Saag Aloo

Saag Aloo

Saag Aloo is a North Indian dish usually made using spinach and potato, though ‘saag’ is a term also used to describe other greens, such as mustard leaves. There are many ‘saag’ based dishes across India, with many types of greens featuring heavily in Odisha and Punjabi cuisine (though not exclusively). ‘Aloo’ – potatoes – also feature heavily in food not only across India, but the world and indeed, my kitchen. They complete and add a little substance to what is a pleasantly descriptive name for a delicious and nutritious dish.

Not only is saag aloo popular in Punjabi cuisine, it has worked its way most impressively into the gastronomic consciousness of the West. Indeed, there are few Indian restaurants in my neck of the woods that fail to feature this green delight. Though usually considered a side dish, the nutritional value of both spinach and potatoes also, in my opinion, makes this dish a perfectly suitable main. Served alongside rice and chapatis, saag aloo really holds its own in a region of the globe where the chicken curry reigns supreme.

Saag Aloo

There aren’t any particularly hard or fast rules when it comes to flavouring a saag aloo, though I prefer to opt for simplicity and fragrance. A little turmeric, a scattering of black onion seeds and a sprinkling of garam masala is more than enough to really make your greens leap from the confines of their plate – not to forget the chilli and garlic, of course. If you don’t feel like following my immediate suggestions, cumin and cardamom are also popular spices used in this curry and would certainly go down a treat. Enjoy!

Saag Aloo

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 160g fresh spinach

• 300g new potatoes, 1 inch chunks

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 3 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1-2 chillies, finely sliced

• ½ tsp turmeric

• 1 tsp black onion seeds

• 1 tsp garam masala

• 7-8 cherry tomatoes, halved

• Water

• Oil

• Salt

Method:

1. Toast your spices in a large pan, drizzle in some oil and begin to cook the onions. Once the onions are translucent add the garlic, chillies, tomatoes and potatoes. After a few minutes add a splash of water (around 50-60ml), pop the lid on and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Saag Aloo

2. Blanch the spinach until wilted in a pan of hot water. Transfer to a food processor and blend until almost like a paste. Once the potatoes are cooked stir in the spinach, add a little more water if necessary, season and serve with chapatis or rice.

Saag Aloo

Cost: Spinach and potatoes – the latter especially – are very reasonably priced ingredients. You get a lot of nutrition for your money with this dish and there’s no meat in sight. Indeed, the entire curry for two should set you back only £1.80.

69 thoughts on “Saag Aloo

  1. ivan30075

    I wonder, and it has only just occurred to me, what was used in dishes such as this before potato was introduced to Indian cuisine, presumably via Europe from South America, sometime during or after the sixteenth century? The greens would not be a problem, as you mention, on any inhabited continent.

  2. narf77

    One of my vegan staples and something that saved my vegan bacon (HA!) more times than I would like to admit in the early days. Cheers for the memories Mr Frugal and hopefully more of your readers are going to try it and love it like we do :)

  3. mandaray

    Oh wow, this looks great! I adore Indian food and always welcome learning more about it. Thank you for sharing. :) Since I am not a great fan of spinach, would something like turnip greens or kale be an appropriate substitute?

  4. Bunny Eats Design

    We are growing spinach at the moment and this dish sounds like a lovely way to show off our bounty. If no food processor is available, is it ok to chop finely? Or would a stick blender be preferable?

  5. mabi

    I cooked this for a friend watching his blood sugar, and used taro and sweet potato instead. So good! Thanks for this recipe.

  6. Pingback: Some Kind of a Saag Aloo | schleppinginthecity

  7. klmv

    Looks and sounds delicious! I love the combination of potatoes and spinach (anything and spinach, really ) and I make a mean aloo gobi, so this seems a must try. :)

  8. Sophia

    I absolutely love a good curry dish, especially where potatoes are involved (my other favourite potato curry is a dish made with potatoes and peas and mustard seeds). As much as I like all the meaty dishes, one of the things that makes Indian cooking stand out to me is the skill with which vegetables are prepared, and the sheer variety of vegetable based dishes so Sag Aloo is right up my alley!

  9. Somer

    Went to an Indian Restaurant over the weekend and several people in my party ordered different versions of Saag, I have to say, yours is prettier than any I saw! Got to try this one!

  10. jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur

    This looks like a wonderful and simple to put together dish. I’ve always loved Indian food, but I’ve been eating much more of it recently. Baingan Bharta is my absolute favorite, but I always love a spinach dish. I’ll have to try this one soon!

  11. Sho'Nuff

    I don’t suppose you get tired of hearing people say, “great idea, I’m gonna try this” ?? Because I’m going to say it: great idea, I’m going to try this.

    What I like about this recipe is the speed at which it can be prepared. I’ve got two kids, a job, a mess of a garden… my Indian cuisine cookbooks have beautiful recipes, but I just don’t have that amount of prep-time available. More like this one, please!

  12. MamaD1xx4xy

    Does indeed look yummy. Will definitely try soon, especially when my tomatoes in the garden are ready! My boys do so love all things curry and this should do the trick. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  13. plummymummy

    Looks yummy. Never thought of adding onion seeds to mine even though I love the taste of them. Also don’t add tomatoes but that would up the 5 a day wouldn’t it. I don’t bother blanching the spinach – just chuck it in. Such a quick and easy dish to make. Really good at the moment as spinach is in season.Will have to give yours a go. Is 9am too early I wonder?

  14. Meenakshi

    Aloo saag is a wonderful dish indeed. And Indian vegetarian cooking can certainly hold it’s own against a butter chicken anyday! I like your addition of onion seeds :) I usually add mustard, never thought to add onion seeds though! Really yummy looking :)

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