Spinach and potatoes - Indian style
Saag aloo or palak aloo
Saag aloo - also known as palak aloo - combines spinach and potatoes, and is a great vegetable side dish to serve along with curries.
In fact, saag aloo can be served as a meal in its own right, with some boiled rice. A delicious alternative for when you are not in the mood for meat, and it is packed with flavor.
For me, saag aloo is one of those dishes that I can't remember trying for the first time. I would guess that a friend might have ordered it at a restaurant, and let me have a taste. And now, years on, I really love this vegetable dish. If I'm in an Indian restaurant, I'll normally order this as a side-dish, for everyone to sample along with our curry.
So whoever introduced it to me, a heartfelt thank you!
Saag aloo is a fairly mild dish compared to some of the curries you might encounter, but it does have a nice little 'kick' to it, as it contains chili, along with ginger and mustard seeds.
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch cube of fresh ginger
2 green chilies
2 medium-sized potatoes
200g young leaf spinach
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp garam masala
0.5 tsp coriander powder
0.5 tsp cumin powder
small knob of butter
Cooking the spinach and onions
And boiling the potatoes
In a hot saucepan or wok, add a little cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies and spinach. Cook, stirring regularly, for 15 mins.
In the meantime, cook the diced potatoes in boiling water containing some salt and turmeric.
Finally, add the cumin seeds to the spinach and onion mixture in the wok, and stir.
Combining the spinach and potatoes
Finishing the dish
When the potatoes are soft and cooked, drain them. Add the potatoes to the wok containing the spinach and onion.
Stir to combine, and then add the garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. After cooking for a few minutes, add the black mustard seeds, and continue cooking to combine all the flavors - about 10 or 15 minutes. If necessary, add a little water.
Finally add a small knob of butter and stir until it melts and coats all the ingredients.
Saag Aloo - Spinach with potatoes - Indian style
Here's the final dish. It can be served on the side with other main meals such as curries, and is very nice served with rice.
Some recipes take the spinach mixture and blend it to a smooth paste before adding the potatoes.