Aloo palak is another easy spinach recipe. This is also popular as saag aloo across the globe. Saag refers to green leafy vegetables and aloo stands for potatoes. This is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free.
If you have got bored with the regular red or brown curry, then try this green curry base. You will add a punch of nutrition to your diet with this super-food. This is one of the quick vegan spinach recipes and doesn't require any planning and preparation. If you have boiled potatoes, then that saves 4- 5 minutes more.
Aloo Palak aka Saag Aloo
Palak or spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables and we should include this green leafy vegetable in our daily diet. You can replace potatoes with paneer or tofu if you want a low-carb and high protein diet. Read here my palak paneer recipe. Also, you can check here all my vegetarian spinach recipes.
You can make this aloo palak or saag aloo in two ways. One is by making spinach base gravy and simmering the potatoes (boiled) for a few minutes. The second method is stir-frying spinach with potatoes.
I have mentioned the saag aloo aka aloo palak in both the ways here, i.e. with gravy, and stir-fried. But before that let us see the most important tip to make the best saag aloo or aloo palak.
Tip 1 - We are not cooking spinach green for long. Overcooking will result in loss of color along with loss of nutrition.
Tip 2 - So you have to boil and shallow fry/ pan fry the potatoes till golden and then add to the gravy. Simmer in spinach gravy for a short duration. If we are making a stir-fry of potato and spinach, then also first cook potatoes. When potatoes are cooked up to 80 - 90%, then add the greens as we only need to wilt the spinach.
Tip 3 - You may add baby potatoes or regular potatoes as per your availability.
How to make saag aloo?
Step - 1 - Cook Potatoes
Clean baby potatoes and place them in a pot with water. Boil the potatoes till it's cooked tender. You can peel the skin out easily when these are boiled and a little cooled.
Heat 4 - 5 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add the boiled potatoes and stir-fry the potatoes for 3 - 4 minutes or till the outer skin looks little brown to golden.
Another way is to dice the potatoes and directly shallow fry/ pan fry them till it's cooked tender. If you are taking larger-sized potatoes (not baby potatoes) then this is a time-saving option too.
Step - 2 - Make Spinach Puree
Wash and clean the spinach thoroughly. In a large pot take some water and bring it to boil and then add spinach greens to it. Blanch it for 2 minutes, till spinach is wilted.
Now remove the pot from heat. Immediately take the leaves out from the hot water and immerse them into iced water. This will stop overcooking of the spinach leaves and also keep the green color intact. If you will overcook the leaves it may turn pale green to olive-green also.
After 5 minutes, remove spinach from the iced water and transfer it to a blender. Blend it into a nice puree.
Step - 3 - Prepare Spinach Gravy
Now heat the same skillet and add finely chopped onions to it. Saute till the onion becomes translucent. For a more garlicky flavor add 4 - 5 cloves of garlic minced along with onions.
Once the onion is translucent, add chopped tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes or till tomatoes are cooked and soft. Then add the ground spices and salt. Stir them well. Keep the flame on low else it will burn the spices. Then add the cooked potatoes and give it a nice stir. Simmer for 2 minutes more.
Now add pureed spinach to the pan. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. That's all. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some garam masala. Aloo palak or saag aloo is ready.
Stir-fry Method Aloo Palak
Wash and clean the leaves. If you have a salad spinner use that to get rid of excess water. Or spread the leaves on a dry cloth and wipe out some excess moisture. Let it air-dry for some time. This will help in not making the dish soggy.
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add minced garlic and chopped onions. Sauté till translucent. Then add chopped potatoes and give a nice stir. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on low heat till potatoes are cooked up to 80 - 90%. Add all ground spices, salt and give a nice stir.
Then add chopped spinach greens to the pan. Mix them nicely. Spinach when comes in contact with the hot pan will start to wilt gradually. So give a gentle stir at 15 - 20 seconds ensuring all leaves are reduced and start to shrink. Spinach will release some more water also (its natural water content). Cover with a lid for 3 - 5 minutes on low flame. If you see some water left even after the spinach is cooked, change it to high flame to evaporate the extra water released. This will help in not making the stir-fry soggy.
The whole process takes less than 30 minutes, whatever method you choose to make this aloo palak or saag aloo. It's delicious too.
How to Serve Saag Aloo?
Saag aloo or aloo palak goes best with any Indian flatbreads or even with steam rice. Some of the regular companions for stir-fry spinach are whole wheat flour chapati/ roti, paratha, laccha paratha, etc. And when it's the spinach gravy, I love that with steamed rice.
Recipe Card For Aloo Palak aka Saag Aloo
Aloo Palak (Saag Aloo)
- 1 bunch spinach leaves 0r 300 - 400 gms
- 250 gms (12 - 15) baby potatoes or 4 medium size potatoes
- 1 medium white onion finely chopped
- 4 - 5 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
- 1 tomato Chopped
- 1 green chilli
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 - 1 tsp red chilli powder or as per taste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp garam masala / all spices (powdered whole spice mix)
- 1/4 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek) (roasted and powdered) optional
- 1/2 cup coconut milk/ coconut cream (optional)
- Wash & clean spinach greens.
- Blanch the spinach leaves and cool it with ice cold water to retain color.
- Transfer to a blender and puree it to a smooth paste.
- If using baby potatoes, boil them to fork-tender.
- You can also steam potatoes in the Instant pot. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot. Place the steamer basket on the trivia and place the potatoes in it. Close the lid and start Manual Pressure Cook mode for 5 minutes. NPR for 4 minutes, then quick release.
- Remove the skins once cooled.
- If using regular potatoes, peel and dice into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Shallow fry potatoes till its golden in color.
- Once done, remove from pan and keep aside.
Method I - Spinach gravy
- Make a puree of tomato, ginger, garlic, green chilli to fine paste.
- Add 3 tbsp oil in a pan and heat on medium flame.
- Put one bay leaf.
- Add chopped onion, garlic (2 cloves) to the pan and saute till translucent.
- In a blender add tomatoes with ginger, 2 cloves garlic, and green chilli (optional), and blend it to a smooth paste.
- Add pureed tomato to the pan. And saute till it's cooked nicely.
- Then add all the above mentioned ground spices (coriander powder, chilli powder or cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, cumin powder)
- Saute till the paste is cooked well.
- Add cooked potatoes and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Then add spinach puree and give it a nice stir.
- Season with salt and 1/4 cup water or coconut milk.
- Simmer for 3- 4 minutes.
- Next add fried potatoes to the gravy.
- In the end add garam masala, dry roasted and powdered kasuri methi and give a nice stir.
- Turn off heat and add a dash of lemon juice.
- Optional - Add some coconut milk for richer, creamier gravy.
- Wash and clean the leaves. Air dry for sometime.
- Chop the leaves finely.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add a pinch of cumin seeds, and let it splutter.
- Then add chopped onion, garlic and saute till translucent.
- Next add diced potatoes and cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook till potatoes are cooked upto 80%.
- Add all ground spices and give it a nice stir.
- Now add chopped spinach and stir them gently making sure all leaves started to wilt.
- Keep stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt.
- Cook for 3 - 4 minutes on medium to high heat so that the water released by spinach will evaporate and the dish won't be soggy.
- After 5 minutes, remove from heat and sprinkle some garam masala and a dash of lemon juice.
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