This delicious vegan Saag Aloo (Spinach and Potato Curry) is utterly delicious. (Saag means spinach and Aloo means potato!, so combined they are Aloo Saag, or Saag Aloo!
It's a super simple curry to make, as well as being utterly delicious. We often make it as part of our 'fakeaway' dinners for when we crave something Indian but also want the benefits of home cooking. Traditional Saal Aloo would have ghee or clarified butter in it, however we keep this simple and vegan by using some nuetral oil.
Spinach: The spinach (saag) component in this vegan saag aloo is probably the trickiest thing in the whole dish to make, but don't be alarmed! It just takes LOADS of spinach to create the dish, because as we all know, spinach just disappears when cooked. If you can find mature spinach instead of baby spinach, it won't wilt down so dramatically. You could also use frozen spinach, as this is already pre-cooked it just needs defrosting in a hot pan for a while to use.
Potatoes: In terms of the variety of potato (aloo) that you need, a floury style potato is great, as they sort of disintegrate and soften into the whole curry, thickening it and becoming infused with the spices. However, you could also easily use waxy potatoes, just chop them up a little more so they absorb the flavours!.
Spices: Mustard Seed, Cumin, Garam Masala and Nigella (kalonji/black mustard seed)
The key to really great flavour with this curry, and indeed with all curries, is to use the freshest spices you can find! Spices really do lose their flavour after lying around in a cupboard for years. I like to shop at small Indian or other ethnic greengrocers. Not only are the spices better quality, but they are also SO much cheaper, so you can use them generously in your cooking. We also love (and use) the spices from our favourite spice merchants Steenbergs
See below for a step by step of how to make the vegan Saag Aloo Curry.
- Start by peeling and cooking the potatoes.
- Add oil to a large pan, and gently cook your onion & garlic until it is translucent. Add the ground spices and toast until fragrant.
- Now tip in the spinach. Keep adding it as it wilts!
- Now add in the cooked potatoes and let cook for a little while.
The element that really elevates this vegan curry is the tempered spices that are added at the end. Tempering simply means to gently fry, which releases the fragrances of the spices into the oil. It really does create an extra layer of flavour that this mild potato and spinach curry just loves.
This curry just gets better the longer it is cooked and is even more delicious if made the day before. Perfect for leftover lovers!
You can keep this curry for up to a week in the fridge. It also freezes well. I sometimes add extra spinach to mine if it has been frozen to 'brighten' up the flavour and colour.
I like floury potatoes in this Saag Aloo. But I have also made it with smaller new potatoes and it turned out delicious.
Absolutely. Just defrost the spinach and add into the pan. It's really great to have extra frozen spinach in the freezer to add into curries and soups for an easy way to add nutrients to your food!
Absolutely if that is what you have to hand. The outcome will be slightly different, however the spices will really help make the dish delicious.
Fresh spices will make this curry more delicious. They have more fragrant oils that deteriorate as they age. Try your local ethnic/world food stores for the best value spices.
This is a mild curry that goes well with spicier curries. It does contain garam masala which can be a little bit spicy, so use less of that if you are concerned about the spice level. If you like your food spicier, add a whole chilli in when tempering the spices!
This simple potato and spinach curry has loads of nutrients from the spinach and good starch from the potato. It's cheap and healthy as part of a balanced meal.
This Vegan Saag Aloo recipe is great as it can easily be made into other variations!
For Saag Aloo Gobi: add a cup of fresh or frozen peas (gobi are peas)
For a vegan twist on Aloo Paneer, add in cubes of my tofu halloumi. Add as much as you like! You might want to increase the spinach element if making this.
🍛 Serving Ideas
The ideal accompaniment to this easy Spinach and Potato Curry are some flatbreads and some daal, plus maybe some pakora. Take a look at some of our favourite recipes that you might like to complement this!
If you love this idea, please share this post with your friends and comment below; this helps others find my yummy recipes!
Love & Vegan Yummies,
Vegan Saag Aloo (Spinach and Potato Curry)
For the main curry
- 1 kg potatoes (Floury about 2 pounds weight)
- 800 g spinach (25 cups fresh or 500g frozen )
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (a good thumbsized knob)
- 1 small onion
- 1 small chilli (leave out if you want a milder curry)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tbap mustard seed
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the tempered spices
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also known as kalonji or black onion seed)
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
For the curry
- First peel and boil the potatoes in salted water1 kg potatoes
- Now chop the onion and garlic finely, and grate the ginger1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1 small onion, 5 cloves garlic
- In a large pan, start by heating the oil, then add the onion and let cook until translucent1 small onion
- Add the garlic and all the other spices. Sizzle for a minute until they start to become fragrant1 small chilli, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tbap mustard seed, 5 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil, salt and pepper to taste
- Add the spinach and wilt it down. You will probably have to add it in batches. Keep adding until all the spinach is in the pan. Add a good pinch of salt here800 g spinach
- Put the lid on the pan and let it cook for at least 10 minutes, be sure not to let it burn or catch. Add a tiny bit of water if it looks like drying out. The longer you cook the spinach in the spices, the more delicious and unctious it becomes!
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and add to the spinach mixture. Cook another 10 minutes. (or longer. Again, the longer you cook this, the more the potatoes soften into the dish and become even more delicious.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt if you need it .
For the Tempered Spices
- In a pan, sizzle the mustard and nigella seeds in the oil until they become fragrant and 'pop' slightly.2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- Just before serving, tip the fragrant oil and spices over the curry.1 tablespoon nigella seeds, 1 tablespoon mustard seed