Alu Palak

40 Minutes (includes cooling time)
Serves 4 People
Author: Rajni Ram
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Alu Palak  is a dish I have relished since childhood. This dish is popular in North India and is one of the most popular Spinach dishes. It is usually served with Roti, Parathas, and other Indian Bread. It goes really well with Plain Rice, and Dal as a combination. In this dish, the Potatoes are cooked along with onion and tomatoes until done, and then the finely cut Spinach/Palak is added. It is then stir fried until the Spinach wilts and all the moisture is absorbed. Spices are added and the dish is ready to serve. This dish is a great way to add Palak/Spinach to your diet.

Palak/Spinach is a very versatile green. It is mineral rich, healthy and fibrous. Any add-in that goes into it, gets its flavour enhanced. In my house I have been called the female Popeye for a reason. I love Palak/Spinach in all forms. Be it the simple Keerai Masiyal, Keerai Molagootal or the delicious Palak Paneer, Palak Paneer Paratha, or the simple Spinach curry in coconut milk.

There are many other Palak recipes from different cuisines and I will try and bring them to you over a period of time. While you are here please go through my recipes of other Subjis like  Drumstick curry, Brinjal pepper masala, Kadai Paneer, Mixed vegetable curryGutti vankaya Kura, Matar PaneerPaneer palak steamed Koftas, Arbi masala and Lauki Kaddu ke Kofthey.
Please do try out my Dal recipes like Rajma masala, Dal Makhni, Choley, Pakodewali Dal and Hari Moong ki dal.

Ingredients

  1. Spinach 1 bunch approximately 250 gm (check note 1)
  2. Potato 1 large or 2 small cubed
  3. Onion 1 large chopped finely
  4. Tomatoes 2 large finely chopped
  5. Garlic 3 cloves chopped finely
  6. Ginger 1/2 inch piece chopped finely
  7. Kashmiri Red chilli whole 5 (check note 2)
  8. Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
  9. Cumin Seeds 1tsp
  10. Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
  11. Red chilli Powder 1 tsp
  12. Coriander Powder 1 tsp
  13. Fennel Powder 1/2 tsp
  14. Garam Masala Powder 1/2 tsp
  15. Oil (refined oil) for sauteing 1 tbsp
  1. Take oil in a pan and heat. Add the whole Kashmiri red chillies, and saute for  30 seconds. Now add the Asafoetida followed by Cumin seeds, and allow the Cumin to crackle. Now add the finely chopped Garlic, and ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
  2. Now add the finely chopped onions and saute until they start turning brown. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and fry the masalas in oil well. If the mixture looks dry, add another teaspoon of oil and saute, until the raw taste is gone.

     

  3.   Add the tomatoes now, followed by salt and mix well. Cover and cook for two minutes, until the tomatoes tendarize. Now open the lid and mash the mixture, with the back of a ladle/spatula to get a saucy consistency. Now drop in the cubed potatoes, followed by 1/2 cup water, cover and cook until the Poatoes are done. Takes about 7 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Check if the potatoes are cooked, by inserting a fork or knife. When done add the chopped Spinach leaves, and saute on high heat. The Spinach will wilt and release a lot of moisture. Keep stir frying until all the moisture is absorbed. Adjust spices now if required. Finally add the Garam masala powder and turn off the flame.

Take oil in a pan and heat. Add the whole Kashmiri red chillies, and saute for  30 seconds. Now add the Asafoetida followed by Cumin seeds, and allow the Cumin to crackle. Now add the finely chopped Garlic, and ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Now add the finely chopped onions and saute until they start turning brown. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and fry the masalas in oil well. If the mixture looks dry, add another teaspoon of oil and saute, until the raw taste is gone. Add the tomatoes now, followed by salt and mix well. Cover and cook for two minutes, until the tomatoes tendarize. Now open the lid and mash the mixture, with the back of a ladle/spatula to get a saucy consistency. Now drop in the cubed potatoes, followed by 1/2 cup water, cover and cook until the Poatoes are done. Takes about 7 minutes on medium flame. Check if the potatoes are cooked, by inserting a fork or knife. When done add the chopped Spinach leaves, and saute on high heat. The Spinach will wilt and release a lot of moisture. Keep stir frying until all the moisture is absorbed. Adjust spices now if required. Finally add the Garam masala powder and turn off the flame.

Notes:

  1. I have added Spinach along with the stems, as they were tender. Some recipes recommend only the leaves. If you wish to add only the leaves, then baby Spinach can also be used. If using Baby Spinach, make sure you have 250 gms of the same.
  2. If whole Kashmiri red chillies are not available, any red dry chilli, which is not spicy can be added. Usually Byadgi chillies are a substitute.
  3. Stems of the Spinach if tender need not be discarded. They have all the fibre, which is good for us.
  4. The Spinach can be blanched, pureed and also added to the cooked potatoes.
  5. I recommend cooking the potatoes in the onion tomato mixture as given in the recipe, as it helps in absorbing the flavours.

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