shrimp saag

by easy quick meal
shrimp saag

shrimp saag recipe

Shrimp Saag, also known as Shrimp Saagwala, is a delicious Indian dish that combines shrimp (prawns) with a creamy spinach-based sauce. “Saag” refers to greens, typically spinach or mustard greens, and “saagwala” indicates that the dish includes a sauce made from these greens.

To prepare Shrimp Saag, shrimp are usually marinated with spices, pan-fried or sautéed until they’re cooked and have a nice sear, and then they are simmered in a creamy spinach sauce. The sauce is made by blending cooked spinach with various spices, onions, tomatoes, and sometimes cream or yogurt, depending on the recipe. The result is a flavorful and creamy dish with tender shrimp and a vibrant green sauce.

Shrimp Saag is often served with rice or Indian bread such as naan or roti. It’s a popular choice among seafood lovers who enjoy the rich and savory flavors of Indian cuisine.

ingredients you’ll need

shrimp saag

For the Shrimp Marinade:

  • 1 pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste

For the Saag:

  • 4 cups of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

step-by-step instructions for making Shrimp Saag

shrimp saag
  1. Prepare the Shrimp:
    • Peel and devein the shrimp if not already done.
    • Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Blanch the Spinach:
    • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    • Add the chopped spinach leaves and blanch for 2-3 minutes.
    • Drain the spinach and immediately transfer it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
    • Drain again and blend the blanched spinach into a smooth puree using a blender or food processor. Set aside.
  3. Sauté the Onions, Garlic, and Ginger:
    • Heat the vegetable oil or ghee in a large skillet or pan over medium heat.
    • Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
    • Add the finely chopped onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and start to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add Spices:
    • Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
  5. Add Tomatoes and Green Chilies:
    • Add the finely chopped tomatoes and green chilies to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
  6. Cook the Shrimp:
    • Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and opaque.
  7. Add Spinach Puree:
    • Pour in the spinach puree and mix well with the shrimp and spices.
  8. Stir in Cream or Coconut Milk:
    • Add the heavy cream or coconut milk to the pan. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
  9. Simmer and Season:
    • Allow the mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes, letting the flavors meld together.
    • Season with salt to taste.
  10. Garnish and Serve:
    • Transfer the Shrimp Saag to a serving dish.
    • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
  11. Serve: Serve hot with rice or Indian bread like naan or roti.

best way to serve Shrimp Saag

. Plate Presentation:

  • Use a clean and attractive serving platter or individual plates for presentation.

2. Shrimp Arrangement:

  • Place the cooked shrimp with the saag (spinach mixture) on the plate or platter. Arrange them neatly so that they are evenly distributed.

3. Garnish:

  • Sprinkle some fresh cilantro leaves over the Shrimp Saag for a burst of color and added flavor.

4. Side Accompaniments:

  • Shrimp Saag pairs wonderfully with various side dishes. Some popular choices include:
    • Basmati rice: Serve the Shrimp Saag alongside steamed or fragrant Basmati rice for a complete meal.
    • Indian bread: Offer options like naan, roti, or paratha for a traditional touch.
    • Lemon wedges: Provide lemon wedges on the side to allow diners to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

5. Condiments:

  • Offer condiments like yogurt or raita, pickles, and chutney on the side. These can complement the flavors and provide a cool contrast to the spiciness of the dish.

6. Accompanying Beverages:

  • Consider serving traditional Indian beverages like lassi (a yogurt-based drink) or a cooling minty drink to balance the spices.

7. Dining Utensils:

  • Provide forks, spoons, and napkins for diners to comfortably enjoy the meal. If serving with bread, offer additional utensils like tongs for handling the bread.

8. Inform Guests:

  • If the dish is particularly spicy, it’s a good idea to inform your guests so they can adjust their spice tolerance accordingly.

9. Presentation Tips:

  • To make the presentation more appealing, you can drizzle a bit of cream or coconut milk on top of the Shrimp Saag just before serving for a decorative touch.
  • You may also sprinkle a pinch of additional garam masala for extra aroma and flavor.

10. Enjoy!

  • Encourage your guests to dig in and savor the delicious Shrimp Saag. It’s best enjoyed while it’s still hot.

With these serving tips, you’ll create an inviting and enjoyable dining experience when serving Shrimp Saag.

some tips and tricks

shrimp saag

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make a delicious Shrimp Saag:

1. Quality Shrimp:

  • Use fresh or frozen shrimp for the best flavor. If using frozen shrimp, make sure to properly thaw them before marinating and cooking.

2. Marination Time:

  • Marinating the shrimp for at least 15-30 minutes allows them to absorb the flavors of the spices. You can marinate them longer for more intense flavor.

3. Cooking Shrimp:

  • Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Shrimp cook quickly and can become tough if overdone. They should turn pink and opaque in about 2-3 minutes per side.

4. Fresh Spinach:

  • Use fresh spinach for the saag. It’s preferable over frozen spinach for better flavor and texture.

