Chicken Saag / Chicken & Spinach Curry – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Chicken Saag (Chicken & Spinach Curry) is one of the delicious north Indian dish.  A step-by-step recipe to prepare this in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.

Chicken is simmered in a creamy spinach sauce.  Sounds exotic?  Don’t worry, it is super easy to make. This curry is full of flavor and loaded with nutrients.  You will always find some version of this curry in any Indian restaurant and is a popular one to order.

“Saag” is basically a Punjabi term used for leafy green preparations.  These could be make with spinach, mustard greens, chard, etc.  In this Chicken Saag, I used spinach, but feel free to use other greens that you like.  This curry is a healthy way to incorporate leafy greens in a kids meal.  My daughter loves everything saag, so I make multiple versions of it – Palak Paneer,  Saag Paneer with mustard greens and Vegan Palak Tofu.

How to make Chicken Saag in Pressure Cooker?

This is a very quick, one-pot recipe.  Start the instant pot and add in the oil, cumin, ginger and garlic.  Then add in the chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes.  The ingredients can be cut into large pieces as we are going to blend them later.  Add the spices and stir them with the onions.  Then add in the spinach leaves and place the chicken on top of the spinach leaves.  Cook on manual or high pressure for 8 minutes.

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 1

When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.  Remove the chicken pieces on the top and keep aside.  Then use the immersion blender to grind the ingredients in the pot to a smooth paste.  You can also use a normal blender to grind and then transfer the saag back to the instant pot.  If needed, cut the chicken pieces to the desired size and transfer them back to the saag in the pot.

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 1
Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Simmer for a few minutes so the chicken is mixed well with the greens.  Use a glass lid when simmering as there could be some splutters when spinach boils.  Chicken Saag is ready to be enjoyed with naan or rice.

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Enjoy the goodness of spinach and chicken in this hearty and healthy recipe.  Give this recipe a try and I am sure you are going to love it as much as we do!

Equipment and Ingredients used to make Chicken Saag

If you are looking for more chicken recipes, check out Keema Matar, Chicken ChettinadMom’s Chicken Curry on piping pot curry.

5 from 6 votes
Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
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Chicken Saag - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This one-pot Chicken curry with spinach is one of the delicious north Indian dish.  Chicken simmered in a creamy spinach sauce, makes it a nutritious dish for all.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 275 kcal
Ingredients
  • 10 oz Spinach
  • 1 lb Chicken thighs or chicken breasts, cut into 2-3 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds or Jeera
  • 1" inch Ginger chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Onions medium sized, cut into pieces
Spices
Instructions
  1. Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds, ginger, and garlic. 

  2. When the garlic turns golden in about 30 seconds, add the cut onions.  Saute for couple of minutes. Add the spices and stir well. 

  3. Add the spinach and carefully place the chicken pieces on top of the spinach.  Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.

  4. Press MANUAL or Pressure Cook mode for 8 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a quick pressure release.  PRESS Cancel. 

  5. Open the lid, remove the chicken pieces and set aside.  Blend the spinach and other ingredients to a creamy texture preferably using an immersion blender.  

  6. If needed, cut the chicken into smaller pieces and then add it back to the spinach curry.  

  7. Press SAUTE and give the curry a quick boil.  This could splutter out, so cover with a lid. 

  8. Chicken Saag is ready.  Enjoy with naan, roti or rice. 

Recipe Notes
  • If you don't have an immersion blender, you could transfer the ingredients to a regular blender, blend to a smooth paste and then transfer them back in the instant pot insert.  
  • I used spinach in this recipe.  However I have made this using spinach and chard or spinach and mustard greens, and they come out great. 
  • If the chicken is not well cooked, then boil for a bit longer in step 7. 

 

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Saag - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Amount Per Serving (250 g)
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.83g 20%
Saturated Fat 3.253g 16%
Trans Fat 0.068g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.104g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.656g
Cholesterol 146mg 49%
Sodium 1160mg 48%
Potassium 818mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 9.8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2.8g 11%
Sugars 2.73g
Protein 30.73g 61%
Vitamin A 291%
Vitamin C 34%
Calcium 11%
Iron 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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23 thoughts on “Chicken Saag / Chicken & Spinach Curry – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

  1. I made it. I was a little afraid to not use any liquid. So I did add a little water. Found that my immersion blender did not work but my food processer… boom! Very good. ♡

  2. Thank you for this recipe for one of my favourite dishes. I made this as written except I used two 300 gram packages of frozen spinach, thawed and lightly squeezed, in place of the fresh spinach and my thighs were bone in. It worked out perfectly Delicious!

  3. This was easy and delicious!
    I started it as written with no added liquid but the IP overheated. I opened it and added about 1/4-1/3c of broth and then it was fine. Also used 1t ground cumin and 1t ground coriander (instead of 2t coriander) due to my own taste.

    1. Hey Paul – Glad you liked it! To make this spicier, you can add 1-2 green chilies (Thai or Birdseye or another that you prefer) or more red chili powder.

    1. Hey Mariam – Sorry for the late response, somehow the comment went into moderation and I missed seeing it before. I suggest the same cooking time as in the recipe for chicken breasts too. Hope you enjoy the Saag!

  4. Hello Meeta – I made this as my first ever Instant Pot recipe, and it turned out great! I used a bag of baby spinach and baby kale leaves. This recipe is a great way to use up those ever so slightly wilted greens in the back of the crisper drawer.

    Also, my chicken was still a wee bit frozen, so I added an extra 4 minutes of cooking time – perfect!

    1. Hey Rachel – This is definitely my way of using up the greens too. I am happy to hear that you chose this as your fist instant pot recipe and enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Hello Meeta,

    Great recipe however I have a question. Whenever I make anything that has spinach in it like for e.g dal palak, the spinach loses its beautiful green colour ? Is there any way to avoid this? How did you get your spinach saag to look so green?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hey Annett – Great question. I usually try to cook spinach for as less time as possible. In this case, it is 8 minutes as that much time is needed for the chicken to cook. If I am adding paneer, in place of chicken then I cook the spinach for lesser time. If you want the very vibrant color, you can cook chicken separately, and only cook spinach for 2 mins at high pressure. Then add in the cooked chicken pieces. Traditionally saag is simmered on the stovetop for a long time and sometimes the color may not be too vibrant, but it is certainly very flavorful. Another thing that is done is adding a dollop of ghee on the cooked saag to get the extra flavor kick. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Hi Meeta—

    This looks delicious! Have you ever made it with lamb? I’m partial to lamb saag and am wondering what adjustments would be necessary here to do that.

    Thanks!

    Michelle

    1. Hey Michelle – I love lamb and goat meat more than chicken too 🙂 I believe this can be made with lamb, just extra cooking time will be needed for lamb. If you can precook lamb a bit, then it would easily add to the recipe as is. Another option is to try cutting lamb in small pieces and add it to the recipe and cook for 15 minutes. The only downside is that the spinach might not be as green when cooked for long. However someone reported that they used frozen chicken, cooked this curry for 15 minutes, and loved the taste. So give it a try 🙂

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