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Saag Aloo: Indian Spinach and Potatoes

a white casserole filled with Indian Saag Aloo - spinach and potatoes

4.8 from 4 reviews

A delicious Indian spinach and potato curry with mild fragrant spices.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 30-32 ounces of frozen whole leaf spinach (3 10-oz boxes or 2 16-oz bags) note: you can use chopped spinach, but I have a slight preference for the quality of whole leaf spinach.
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (or substitute yellow mustard seeds - see notes)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt plus more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch to 1-inch cubes
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (use an extra pinch or two if you like a lot of heat)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Drop the frozen spinach into boiling water and heat, stirring, for a minute or two, just until spinach is defrosted and tender. Drain and rinse it under cold water immediately. Squeeze the spinach to wring out most of the water, chop it coarsely, and set it aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven with a lid. Add the mustard seeds and leave them to heat for 30 seconds or so. As soon as they start to pop, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the onions are slightly softened. Add potatoes and cayenne, and stir them through.
  3. Add the spinach, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Turn heat up to get the water sizzling. Cover pot and lower to a very gentle simmer. Simmer gently for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Give everything a stir every 15 minutes or so, adding a bit more water if the pan looks dry.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

Notes

A note about mustard seeds: Jaffrey's recipe calls for black mustard seeds. Sometimes it's hard to find black mustard seeds, so I decided to test the recipe two ways - once with black and once with yellow mustard seeds. The black seeds are a bit more intense in flavor but both versions were absolutely delicious.

 

Keywords: spinach, potatoes, side dish