Easy Aloo Palak
Mar 23, 2023
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Aloo Palak (Spinach & Potato Curry) is one of the most popular Indian dishes where spinach and potatoes are cooked together with spices. Naturally vegetarian and vegan, my easy homemade version of aloo palak uses minimal spices which makes it so comforting. Tastes best with flatbread like roti or paratha!
Potatoes are added to a lot of Indian curries and gravies. I think we have this habit of adding potatoes to anything and everything.
I think it’s a universal thing – the love for potatoes! Isn’t it? You add it to cauliflower, you get aloo gobi. You add it to beans you get aloo beans and you add it to spinach you get aloo palak. This has to be one of the most popular Indian dishes made with spinach after palak paneer.
Table of contents
What is Aloo Palak
Aloo Palak is an Indian spinach and potato curry made with potatoes, spinach and spices. There are many ways to cook aloo palak, it can be made with onions, without onions, with or without tomatoes. It can be made with a gravy or like a stir fry. It can be made with boiled potatoes or raw. It can also be made with frozen spinach. Basically, there’s no right or wrong way to make aloo palak.
The most common (and also the most traditional) version is the one that I am sharing here. It’s made with very basic spices and is a stir fry aloo palak meaning there’s no gravy here.
This Aloo Palak is one of my personal favorites. My mom used to make it a lot during winters when we would get really good fresh spinach in the market. In fact potatoes with any greens would be a constant feature on our table during winters. I have always enjoyed my greens and this aloo palak is something I make often.
This recipe in a way is a reflection of what I grew up eating. Such simple sabzi like this aloo palak, dal and roti used to be my lunch and dinner every single day.
Potatoes: it is one the key ingredients for this recipe. You can use either russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes in this recipe. Just remember to dice them into 1/2 inch cubes else they will take a lot of time to cook.
Spinach: this is the other main ingredient of this aloo palak recipe. You can use either fresh or frozen spinach. You can use baby spinach or regular spinach. For this dish, I like to chop the spinach by hand but you can use a food processor. I would not recommend adding spinach to this dish without chopping it. That changes the texture and flavor of the dish.
Spices: I have used very minimal spices in this recipe like coriander powder, turmeric and a little bit of garam masala. There are also some whole spices like cumin seeds and dried red chilies.
Garlic: spinach and garlic are a match made in heaven and I like adding tons of garlic to my aloo palak. If you are not a garlic fan, you can definitely reduce the amount or even skip it.
Why We Love This Recipe
- It is vegan and can be easily made gluten free.
- It is mildly spiced so the flavors of potato and spinach really shine though.
- Is a great way to incorporate more spinach in your diet.
- The dish goes well with any flatbread like roti and can also be served along with dal and rice.
I have used a lot of spinach in this recipe. It’s practically loaded with spinach. If that’s too much for you or you are more of a potato fan, just cut down on the spinach.
I don’t miss a chance to load up on the greens whenever I can. So, for me this was perfect. And my mom made it in the same way too. I guess moms never want to miss a chance to feed their kids as much greens as they can. Right?
Step by Step Instructions – How to Make Aloo Palak
1- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. You can use any oil of choice here, I used avocado oil. Once the oil is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
2- Then add the following:
- pinch of hing (asafetida)
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 to 3 dried red chilies, broken
3- Cook for 1 minute until the garlic starts changing color. Then add 1 small chopped onion.
4- Cook the onion for around 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
5- Stir in the chopped potatoes and mix. I used 2 to 3 medium potatoes (around 500 grams) and chopped them into 1/2 -inch cubes before using in the recipe.
6- Then add the following spices:
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (use Kashmiri red chili powder if you want it less spicy).
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Stir the spices with the potatoes and then add 3 tablespoons of water.
7- Toss to combine until all the potatoes are well coated with the masala.
8- Close the pan with a lid and let potatoes cook for 7 to 8 minutes until almost done on medium heat. Open the lid and stir every 2 minutes or so. Remember to dice potatoes small else they will take much longer to cook.
9- Now, start adding chopped spinach in parts I added around 10 oz spinach here. You can reduce the amount if you like.
10- Stir after each addition until the leaves wilt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes after adding all the spinach on medium heat.
11- Add 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala and mix. You may skip the garam masala here if you want to keep it super simple.
12- Squeeze in juice of half lemon and mix. There shouldn’t be any water left at this point. Turn off the heat and serve hot!
You can serve aloo palak with roti, tandoori roti, parathas or a side dish with rice and dal. You can also pair it with quinoa and dal. My favorite to eat aloo palak is definitely with hot rotis and dal.
- Spice levels: To make the dish spicier, you may use green chili in the recipe. You can also use more of the red chili powder.
- Amount of spinach: you can add more or less spinach depending on how much spinach you like in your aloo palak.
- Size of potatoes: it’s important to dice the potatoes to 1/2 inch cubes. If you cut them into big pieces, they are not going to cook in the amount of time mentioned in the recipe.
- Go easy on spices: the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. Don’t add too many spices as we want the flavors of spinach and potatoes to shine through. You can add some kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) at the end if you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
This particular recipe isn’t gluten free because I have used hing (asafetida). To make it gluten free, simply skip the hing or use a gluten free hing.
You can use chopped frozen spinach to make this recipe. With frozen spinach, you might need to cook it longer to get rid of the moisture. I have personally always made this recipe with fresh spinach.
It tastes best when enjoyed immediately. However, if you have leftovers, keep it refrigerated and consume them within 48 hours
This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2015.
- 1 tablespoon oil 10 ml, I used avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- pinch hing also known as asafoetida
- 5-6 large garlic cloves chopped
- 2-3 dried red chilies broken
- 1 small red onion 60 grams, chopped
- 2 to 3 medium potatoes around 500 grams, cut into small pieces, around 1/2 inch
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 3 tablespoons water as needed
- 10 oz spinach finely chopped, around 3 to 4 cups finely chopped spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- half lemon juice of
- Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
- Then add hing, chopped garlic and dried red chilies. Break the dried red chilies before adding to the pan for more heat. Cook for 1 minute until the garlic starts changing color to light brown. Then add the chopped onion.
- Add the chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the chopped potatoes along with turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt. Stir to combine. Also add 3 tablespoons water and mix until everything is well combined. Remember to chop potatoes small, around 1/2 inch else they will take time to cook.
- Close the pan with a lid and let potatoes cook for 7 to 8 minutes until almost done on medium heat. Open lid and stir every 2 minutes or so.
- Start adding the chopped spinach slowly. Stir after each addition until the leaves wilt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes after adding all the spinach.
- Add garam masala (optional) and mix. Squeeze in lemon juice and mix. There shouldn’t be any water left at this point. Serve aloo palak with a side of roti.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, skip the hing (asafetida) or use a gluten-free asafetida.
- If you don’t want too much spinach in your aloo palak, you can definitely use less of it
- Make sure to chop potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes else they will take a much longer time to cook.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.