Saag Aloo with Chickpeas

One of my favorite dishes to order at Indian restaurants is Saag Aloo, or spiced potatoes and spinach. I’m grossly simplifying the taste when I say it is just spices, potatoes, and spinach, but it really is as simple as cooking potatoes and spinach in a mixture of warm, Indian spices. Even though Indian cooking features a high percentage of vegetarian dishes, Saag Aloo is one of the safety dishes I look for when I cannot find anything on the menu without meat, without paneer (cheese), or with a name that I recognize. Typically, the spices in this dish include turmeric, chili, ginger, and black mustard seeds. And just as typically, I didn’t have all of those ingredients…so I improvised!

Today was such a gloomy Monday full of rain showers and damp cold temperatures (even though it’s practically May already!!), so this warm, comforting dish for dinner seemed so appropriate. Plus, I had some sprouting potatoes in desperate need of cooking. I felt the need to add some protein to the dish by way of chickpeas after a carb-heavy lunch and breakfast. While chickpeas aren’t usually included in Saag Aloo, we decided that it was a nice addition and made the meal feel more filling.

Firstly, I peeled and chopped two potatoes and covered them with room temperature water in a medium pot. I brought the water to a boil and let the potatoes cook for another 4-5minutes or until they were just about fork tender, and then drained them. Meanwhile, I chopped up one yellow onion, peeled and grated a two inch piece of fresh ginger, and chopped one clove of garlic. I cooked the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until softened and added the ginger, some chili powder, some curry powder, and some cumin and quickly stirred together until fragrant. Then I added the boiled potatoes, the chickpeas, and a splash of tomato sauce (from a half-used jar in the fridge). I stirred and cooked for about 3-4 minutes until the spices were fully distributed and the flavors melded. Then I turned the heat down to low, folded in two big handfuls of spinach, and covered with a lid to wilt the leaves. Meanwhile, I prepared a packet of quick cook couscous, and once the spinach was wilted, I served the saag aloo mixture over a bed of couscous. It was delicious!

2 potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 can chickpeas
2 inch piece fresh ginger
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 box quick cook couscous

Serves 2

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yum, I have never thought to make saag aloo at home! We have everything (but the fresh ginger) at home, so it may go on the menu for this weekend! Thanks!


  2. Alison says:

    It's so easy and delicious – always one of my favorites at Indian restaurants, and not too hard to replicate at home!! If you try it, let me know how it turns out!


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