Monday, 9 July 2012

Saag Aloo (spinach and potato curry)


I know I know!! I hear you say it.... not another potato dish!! I just cant resist them in a curry! I think that I fell in love with the whole spicy potato thing the first time I tried a home made vegetarian thali (which is a large metal plate which has either different sections or bowls containing different things like rice, curry, stir-fry, kadhi, dal, pickles etc. ) All of these combined deliver a really filling balanced meal, a real feast for the eyes and for the stomach!! Any-ways, back to the story!! The first time I had tried this dish was at a Gujarati friends house and her mother had cooked up a feast of lots of different things and this particular dish was my absolute favourite of these little bowls of treasure. I have eaten it so many times since, either at peoples houses or restaurants and I never get tired of it.

One of the things that I like so much about cooking is that you are doing it YOUR WAY!! you can make them completely to your taste (or your families if you have kids!) So I bring you my version of my favourite dinner. I am really quite pleased with the way the photo turned out too :-)

Ingredients:-

serves 4-6

4 large floury potatoes ( Peeled and cubed )
2 bags of freshly prepared spinach,
2 tomatoes washed and roughly chopped,
1 large onion finely chopped (optional)
1 heaped tsp garlic purée,
1 tsp grated ginger,
1-2 green chillies,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
a large pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp turmeric powder,
3/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder,
1 1/2 tsp coriander cumin powder,
1 tbs finely chopped fenugreek leave or kasuri methi
2 tbs fresh coriander.
2 tsp lemon juice,
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste.
a dollop of butter (optional but delicious)

Directions:-

1)Heat the oil in a large pan. When it is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and let them pop and crackle.

2)When they have popped, add the cumin seeds and the asafoetida, fry for a second before adding the onions if you are using. If you are not using onions then you can increase the amount of asafoetida.

3)Stir-fry until the onions turn translucent and then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli and saute for a minute or two without without colouring the garlic.

4)Then add the fresh coriander and methi (fenugreek) leaves and saute until the leaves have wilted

5)Add the tomatoes and cook until all nice and pulpy and some of the moisture has evaporated. Add salt and sugar if you haven't done already.

6)Add the powdered spices and a splash of water and stir in the cubed potato. Stir everything through.

7)In the mean time, prepare the spinach (if you need to) and chop very finely.

8)When the potatoes are just over half way cooked, add the chopped spinach and give it a stir. Cook until the potatoes are nice and tender. Check the seasoning and then add the lemon juice. (you should always keep checking the taste of the food so that you know if you have the right balance of seasoning ingredients.)

9)Adjust the level of salt, sugar and lemon juice if you need to and then sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Serve with dal or kadhi, rice and chapati. :-)

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