I love aloos, potato-based Indian dishes, because they’re so hearty and flavoursome and they make a lovely light alternative to heavy dairy and meat-based curries. I’m particularly a fan of aloo palak, a potato and spinach curry, because the addition of spinach leaves makes the dish very fresh tasting and brings out the natural sweetness of the potatoes.
I know a lot of people who would never dream about making a curry from scratch because they think it’s too hard or that it involves too many ingredients, an attitude I can understand because some curries are pretty labour and ingredient intensive. However, this aloo palak is really easy to make and its ingredients list isn’t that extensive either.
The beauty of making a curry yourself lies in the fact that you can use fresh flavours that really pack a wallop, such as minced ginger root and fresh coriander leaf. Accordingly, you’re rewarded with an aloo palak that tastes much nicer than a curry sauce that comes from a jar. As an added bonus there’s no onion or garlic in this recipe because asafoetida powder is used to impart those flavours instead, so it’s FODMAP friendly.
Although this aloo palak is vegetarian, it’s substantial, requiring little more than some crisp and crunchy poppadums to accompany it, but even though there’s no meat in it it’s rich and stuffed full of a variety of flavours. It’s a vegetarian curry that’s well worth making.
800g potatoes cut into small cubes (peeled weight)
3 tbsps vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 tsp asafoetida powder
1 tsp hot madras powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsps sesame seeds
2 tbsps dessicated coconut
140g large leaf spinach (English spinach)
Fresh coriander and poppadums for serving
Parboil the potatoes in generously salted boiling water until just soft and then drain.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and add all of your spices and cook for a minute.
Add the potatoes and desiccated coconut and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the spinach.
Cook until the spinach has wilted down and add a little water if you’d prefer the curry to be a bit saucier. Taste for seasoning (it might require a generous seasoning of salt at this point).
Serve with freshly chopped coriander and crisp poppadums. (It’s also lovely with fresh chopped chilli and a cucumber and mint raita.)