Aloo Palak is one of the rare dishes I make very frequently.
Because a) I truly, whole-heartedly love spinach… for its taste, health benefits and versatility (spinach cake, anyone?) and b) I always have spinach in the fridge; and if it starts to wilt, this is my favorite way to use it.
I’ve tried cooking Aloo Palak in countless ways…With less onion, more onion, yes tomatoes, no tomatoes, tomato paste instead of tomatoes, butter at the end, without chopping the spinach (bad idea), adding potatoes before the spinach, less oil, more oil, covered, uncovered…andddd you’re asleep. 🙂
This method I’m sharing is the culmination of all my Aloo Palak experiments. It’s a solid recipe that I use when I want to make sure I make a mean Aloo Palak. And if you’re wondering why I settled for this particular way of cooking my spinach & potatoes…Laziness is why. I just boil the potatoes while I’m cooking the spinach curry.
The other, more serious reason is because this method of cooking spinach (leaving it uncovered) ensures that the spinach and all its goodness doesn’t just cook ’till death. The color, nutrients and taste remains in-tact and revered, as spinach should be.
I hope you like it as much as I do! As always, please let me know if you try my recipes.
- 4 tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
- 1 tbsp ghee (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chili peppers, slit in half
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 inch piece ginger, crushed
- 1 medium to large tomato, finely chopped (about 170 grams)
- 1 pound (16-oz) package of prewashed organic baby spinach or 2 small organic bunches of spinach (about 500 grams), washed, rinsed, and stems removed
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- ¾ tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1-2 tsp juice of a freshly squeezed lime or lemon
- Finely chop the spinach leaves using the pulse function of a food processor*. You can do this in advance and store it, covered, in the refrigerator. Set aside.
- Boil the cubed potato with 1 tsp salt until very tender. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil and ghee in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds. Give them a few seconds to sizzle. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until slightly golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add the slit green chili pepper, garlic and ginger and cook until the raw smell disappears, about 15-20 seconds. Lower the heat and add the chopped tomato, spice powders and salt, and cook until the tomato becomes soft and the oil starts to leave the sides, about 3 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add the spinach. Stir-fry it until it loses its moisture, about 5 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent the spinach from sticking to the bottom. Do not cover the pan to cook it. This ensures that the spinach retains its vibrant green color, taste and nutrients. When the spinach is cooked, add the boiled potatoes and turn off the heat. Stir to coat the potatoes with the spinach. Adjust salt, if needed. Sprinkle lime or lemon juice.
- Serve hot with roti, naan, rice or bread. You can also serve yogurt and chopped red onions on the side, if desired.
*I use the pulse function to chop the onion and tomato as well.