Saag aloo is one of the more common side dishes you'll find on any Indian restaurant menu in Britain. A simple mixture of potatoes and spinach, you can easily dial up the level of heat with either fresh chillies or a chilli cooking sauce. Using a similar method to the base 'gravy' of Tikka chilli balti allows us to create a thick, restaurant-style spinach sauce for the potatoes.
For 10 servings:
- 1.5kg new potatoes
- 750g baby leaf spinach
- 3 large brown onions
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp ghee
- Garam masala
- Smoked paprika
- Ground coriander
- Garlic puree/paste
- Ginger puree/paste
- Fresh chillies or chilli sauce (optional)
- Cut the new potatoes into halves and parboil for 10 minutes on a rolling boil. Once done, drain and set aside in the covered saucepan.
- Finely slice the onions and place in a large pot with 2tbsp ghee and fry on a low heat for 20-30 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent
- At this point, add the chopped tomatoes along with 2tbsp of each of the spices and 2tbsp of garlic puree and 2tbsp of ginger puree. If you'd like your saag aloo to have a kick, this is when to add your chopped fresh chillies or chilli sauce. Top up the liquid in the pot with water so that the contents are just covered.
- Mix all the ingredients and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Once the aromas develop, you can add the spinach. It is easier to add the spinach a couple of handfuls at a time, then stirring in as this allows the volume of the spinach to reduce as it wilts. Once all of your spinach is in, allow the mixture to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly before attacking it with a blender. Again, upright is fine to use although probably a little bit more effort than a stick blender. Like with a curry 'gravy,' you want the sauce to be as smooth as possible with no gritty texture. Depending on the quality of your blender, this can take 5-10 minutes.
- Now you have something that resembles saag aloo! All you have to do is add the parboiled potatoes and allow the contents of the pot to gently simmer for another 15 minutes to ensure that the potatoes are cooked properly.
- Serve what you need and the rest can be stored in the freezer. To reheat: 90 seconds in a Cat E/800W microwave or 10 minutes at 200'c.