If you love spinach and if you love potatoes, you do not want to miss out on this amazing, healthy and flavorful north Indian dish of Aloo Palak. Even better, we are making it today with the basic tomato onion sauce I shared with you earlier this week, making this a recipe you can put together in under 20 minutes.
You've probably encountered Aloo Palak or Saag Aloo at Indian restaurants. I think I wouldn't be wrong in calling it a close cousin of Palak Paneer's, where pureed spinach is cooked with spices and paneer cubes are stirred in. In a dish of Aloo Palak, you'd stir in delicious potatoes instead, and a soupçon of yogurt. Vegan yogurt, of course (have you made this cultured cashew yogurt?).
I put together the basic tomato onion sauce because I want to make Indian vegan cooking accessible to those of you who, like me, struggle with too many things to do and too little time. Even if you have all the time in the world, wouldn't you be happier just spending it somewhere outside the kitchen?
This sauce can be jarred and refrigerated for up to a week, or you can freeze it and thaw it before using. It's deep and rich and flavorful, and it'll make Indian cooking a breeze, I promise.
The last recipe I shared with you using this basic tomato onion sauce was my Methi Malai Paneer Tofu, a delicious melange of bell peppers and tofu in a creamy sauce. Today's Aloo Palak recipe begins with the same base, but I promise you it will taste completely different and no one will be able to tell you took a short-cut.
For this Saag Aloo recipe you need spinach, of course. I use fresh spinach when I can, but I do -- and so can you -- use frozen spinach when I don't have fresh on hand. The spinach will be pureed, so no one will be the wiser.
You will need to blanch the spinach and blend it, which does add a couple of extra steps, but it takes just a few minutes. If you use frozen spinach, you can do this in the microwave. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to your spinach and nuke it for a couple of minutes, then puree. You will also need boiled potatoes for this recipe. You can blanch and puree the spinach and boil the potatoes beforehand and put everything together at the time of cooking.
I do hope you're enjoying these quick takes on popular Indian recipes. I'll next bring you a very quick chana masala using this base. I already have an easy chana masala recipe on the blog, but this one will be even quicker.
Enjoy the Aloo Palak, and if you make it, be sure to let me know by posting a comment below, or by taking a photo and sharing it on Instagram. Don't forget to tag it @holycowvegan!
Other recipes with the basic tomato onion sauce:
- 10-minute Vegan Dal
- Instant Chana Masala
- Vegan Methi Malai Tofu
- Easy Aloo Matar
- Easy Vegan Chick'n Curry with Potatoes and Coconut Milk
- Sarson ka Saag, a North Indian Mustard Greens Curry
Aloo Palak or Saag Aloo, a spinach and potato curry
- 1 ½ cups basic tomato onion sauce
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bunch spinach, chopped (about 12 ounces). You can use an equal amount of frozen spinach
- 1 tbsp vegan cashew yogurt (you can also use any storebought unflavored vegan yogurt)
- 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
- 3 gold or red potatoes (boiled and cubed)
- Salt to taste
- Heat water in a saucepan, and when it comes to a boil, drop in the spinach leaves. Bring the water back to a boil and let the spinach cook for a minute, then turn off the heat, drain the leaves and add to a blender. Puree the leaves into a smooth paste. If needed, add a small amount of water to help the blender blades move. Reserve. If using frozen spinach, thaw the spinach and microwave with 2 tbsp water, then blend.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok. Add the cumin seeds and when they darken a little, add the basic tomato onion sauce and saute until warmed through.
- Add the potato cubes, stir to mix and let them cook for a couple of minutes in the sauce. Add the spinach puree and yogurt and mix well. Add salt to taste. If using garam masala, stir in at this point.
- Warm through and turn off heat. Serve with naan or rice.