In this week’s edition of the Ticket, Shimla Spice manager Iftikhar Hussain, known as Faisal to customers and the wider community, will be presenting you with a healthy nutritious chicken saagh curry.

Chicken saagh is a very delicately cooked dish. There are hundreds of different ways and methods to cook this world famous dish.

It is one of Iftikhar's personal favourites which he would recommend to any curry lover.

Saagh is spinach which is commonly used in cooking in India and Pakistan, and is found on a majority of the Indian/Asian menus throughout the world.

Iftikhar explains that spinach is very carefully used to create fantastic tasting dishes with an amazing after-flavour.

It also goes well as a side dish of saagh aloo which is spinach and potato.

Shimla Spice – established in 1998, and with its flagship restaurant in Keighley – was the vision of three brothers who, from a very early age, wanted to make a name for themselves in the culinary world.

They began their quest in the highly competitive London restaurant scene and worked their way up to head chefs and managers, before returning ‘home’ to Keighley and setting up their first eatery. It was an instant success and its reputation mushroomed.

The brothers opened a second restaurant in Shipley in 2006. And this year will see the opening of a 200-seater branch across the border in Burnley, Lancashire, with more restaurants to follow in the future.

Shimla Spice has won an array of national and regional awards, including Keighley News Restaurant of the Year twice.

The restaurant was the Spice Times ‘Best Indian Restaurant in Yorkshire’ 2010, and was also among winners in the inaugural Keighley News-backed Keighley Business Awards 2013. Shimla Spice was named best restaurant in the Yorkshire region and Restaurant of the Year at the highly-regarded English Curry Awards.


Ingredients - 1kg skinless chicken pieces (breasts preferable), 3 large bunches of spinach, 3 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower cooking oil, preferably oil, 5 peppercorns, 4 cloves, 4 pods cardamom, 2 large onions chopped very fine, 2 tbsps garlic paste, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp garam masala powder, 2 medium tomatoes chopped finely, Salt to taste


1. Wash the spinach well and chop. Put into a pot with half a cup of water and salt to taste, and boil till cooked.

2. Grind the spinach into a paste in a food processor. Put aside.

3. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame and fry the chicken pieces until well browned. Remove and keep aside.

4. Again heat the same oil, then add the whole spices. As the spices turn slightly darker, add the onion, ginger and garlic pastes and fry till the onions are pale golden in colour.

5. Add all the other spices – coriander, cumin and garam masala – and fry for five minutes.

6. Add the tomatoes and fry until the oil begins to separate from the masala.

7. Add the chicken to this masala, mix well and add half a cup of water. Cook until the chicken is almost done.

8. Add the spinach and mix well. Cook until most of the water dries up and the chicken is cooked.