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Baked Achaari Chicken with Garlicky Spinach

A scroll through the recent posts would definitely make this blog slightly dessert-heavy, but that’s only because we’ve had loads of house guests and entertained a lot this summer, which almost always translates to me being delegated with making desserts mixing up the cocktails. And I always volunteer for things that’ll give me a clean chit from any kind of after-party cleaning-up! Now that the parties seem to be winding down and I see a bit of our old routine creeping back into our lives, I’m happy to say that I’m back to experimenting with what’s served for dinner. This recipe for Pickled Chicken, served on a bed of garlicky spinach, is the perfect bridge between familiar flavours, with a twist!

I’ve adapted the recipe from Monica Bhide’s Modern Spice which, summed up briefly, boasts of a “fun, sassy approach to Indian cooking”. Her recipes touch upon the familiar tastes that make up the core of our memories, but with a global appeal that could see them being replicated with as much ease in Mumbai or Manhattan. So in the spirit of adaptation, I’ve changed things up slightly to take this Achaari (Pickled) Chicken from being served as a salad to an entrée. Fresh baby spinach makes way for regular spinach that has been sautéed with garlic to add another dimension of flavour. I’ve also left out the addition of the extra oil because mango pickles have plenty in them already. The summer months are synonymous with my Mom making a year’s supply of Mango Pickle, and that’s what I’ve used here. My guess is that you could end up with subtle differences in flavour depending on the brand of mango pickle used. Regardless, this is a recipe that’s guaranteed to make its way to your dinner rotation.

Adapted from Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen

Print Recipe
Indian Baked Achaari Chicken with Garlicky Spinach
Indian Achaari Chicken made with tangy Mango Pickle served on a bed of spinach sauteed with garlic... or popularly known as Indian Pickle-Spiced Chicken on a bed of garlicky spinach
Course main course
Cuisine indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course main course
Cuisine indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the pickle water in a mini food processor or the smallest jar of your mixer-grinder, and blend/ process until it forms a puree. Be sure to leave out any of the hard pieces from the pickle as they won’t blend at all.
  2. Use a pestle-mortar or simply, a bowl and the back of a spoon, and mash together the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric salt. Add the pureed pickle mixture and continue to mash together until it forms a uniform paste. This is the marinade.
  3. Coat the chicken completely in this marinade. Cover refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with foil spray with cooking spray. Arrange the chicken on this tray pour any leftover marinade over the chicken too. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, place a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil, let it heat slightly, and add the garlic. After about 30 seconds or after the garlic becomes fragrant, add the spinach and sauté the spinach until it wilts and isn’t watery anymore. Sprinkle with salt. Arrange the spinach on a plate place the chicken pieces over it.
Recipe Notes

Note: Be sure to leave out any hard or tough bits of mango pickle as these won’t blend at all)

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