Saag aloo recipe is popular on the menu in most Indian restaurants outside India. If you want to try it out at home, it is one of the simplest Indian dishes that you can get started with.
In case you were wondering what the meaning of saag aloo is: saag=greens, and aloo=potatoes in Hindi so saag aloo is a dry curry comprising potatoes and greens, which could be spinach or any other greens that are easily available and in season in your part of the world.
The step by step pictures for the saag aloo recipe will help you make this dish at home, even if you are a beginner cook, without any doubts whatsoever.
Potato is one of the most versatile ingredients in the world, ready to be paired with any other vegetable, greens or spices. While aloo gobi and aloo matar are evergreen combinations, potato pairs well with just about any other vegetable in a dry curry in North Indian cuisine. Usually one of the cheaper vegetables, it also helps stretch another vegetable like lady’s finger (bhindi) or parwal to serve more members in an Indian middle class family. The other advantage of these Indian vegetable dishes in combination with potatoes is that it makes it slightly more acceptable to children and other fussy eaters. They may end up picking out the potatoes from the curry and leaving out the other boring vegetable like cabbage, but as parents we do take our chances 🙂
In saag aloo, spinach is one of the popular green leafy veg that is combined with potatoes, but I also use Malabar Spinach when it is in full growth mode in my kitchen garden.
The broad steps in the saag aloo recipe –
The tempering stage – Oil is heated in a pan and some whole spices are added to the oil. Aromatics like green chillies, ginger, garlic and onions help add flavour to a curry.
The saag – Green leafy veg are washed and sliced finely, added to the pan after the aromatics are well fried.
The potatoes – Boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes are added to the pan once the spinach / greens are wilted. Potatoes are usually pressure cooked in Indian homes as it is the fastest way to cook potatoes. You can also cook them in the microwave or boil whole potatoes on the stove top in a large pan of water. The latter is time consuming as compared to pressure cooking.
Seasoning and spices – salt and a mix of dry spice powders are usually used to prepare a dry curry in Indian cuisine. Amchoor or dried mango powder (easily available in the spice section of most Indian supermarkets) lends an astringent quality to the dish, with its tangy flavour. Coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder are the usual suspects for any Indian curry.
Once everything is tossed together, the saag aloo is ready to be served.
What does this saag aloo recipe go with?
Pair with rotis and dal tadka for a simple vegetarian Indian meal. Add a raita and a chutney to this for a little more elaborate vegetarian Indian meal. Find a couple of other ideas on how to use any leftover saag aloo at the end of the recipe.