Summery Hariyali Chicken

July 15, 2008

Three hours at the hairdresser and I was ready for the big hen night. We picked wine, cocktails and a two-course meal served alongside Burlesque, vintage parlour humour and retro nudity.

Now provocative, champagne-soaked dancing I can handle. Husky rendition of Fever I can enjoy. But was it really necessary to expose dimply bottoms and orange peel thighs in the middle of my dinner?

I focused on the thigh on my plate.

Chicken has been having its own issues lately. Since the revered Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall started his campaign to raise the plight of the ill treated, factory-farmed birds, I have been spurred into action.

Gone are the days of BOGOF packs of chicken thighs and drumsticks. I now stick to the free-range variety at the very least and organic if I haven’t blown my salary on alcohol and cabaret shows.

Thankfully, chicken thighs and drumsticks are cheaper than breast meat and infinitely more tasty in a curry. So give a chicken a chance with this herbed, light and fresh Hariyali Chicken recipe. I used Waitrose organic free range chicken and it rocked.

This is my entry to A Merrier World’s fantastic effort to raise awareness of the chicken we eat.



Feeds 4:

  • 6 chicken thighs and drumsticks, skinned
  • 2 tbsp of fresh ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 salad onions
  • 90gm fresh spinach
  • 20gm fresh coriander
  • 20gm fresh mint
  • 1 green finger chilli
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


Chop up the full length of the salad onions. Bring a large pot to heat over a high flame with the oil.

When it starts sizzling, throw in the salad onions and the ginger garlic. Stir it for about a minute until the ginger and garlic goes pale golden brown.

Now add in the chicken pieces and the coriander and cumin powders and brown for about five minutes, turning over from time to time.

In the meantime, wash and cook the spinach covered for about three minutes in a microwave. Take the mint of the hard stalks and cut the thick ends of the stalks off the coriander.

In a blender, puree the cooked spinach with the mint, coriander, lemon juice and green chilli. Pour this fresh green sauce onto the chicken, lower the flame to a medium and cook covered for half an hour until the chicken is cooked.

You may need to add half a cup of water to help the chicken cook. When the chicken separates from the bone and the curry is mist but not watery, serve with some steaming hot Basmati rice and a content smile.



15 Responses to “Summery Hariyali Chicken”

  1. Kate Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 1:49 am

    This will be the very next curry I make – it sounds absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe, and also for taking part in ‘Let Them Eat Chicken’.

  2. Geoff Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 4:26 am

    How much flavor does being on the bone tend to give? Would it make much difference taking the meat off the bone first?

  3. Lekhni Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 6:22 am

    I am thinking of growing mint too…I never seem to have any mint whenever I want to make mint chutney :( Is mint easy to grow, then?

  4. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Sounds delicious! I am the same way, I buy the legs and thighs because they are cheaper when all you get are organic or free-range! Your legs look great! LOL!

  5. Mallika Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Geoff – never take chicken off the bone. It’s the bone that gives them flavour!

    Lekhni – mint is super simple to grow even for an idiot like me.

    Jenn – LOL.

  6. Deepa Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Hey Mallika,

    That was funny!!

    I am looking for a yummy cabbage roll recipe (healthy). Let me know if you get to making such a thing…I have become used to tried and tested blog recipes, hate to try something random from the internet!! Many of them call for baking, and it makes no sense because everything seems well cooked already.

    I only know 2 things with cabbage : cabbage with tofu and garlic and white bepper (saute these things, basically), and the south Indian style cabbage with the usual south indian tadka and coconut flakes. Boring.

    –Deepa (confused about cabbage, in Austin TX)

  7. Radhika Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Is a salad Onion a spring onion/scallion?

    Radhika (onion-ly challenged in NYC)

  8. Mallika Says:

    July 17th, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Hi Radhika – a salad onion is indeed a spring onion.

    Deepa – cabbage isn’t my most favourite vegetable but a recipe will follow soon especially for you!

  9. mandira Says:

    July 17th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    this looks delicious… I have also started getting free range, organic chicken and am appreciating the difference in taste :)

    also catching up on your posts, your morocco trip sounds like fun!

  10. Let Them Eat Chicken: The Round-Up « A Merrier World Says:

    July 18th, 2008 at 4:17 am

    […] posted an entertaining account of an encounter with thighs in A Thigh For Your Conscience at Quick Indian Cooking. She was very serious about her recipe for chicken curry however, and used […]

  11. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    July 21st, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Cooking chicken in a puree of spinach, coriander, mint and chilli sounds divine. This I must try (coriander is a herb that growing-wise defeats me – the slugs always get to it before me.)

  12. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    July 21st, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Hi again. Another economy trick is to buy the whole organic bird, and then segment it yourself, maybe freezing some pieces. You can use the breast for one meal, the thighs for another, etc. And the carcass for chicken soup. Serving with a plate heaped with fresh veg and wholefood grains will make the chicken go further and maybe us too (‘cos it is so healthy).

  13. Smita Says:

    July 25th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    oooh – delish and simple :-)

    As for the potato bread post, lets just say that blogger and I tussled and blogger won. GRR. Reposted. You caught my boo-boo :-)


  14. Shells Says:

    March 6th, 2010 at 2:35 am

    This is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried. It was really fantastic, even minus the fresh coriander. Thanks!

  15. Asha Says:

    January 15th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I am cooking from this recipe right now (minus the mint) and it is delicious! I have tried many palak based Indian curry recipes from the blogosphere and this one is a keeper!! Also by far – the simplest.

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