5. Blanching Spinach:

  • When blanching the spinach, don’t overcook it. Boil for 2-3 minutes and immediately transfer it to ice water to preserve its vibrant green color.

6. Blend Spinach Smoothly:

  • Blend the blanched spinach into a smooth puree to achieve a creamy saag consistency.

7. Adjust Spice Level:

  • Adjust the amount of green chilies and red chili powder to your spice preference. Start with less if you’re sensitive to heat and add more if you like it spicy.

8. Cream or Coconut Milk:

  • You can choose between heavy cream for a rich, creamy taste or coconut milk for a lighter, coconut-flavored saag. Adjust the quantity to achieve your desired consistency.

9. Tempering Spices:

  • Ensure that the cumin seeds sizzle and release their aroma when added to the hot oil or ghee at the beginning of the recipe. This step enhances the overall flavor.

10. Garnish: – Fresh cilantro leaves make for a vibrant and flavorful garnish. You can also add a drizzle of cream or coconut milk for an elegant touch.

11. Serving Suggestions: – Serve Shrimp Saag with rice, naan, or roti. Providing a variety of side dishes and condiments can enhance the dining experience.

12. Taste Testing: – Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, including salt and additional spices, to suit your taste buds.

13. Storage: – Shrimp Saag can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

14. Experimentation: – Feel free to experiment with additional spices and herbs to personalize the dish to your liking. Some people like to add a pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for extra flavor.

15. Enjoy the Process: – Cooking should be an enjoyable experience. Take your time, savor the aromas, and have fun creating this delicious dish.

some vegetables that work well in combination with shrimp and spinach

shrimp saag
  1. Bell Peppers: Sliced bell peppers, especially red and yellow ones, can add a sweet and colorful element to the dish.
  2. Peas: Green peas are a classic addition to many Indian dishes. They bring a subtle sweetness and a pop of color.
  3. Tomatoes: While tomatoes are already included in the base of Shrimp Saag, you can add more if you want a richer tomato flavor or some cherry tomatoes for a burst of freshness.
  4. Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms, such as cremini or button mushrooms, can contribute an earthy flavor and a meaty texture to the dish.
  5. Zucchini: Sliced or diced zucchini can be a great addition, providing a mild and slightly crunchy texture.
  6. Broccoli: Small broccoli florets can add a pleasant crunch and a hint of bitterness to balance the flavors.
  7. Carrots: Thinly sliced or julienned carrots can bring a touch of sweetness and color contrast to the dish.
  8. Cauliflower: Small cauliflower florets can absorb the flavors of the sauce and complement the shrimp and spinach.

When adding these vegetables, consider their cooking times. You may need to adjust when you add them to the dish to ensure they are cooked to your desired level of tenderness. Adding a variety of vegetables can make your Shrimp Saag even more flavorful and nutritious. Just be mindful not to overcrowd the pan, as it may affect the cooking of the shrimp and spinach.

nutrition content of a Shrimp Saag recipe

The nutrition content of a Shrimp Saag recipe can vary based on factors such as portion size, the specific ingredients used, and any variations in the recipe. However, I can provide you with a general estimate of the nutrition content for a typical serving of Shrimp Saag made with the ingredients listed earlier in this conversation. Please note that these values are approximate and can vary:

Nutrition per serving (approximate values):

  • Calories: 300-350 calories per serving
  • Protein: 20-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10-15 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3-5 grams
  • Sugars: 3-5 grams
  • Fat: 20-25 grams
    • Saturated Fat: 10-12 grams
    • Unsaturated Fat: 10-13 grams
  • Cholesterol: 150-200 milligrams
  • Sodium: 700-800 milligrams (varies with salt added)
  • Vitamins and Minerals:
    • Vitamin A: 4000-5000 IU (from spinach and other ingredients)
    • Vitamin C: 20-25 milligrams
    • Calcium: 100-150 milligrams
    • Iron: 3-4 milligrams
    • Potassium: 400-500 milligrams

Please keep in mind that these values are estimates and can vary depending on the specific brands and quantities of ingredients you use, as well as any adjustments or modifications made to the recipe. To get the most accurate nutrition information for your Shrimp Saag, you may want to use a nutrition calculator or consult the nutritional labels on the specific products you use. Additionally, serving size can significantly affect the overall nutrition content, so be mindful of portion sizes when serving.


  • Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?
  • Absolutely, frozen shrimp works well. Just make sure to thaw and pat them dry before marinating.
  • What can I substitute for heavy cream if I want a lighter version?
  • You can use yogurt or coconut milk as a healthier alternative.
  • Is Shrimp Saag a spicy dish?
  • The level of spiciness can be adjusted by controlling the amount of red chili powder and green chilies used.
  • How long does it take to prepare Shrimp Saag?
  • The entire cooking process takes around 30-40 minutes, making it a relatively quick and satisfying meal option.

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