Aloo Palak, which literally means potato and spinach in English, is one popular dish among Indian/ Pakistani cuisines. It’s such a versatile curry that you can cook it with gravy or dry like a stir-fry.
Whichever you decide, it’s surely a vegan dish that can satisfy your appetite with some roti/ chapati, naan bread, flatbread, or pitta bread. But I’d say enjoying it with plain white Basmati rice is as good too if not better.
Aloo Palak is almost always served at special occasions such as family gatherings, weddings, birthdays, Eid celebration, etc.
And just like any food recipe, there are endless versions of how to make Aloo Palak.
The recipe that I’m sharing with you is based on the recipes that I learned from my Pakistani sisters in law and my Gujarati friends. But as always, I’ve tweaked the recipe, and I’m happy with it now as my family and friends approve it as well.
The Ingredients for making Aloo Palak
Needless to say, this one ingredient is the most important. Otherwise, the dish won’t have the name of Aloo in it . As aloo means potatoes in English.
As you may know that there are many types of spuds/ potatoes. But for this aloo palak, I suggest you go for the waxy types NOT the floury type. The reason is that the potatoes will hold their shapes when they are cooked and have a firm texture to bite.
I personally prefer Charlotte, Desiree, or Jersey Royals potatoes.
As for the proportion, some people put more potatoes, some others put more spinach in this dish. However, the aloo palak that you get at restaurants and weddings has more spinach in it. So it’s more spinach curry with potatoes kinda feel. Which I love.
Because I’m a bit like the old Popeye. I love my spinach.
You can use fresh spinach or frozen spinach. Since the pandemic lockdown started, I have been using frozen spinach more often than not. The dish comes out as tasty.
For the photos in this recipe, I used frozen spinach.
Here in the UK, there are 2 types of spinach that I usually use for this recipe. One is Asian spinach that has big leaves. Normally, I buy them at Asian shops. Another one is frozen spinach that I buy from ordinary supermarkets. For this recipe, I used the frozen chopped spinach. You can use fresh spinach at the same weight measure.
No-fuss about the choice of onions. You can use brown/ yellow onions or red onions. They’re both good.
Ginger and garlic
You need to pound/ crush the ginger and garlic into a paste. Or, you can chop them as finely as you can.
You will only need one medium size of tomato for this recipe. If you can’t get a fresh tomato, you can use ⅓ of canned tomatoes.
There are five basic spices that I use in almost every curry dish I make. They are ground turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, and ground/ coarse black pepper.
For chilli powder, I prefer Kashmiri chilli because it has a vibrant red colour with a mild heat. Whilst the regular chilli powder is not as red and is hotter in taste.
And when I don’t have Kashmiri chilli powder, I use a mix of regular chilli powder with paprika powder as the substitute.
Coriander leaves are used for garnish in most of the Pakistani curry dishes. But for this aloo palak, you will need another herb which is Fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi to put as an ingredient in the curry.
Ideally you use fresh Methi leaves just like the one you use for Aloo Methi. But, you can always opt for dried fenugreek leaves instead. If you use the dry herbs, you will only need a teaspoon or two for this recipe.
Oil and/ or ghee
Feel free to use any cooking oil you prefer and love. I personally use either rapeseed oil or sunflower oil.
Just like many traditional Pakistani/ Indian curries, you can use ghee (clarified butter) in this Aloo Palak. Feel free to use ghee instead of oil, though I personally would just put about two tablespoons of ghee towards the end.
How to make Aloo Palak
There are numerous ways of making Aloo Palak, but the one I’m sharing here is the most practical way, and it has always given me good results.
First, fry your chopped onion with your preferred oil/ fat until translucent before you add in crushed ginger and garlic.
Then you put all the spices and continue frying for about two minutes until the spices release aroma. Next, add in chopped tomatoes and let them cook further until you get a smooth masala (cooked spices).
Try to mash the tomatoes every now and again until your masala (spices) turn like smooth sauce. And then put the spinach in, followed with potatoes and Kasuri Methi (fenugreek leaves).
If you use frozen spinach, you cook the spinach first until it’s fully thawed and half-way cooked. Then you add in the fenugreek leaves/ Kasuri methi and the potatoes. Cook until everything is fully cooked. If you prefer the dry curry, you cook it until all the sauce evaporates.
If you use fresh spinach, you add in the cubed potatoes and cook further until the spuds are half-cooked.
It can take about 20 minutes to 30 minutes to cook Aloo Palak with a little bit of gravy.
If you prefer it dry, just let it cook a bit longer. It takes another 10-15 minutes at medium-high heat for me to do so.
Ways to enjoy Aloo Palak
As mentioned above, there are two basic ways of cooking this dish, dry curry and a curry with sauce. So you would want things to eat with your aloo palak accordingly.
If you cook it as a dry curry, it will be best to enjoy it with roti/ chapati, naan bread, flatbread or pita bread. But if you cook it with a little bit of sauce in it, it’s ideal for you to enjoy your aloo palak with rice, either plain white Basmati rice or any rice dishes such as biryani rice, pilau rice, etc.
But really, there is no restriction. You can eat your aloo palak however you want with whatever you like.
And just to give an idea, this potato spinach curry is a good match for the following menu. In fact, the menu below often appears in the occasional food spread such as Eid, weddings, family gatherings, etc.
- Chicken kebab patties (starter).
- Dahi Baray – lentil dumplings in spicy yoghurt (starter).
- Biryani rice (main), or
- Pilau rice (main).
- Chicken Karahi (main), or
- Achari chicken (main).
- Aloo Gosht (main).
- Aloo Palak (side).
- Chana Aloo (side).
- Gajar ka Halwa (dessert).
Aloo Palak Recipe
Thank you for reading the post. I hope you’re now wanting to try the recipe. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below (leave in a reply box). I’m sure others would love to know too.
Tag me and follow on Instagram and Pinterest @soyummyrecipesbydevy to sneak peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.
And before you leave, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may love.
- Pakistani lamb keema matar: lamb minced meat curry with green peas.
- Pakistani aloo keema: lamb minced meat with potato curry.
- Chicken and peppers curry.
- Lauki gosht: Pakistani style lamb curry with bottle gourd.
- Aubergine curry.
- Keema Paratha – flatbread with mince stuffing.
- Mung bean curry – Pakistani whole mung bean dal.
All the best.