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Savor a vibrant and aromatic journey to South Asia with this comforting Chicken Curry, served with chickpeas, spinach, and basmati rice. This dish is not only a feast for the senses, but it also offers a powerhouse of nutrients. The lean protein from chicken, fiber from chickpeas, vitamins and minerals from spinach, and complex carbs from basmati rice all contribute to a balanced and wholesome meal.
Chicken curry, a versatile dish with many regional variations, holds a special place in Indian cuisine, known for its delicate blend of spices that create a symphony of flavors in every bite.
For the Chicken Curry:
- 4 oz chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 can (14 oz) of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
For the Basmati Rice:
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
Chicken: Wash the chicken under cold water, pat it dry, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Chickpeas: If you are using canned chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly under cold water and let them drain.
Spinach: Rinse the spinach leaves under cold water to remove any dirt, then roughly chop them.
Onion, Garlic, and Ginger: Finely chop the onion, and mince the garlic and ginger.
Basmati Rice: Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear, this helps to remove any excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan and sauté until they turn golden brown.
- Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and red chili powder to the pan, stirring well to combine with the onion mixture.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan, ensuring they are well coated in the spice mixture. Cook until they are no longer pink inside.
- Pour in the can of coconut milk, add the chickpeas, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the spinach to the pan, allowing it to wilt into the curry.
- Season the curry with salt to taste, and let it simmer on low heat while you prepare the rice.
- Combine the rinsed rice, water, salt, and oil in a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Assembling the Dish
- Fluff the cooked basmati rice with a fork and spoon it onto a plate.
- Ladle the chicken curry over the rice, making sure to include plenty of the coconut curry sauce.
- Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately for the best flavor. Enjoy your flavorful and nutritious Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach over Basmati Rice!
This chicken curry dish is packed full of flavors and nutrients and can be enjoyed as a complete meal on its own. However, if you’d like to add a side, a fresh cucumber and tomato salad or some warm naan bread would complement the dish wonderfully. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the curry right before eating can also enhance the flavors.
Storage and Reheating
Leftover chicken curry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, transfer the curry to a saucepan and warm it over medium heat until it is heated through. If the curry appears too thick, you can add a small amount of water.
The basmati rice can also be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave or a saucepan with a splash of water to prevent it from drying out.
This recipe is quite versatile and can be customized to your liking. For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or additional vegetables like bell peppers or peas. You could also replace the chickpeas with lentils if you prefer. If you’re not a fan of spinach, feel free to substitute it with another leafy green like kale or collard greens.
Please note that the nutritional information can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. As an estimate, this dish provides approximately 800 calories per serving, with a good balance of protein from the chicken and chickpeas, fiber from the chickpeas and spinach, and carbohydrates from the rice.
The coconut milk in the curry adds a dose of healthy fats. This meal is also high in vitamins A and C from spinach, as well as several essential minerals.