This classic Aloo Palak features fork-tender potatoes in a smooth, lightly spiced creamy spinach sauce. It’s a flavorful spinach curry that is ready to enjoy in less than an hour, and pairs great with rice and any number of sides. Here you’ll find step-by-step photos and instructions for how to make a delicious aloo palak at home!
About This Aloo Palak
There are several different types of fantastic palak-based dishes that I like to make. The word palak means “spinach” in Hindi, so these dishes always include some form of fresh green spinach. Therefore, palak recipes tend to be wonderfully flavorful and even healthy. The word ‘aloo’ refers to potatoes.
This Aloo Palak is similar to Palak Paneer, that is made with cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), but instead has tender pieces of boiled potatoes. So it’s a hearty, flavorful, and super comforting vegetarian dish!
To give the lightly spiced curry a hint of sweet and nutty flavor, I add a bit of gram flour (besan). Feel free to include in your version as well, or use maize flour (makai ka atta) for the same bit of sweetness.
If you are not fond of potatoes, then choose to omit them and make a simple spinach curry without them using this recipe as base. Or feel free to add in your preferred veggies.
Make a batch in less than an hour and pair with classic Punjabi sides for a satisfying dinner any night of the week!
How to make Aloo Palak
Cook Potatoes (Aloo)
1. First, boil or steam 3 medium sized potatoes in a stovetop pressure cooker or steamer or a pan. You can also steam them in the Instant Pot.
Rinse the potatoes very well in water. Place them in a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker and add enough water to cover them completely.
On medium heat pressure cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are softened and fork-tender. Make sure not to overcook potatoes as they will fall apart when cooking later.
When the pressure drops down on its own in the cooker then only open the lid. Drain all the water and set the potatoes aside.
Note that you can also use 20 to 25 baby potatoes instead of regular potatoes.
2. When warm or cool, peel and quarter or dice the boiled potatoes. Set aside covered.
Blanch and Puree Spinach (Palak)
3. Rinse 1 bunch of palak leaves or spinach (200 grams) a couple of times in water, and then drain the water very well. Make sure to clean the leaves and stems thoroughly.
If the stems are tender, then add them. If they are fibrous and stringy, then discard them.
4. In a pan, boil 2 to 3 cups of water with a generous pinch of salt.
5. When the water comes to a boil, then switch off the heat and immediately add the spinach leaves into the hot water.
6. Cover with a lid and blanch the palak in hot water for 1 minute.
7. Drain and immediately place the palak leaves in cold water for 1 minute. You can add few ice cubes to make the water cold.
8. Drain the water again. Then add the drained spinach and 1 to 2 green chilies (1 teaspoon green chillies or serrano pepper) to a grinder or blender.
Puree until smooth and set aside. You don’t need to add any water while blending the blanched spinach.
9. Measure out the remaining ingredients, and set to the side. You’ll be adding these very quickly to a hot pan, so it’s best to have everything prepped and ready to go beforehand.
10. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter), oil, or butter in a pan or kadai (wok). Keep the heat to a low.
11. Add 1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf), 3 cloves and 1 broken cinnamon stick to the hot ghee.
12. Fry the spices until they become aromatic on a low heat and make sure they do not burn.
13. Add ⅓ to ½ cup of chopped onions.
14. Sauté stirring often on a low to medium-low heat until the onion turns light brown.
15. Now add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
16. Sauté for some seconds or until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
17. Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes.
18. Sauté stirring often until the tomatoes become soft and mushy. The oil should start separating from the sides of the mixture.
19. Now add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing). Omit asafoetida if you do not have it.
20. Stir for 5 to 10 seconds.
Make Spinach Curry
21. Now add the prepared spinach or palak puree to the pan.
22. Stir to combine and mix evenly.
23. Add 1.5 tablespoon besan (gram flour) or 1.5 tablespoon maize flour (makai ka atta). You can swap gram flour with chickpea flour.
24. Stir with a wired whisk or a wooden spatula so that the besan dissolves and there are no lumps.
Alternatively, you dissolve the besan in 3 to 4 tablespoons water and make a smooth paste first. Then add this paste to the palak mixture.
25. Add 1 cup of water or as required. You can adjust the consistency by adding more or less water.
26. Mix to combine to make a smooth gravy or sauce.
27. Add salt and mix well again.
28. Simmer the gravy or sauce, until the spinach is cooked.
29. The spinach curry or gravy will slightly thicken as it simmers. Once you get to the desired consistency and if you simply want to make a spinach curry, then stop at this step – serve the spinach curry garnished with ginger julienne.
At this point if making a simple spinach curry, you can opt to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of light cream or cooking cream. Mix the cream with the rest of the curry.
Make Aloo Palak
30. Next add the cooked potatoes.
31. Gently stir. You don’t want to break the potatoes apart.
32. Simmer the aloo palak curry for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the color of the spinach changes from vibrant to a more deep, earthy green.
