Recipe: Nadia Lim's spinach-packed Saagwala curry is the perfect replacement for takeaways during lockdown

With many of us missing the luxury of takeaways and Uber Eats during the current COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, Nadia Lim has come to the rescue if you've started to lose creativity in the kitchen. 

The celebrity chef and author of Vegeful joined the AM Show this week to share her recipe for a spinach saagwala curry that "tastes delicious, even if it doesn't look that great". 

Lim used lamb as her meat of choice for the curry but says you can use whatever you have in your fridge or pantry - no need to brave the long supermarket queues when you don't have to. 

"We've got lots of lamb because we're on a farm, but you can use mushrooms, paneer or halloumi, chickpeas, chicken... whatever you've got," she told the AM Show hosts. 

"[Likewise] when it comes to the sauce you can use fresh spinach, frozen spinach... I use kale because I've got lots of that in the garden. So again, just whatever greens you've got." 

The dairy-free curry is "rich and creamy" says Lim, and packed full of vegetables for those of us who have been eating a few too many beige foods during lockdown. 

She also shared her quick and easy recipe for homemade naan bread to go alongside the curry - watch the full video above for the method. 

Recipe: Nadia Lim's saagwala


  • 3-4 tablespoons oil, eg: soy, canola
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground chilli
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 inches ginger grated
  • 300 g spinach leaves chopped
  • 1 large green chilli chopped
  • 400g crushed tomatoes canned
  • 800g chicken thighs skinless and boneless, cut into large chunks
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cream or coconut cream optional

To serve

  • 2-4 naan bread or rice for GF
  • Raita* optional


  1. Heat oil in a large fry pan, fry onions until golden, about 5 minutes. Add spices, garlic and ginger and fry a further 2 minutes.
  2. Wilt fresh spinach by blanching in boiling water or steaming in microwave. Squeeze out excess water and puree spinach with green chilli, tomatoes, cooked onions and spices.
  3. Season chicken with salt. Heat a little more oil in the same pan and fry chicken pieces until lightly browned.
  4. Add spinach puree to chicken and simmer on medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Just before serving, drizzle cream over curry. Serve curry with naan bread and raita.


  • *To make the raita, mix 3 chopped tomatoes with ½ chopped telegraph cucumber (seeds removed), ½ small finely chopped red onion, a handful of chopped mint leaves, and 1 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt.
  • Don't be alarmed at what seems like a mountain of spinach in the beginning - it all wilts down to create a rich, tasty saagwala curry. One serving of this will probably give you more greens than most people would have in a whole week!