Creamy chicken saagwala

My kids call this "Green butter chicken" and they absolutely love it. It's fairly close to a traditional saagwala except it's cooked off the bone and I make it a bit sweeter and with more cream.


    • 2 bunches spinach
    • ¼ cup vegetable oil
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 1 tsp cloves
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp grated ginger
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric
    • ½ tsp chilli powder (optional, or to taste)
    • 1 tbsp garam masala
    • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 1 kg Lilydale free range chicken thigh fillets, cut into 5cm pieces
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
    • 150 ml thickened cream
    • 25 g butter


    1. Wash the spinach well, trim and discard the root portion and place the leaves and stems into a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the spinach and leave for 1 minute. Drain, then puree the spinach in a blender.
    2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the oil and the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and onion. Fry the onion for about 3 minutes until it starts to brown, add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli and garam masala, stir and then immediately add the tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes soften, then add the chicken. Fry the chicken for 3 minutes, then add the salt, sugar and stir in the spinach puree. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, then add the nutmeg and stir through the cream. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary, then stir through the butter and serve.

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