Alu Palak (Saag-Alu), Potato & Spinach Bhaji/Sabji Without Sauce
Aloo Palak ki Sookhi Sabji
It is a simple and tasty dish, best served with Indian breads like chapatti, nan or paratha. It is a dry (without gravy) curry, popular at Indian restaurants in UK. Here, it has been cooked with much less oil and not too hot.
This dish can be made using frozen spinach, but find one that has whole or chopped leaves, not pureed, for a better texture. Serves 4
Recipe edited and new pictures added January 2020
500 gm. spinach leaves (tinned or frozen spinach can be used)
150-200 gm. potatoes
1 small/medium onion, peeled and sliced or chopped (optional). My mum used ginger alone, no onions or garlic at all. I often omit onion and garlic.
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated/finely chopped
1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated/chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. cooking oil (or mustard oil)
1 tsp. cumin seeds (or black mustard seeds or Panch Pooran)
1-2 dry red chillies
A pinch of asafoetida powder (omit if you don't have it)
1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
3/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (or 2 fresh green chillies)-adjust to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
*Onions are optional in any dry vegetable bhaji, I usually make mine without any.
Adding a cup of chopped methi (fenugreek) leaves or 2 tbsp. of dry kasoori methi leaves with spinach, gives this dish a different, nice flavour.
Wash and chop spinach roughly.
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. New potatoes do not require peeling.
Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder and let the cumin seeds splutter, not burn.
Add onion, ginger and garlic. Fry until onions are golden brown.
Add turmeric, coriander powder, salt and chilli powder.
Add potatoes and fry for about 5 minutes, until aroma of spices rises.
Add spinach, mix well, cover and cook on medium-low heat, until potatoes are tender. Stir from time to time.
Stir fry on higher heat, until all water is evaporated and the vegetable looks a little shiny.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Sprinkle garam masala, sugar and stir well.
Quantities of spinach, potatoes and onions are only a rough guide. A little more or a little less of either will not matter.
No additional water is required, spinach releases enough of its own water.
Adding a little squeeze of lemon juice or a little bit of crushed lemon pickle at the end of cooking, enhances the taste and flavour of this dish.