, I’ve only had Hummus (and can now gulp down bowls of it!) for about 2-3 years now. In Canada. After I met Hubby Dear. Yes, strange again, I know, but also true! You see, when we were growing up, Hummus was almost a weekly guest at our table. My parents and siblings loved it and relished every mouthful. I, on the other hand, thought it was gooey (Hubby Dear will always argue that gooey is not even an actual a word!), and hence, never bothered to give it a try.
But since being with Hubby Dear – the adventurous soul that he is, I’ve begun to mellow down a lot. It was with him that I took my first scoop of Hummus, and decided, that though being gooey, I quite liked it. In fact, now it very easily makes it’s way into my grocery list every single week!
Ever since I’ve started this blog, I’ve begun cooking things that I normally wouldn’t. I now see my weekly grocery trips as a chance for me to explore and learn. I pick up veggies that I would run away from and try and create new ways of enjoying it.
When we were growing up, spinach was one such vegetable that I would often run away from. I would whine and sulk until my Mom got tired enough to allow me to leave it aside. Then I moved to India for college and was introduced to a dish called Palak Keema that was very new to me. Till today, it’s one of my favourite ways cook and enjoy this delicious leafy green – coming a very close second to Palak Paneer, of course!
This morning, as I was scanning my fridge thinking of what to make for dinner, my eyes set upon the lonely bunch of spinach lying there, bought only a few days ago. I decided to tackle it head-on and try out this Palak Keema recipe for the very first time. And what do you know, the rest, as they say, is history!
Palak Keema (Ground Chicken with Spinach)
- 2 tbsp light cooking oil
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt to taste
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 6 cups finely chopped spinach
- Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan and add in cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add in ginger, garlic and onions, and fry for about a minute till fragrant and lightly browned.
- Add in the spices, salt and tomato paste, and fry for a few seconds to mix well. Stir in the chopped tomato and cook for a few minutes till it begins to soften and pulp.
- Slowly add in the ground chicken, stir well to coat it with the spice mix, and let it cook covered for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chopped spinach and cook covered on low heat for 3-4 minutes till it starts to wilt and the chicken is completely cooked through.
- Serve with warm fluffy rotis and a side of some cool Raita.V
This post was originally published in September 2006 and has been recently updated.
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