This delicious vegan Spinach and Potato Curry is also known as Saag Aloo. (Saag means spinach and Aloo means potato!)
It's super simple 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.
The spinach (saag) component 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.
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!.
The key to really great flavour with this curry, and indeed with all curries, is to use as 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, they are 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 Saag Aloo Curry.
The element that really elevates this 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.
Below: Tempering the spices in oil before drizzling over the finished curry.
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 compliment this!
If you make this curry, please let us know in the comments below! We love your feedback and ideas xx
Vegan Spinach & Potato Curry (Saag Aloo)
For the main curry
- 1 kg potatoes Floury (about 2 pounds weight)
- 800 g spinach (25 cups) fresh or 500g frozen
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger a good thumbsized knob
- 1 small onion
- 1 small chilli leave out if you want a milder curry
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbap mustard seed
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the tempered spices
- 1 tbsp mustard seed
- 1 tbsp nigells seeds also known as kalonji or black onion seed
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the curry
- First peel and boil the potatoes in salted water
- Now chop the onion and garlic finely, and grate the ginger
- In a large pan, start by heating the oil, then add the onion and let cook until translucent
- Add the garlic and all the other spices. Sizzle for a minute until they start to become fragrant
- 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 here
- 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.
- Just before serving, tip the fragrant oil and spices over the curry.