33. Sprinkle in ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi leaves (dry fenugreek leaves).
Omit the dry fenugreek leaves if you do not have it on hand.
34. Stir and cook the aloo palak gravy for another minute.
35. If you like, garnish aloo palak with a bit of julienned fresh ginger.
36. Serve Aloo Palak hot or warm with some roti or paratha or naan or cumin rice or saffron rice or tandoori roti.
You can serve the curry by itself in a bowl, or ladle over steamed white rice, Saffron Rice, or cumin rice. Enjoy with roti or Tandoori Roti, paratha, or Naan. And it pairs deliciously with other refreshing sides, like Onion salad and cucumber salad.
If you prefer to have a richer and creamier curry, you can add a bit of dairy cream to the dish. Sub some of the water added in step #27 with the cream to taste and desired consistency.
I personally like to enjoy aloo palak the same day it is made. However, leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for 1 day. Let the curry cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
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Aloo Palak (Spinach Curry With Potatoes)
- 200 grams spinach (palak) – 1 bunch
- 3 potatoes – medium sized
- ⅓ to ½ cup chopped onions or 1 medium-sized
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium-sized
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger – crushed or made into a paste in a mortar-pestle
- 1 or 2 green chilies or 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies or serrano peppers
- 3 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 tej patta – small sized, (Indian bay leaf)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
- ¼ or ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1.5 tablespoon gram flour (besan) – swap with maize flour or chickpea flour
- 1 cup water or add as required
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil or unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crushed – optional
- salt as required
- 1 inch ginger – julienne for garnish
- Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker or steamer till the are fork tender. Make sure not to overcook them as they will fall apart while cooking later.
- For cooking potatoes in a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker, add enough water to cover the potatoes.
- On medium heat pressure cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are softened and fork-tender.
- Drain all the water and set aside. When warm to touch, peel and quarter or dice them. Cover with a lid and set aside.
- First rinse spinach leaves thoroughly in water. Drain all of the water and set aside
- Boil 2 to 3 cups water with some salt in a saucepan or pot.
- Switch off the heat and immediately add the chopped palak or spinach.
- Cover with a lid and blanch the spinach leaves in water for 1 minute.
- Drain and immediately place the palak in cold water for 1 minute.
- Drain the water again. Then blend the spinach leaves together with green chilies to a smooth puree in a grinder or blender.
- Heat ghee or oil or butter in a saucepan or frying pan or kadai (wok).
- On a low heat fry the tej patta, cloves and cinnamon till they become aromatic.
- Add the chopped onions and fry stirring often until lightly browned or light golden.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few seconds until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
- Add the tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes become soft and mushy. The oil should start releasing from the mixture and separate at the sides.
- Now add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix and sauté for 5 to 10 seconds.
Making Spinach Curry
- Add the spinach puree and mix well.
- Add the besan or gram flour. Stir with a wired whisk so that the besan dissolves and there are no lumps.
- Alternatively, mix the besan with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and make a smooth paste. Then add this paste to the palak mixture.
- Add 1 cup of water or as required. Season with salt according to taste. You can adjust the consistency of the curry by adding more or less water.
- Simmer the gravy or sauce till the spinach is cooked. The gravy or sauce will slightly thicken.
- If you simply want to make a spinach curry, then stop at this step and serve the spinach curry hot or warm garnished with ginger julienne.
- Once the spinach curry is cooked, you can also opt to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of light cream or cooking cream. Mix to combine it evenly.
Making Aloo Palak
- Add the cooked potatoes. Gently mix them with the curry. Then simmer the spinach curry for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Sprinkle the garam masala powder and crushed dry fenugreek leaves.
- Stir and cook the curry for a minute.
- Serve aloo palak hot with some roti, chapati or paratha or jeera rice.
- You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of light cream or cooking cream if you prefer instead of gram flour or maize flour. Add the cream once the curry is cooked and stir to combine.
- To make a vegan version of this recipe, swap ghee with a neutral tasting oil or vegan butter.
- Skip dry fenugreek leaves and asafoetida if you do not have them.
- Remember not to overcook the potatoes. You can choose to boil or steam them in a pan or Instant Pot.
- Frozen spinach and baby spinach can be added instead of fresh spinach. For frozen spinach thaw at room temperature and squeeze all the water before blending. While blending adding a bit of water if needed. You do not need to blanch the frozen spinach.
- If the stems are stringy and fibrous, then do not add them. Tender spinach stems can be included.
- If you at not a fan of potatoes, make the spinach curry without them. You can also swap potatoes with veggies like green peas, carrots, cauliflower or sweet corn. Make sure to steam or boil these veggies with water until tender and then replace them with the potatoes.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This aloo palak post from the archives (June 2013) has been republished and updated on 2 October 2021.