Whenever I am craving Indian food, a golden saag always appears in my minds’ eye. Popping mustard and cumin seeds sizzling alongside soft sweet potatoes or cauliflower, adorned with wilted spinach.
Saag dishes are most commonly eaten in the Indian sub-continent in Nepal, Odisha and West Bengal. Saag isn’t just limited to spinach. In fact, saag means any greens – broccoli, mustard leaves, collard greens and spinach. It’s traditionally served with a maize flour roti, naan, or chapati in the Punjab region where it’s most commonly eaten.
In my previous recipe for a Madras, I mentioned that on average, British people eat 2 takeaways each on average, and whilst it’s important to include our favourite meals into our diet, 2 takeaways a week is a little too often.
This homemade Saag Aloo recipe is packed full of flavour and colour and you can eat it every week, or even twice! It’s also pretty quick to cook, so it’s perfect if you’re feeling ravenous.
Here’s what you’ll need to serve 4 hungry people:
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
- 2 chillies, chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (black mustard seeds preferably, but any will do)
- 6 curry leaves, fresh or dried
- 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- Half a can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 large bag of spinach, or collard greens, or mustard leaves, or spring greens (you get the picture)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon full of ghee or vegetable oil
- Fry off the onions in the oil until golden in a hot, high-sided skillet or frying pan with a lid. Add in the garlic and ginger, and then the spices.
- Tumble in the vegetables and brown these off in the hot oil and spices until golden brown. Add a little water to stop it sticking if needed.
- Add half a can of tomatoes and put the lid on. Leave to cook through for 20 minutes.
- Once the vegetables have cooked through, pile on the spinach and add the lid back on until they wilt for a few minutes.
- Season to taste.
Serve with a fluffy naan, mango chutney, cool raita or yoghurt, and aromatic basmati rice.
Let me know if you make it below!