Cozy on up with a bowl of Saag Aloo (“greens and potatoes”) with this delicious vegan recipe! It’s a hearty dish made with russet potatoes, garlic, and spinach, and it pairs perfectly with homemade naan.
When it comes to takeout, there is one order in particular that I know will never let me down. It will always be delicious, no matter the restaurant or ingredients: saag aloo. This is a classic for me because it’s loaded with veggies, but it’s also decadent and filling at the same time! It never leaves me feeling hungry or craving something else.
And that, my friends, is why I decided it was time for me to make my own. Everyone deserves the flavors and delight of a bowl of saag aloo, and with this recipe, you can make some right at home!
what does aloo saag mean?
Saag aloo is an Indian dish that translates to “spinach potatoes”! It’s a dish made with frozen spinach and potatoes, and it’s similar to traditional curry in texture and spices.
what is saag sauce made of?
The sauce for this is made of everything minus the potatoes. It’s the healthy spinach, spices, water, and onion, that are cooked and eventually blended up to create a smoother, sauce-like consistency! We’ll get more into that in a moment. First, let’s have a look at all of the ingredients used in the recipe.
Ingredients in restaurant style Saag Aloo
Saag aloo comes down to a heavy use of spices. With main ingredients consisting of potatoes and frozen spinach, there’s a high chance that you have everything you need to make your own already in your pantry!
- Potatoes: The bulk of the dish will consist of 2 medium russet potatoes. This will be plenty for creating 4 large servings! Feel free to use another type of potato here if needed.
- Oil: 1 tablespoon of oil will be just enough to cook the onions and spices. If preferred, you can use butter or ghee.
- Onion: As for the onion, 1 medium white onion will do! Dice it up into small pieces. We’ll be blending it later, so no need to make it perfect.
- Garlic: First up for the seasonings will be 4 cloves of minced garlic. If you don’t have cloves, you can replace them with 1 teaspoon (total) of garlic powder.
- Ginger: Include 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger for additional flavor.
- Spices: Round out the spices by including 1 teaspoon each of salt, garam masala, ground coriander seed, cumin, and smoked paprika, followed by ½ teaspoon of turmeric.
- Spinach: 10 oz of frozen spinach will be used as the base of the green sauce.
- Water: Finish things off with ½ cup of water to achieve the perfect sauce consistency.
is it spicy?
Saag aloo isn’t really spicy. Though it’s made with a lot of seasonings, nothing packs in any heat. If you like things spicy and want to add some heat to your dish, add crushed red pepper flakes!
Another option is to include a jalapeño. Simply dice one up and add it to the green sauce!
How to make Vegan Saag Aloo
Vegetarian saag aloo is quicker to make than you may realize. It only requires 15 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cooking, making it ready to go in less than an hour. After preparing, the result is 4 large, heaping servings that can be enjoyed as-is or with a number of side options!
Step 1: Cook the potatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Once the water is boiling, gently transfer the potatoes to the water and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain, cover, and set aside.
Step 2: Create the flavor base
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until the onion is soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Stir in all of the spices and continue to cook for 3 more minutes.
Step 3: Add the spinach
Break the spinach into chunks and add it all to the pot along with ½ cup of water. Cover and cook until hot, about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Blend the ingredients
Using a handheld immersion blender (or by carefully transferring everything to a countertop blender), puree the spinach mixture until smooth. If using a countertop blender, leave the lid ajar to allow hot steam to escape.
Step 5: Assemble the dish
Return the blended spinach to the pot and gently stir in the potatoes. Serve hot (with fluffy homemade naan).
Saag aloo can be stored in the refrigerator and enjoyed for up to 3 days. Keep it in an airtight container to lock in freshness.
When ready to reheat, heat from chilled by placing it in a microwave-proof container with a loosely fitting lid. Heat for 4-7 minutes in the microwave until piping hot.
If the aloo is frozen, give it time to defrost before heating in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. Stir and heat for an additional 5-7 minutes until piping hot.
Recipes to pair with saag aloo
Though this recipe includes spinach, the prominent ingredient is the potato! For this reason, I recommend pairing the aloo with something green like a salad or wrap! Here are some ideas.
- Thai Cucumber Salad – The crunchy cucumbers are so refreshing with this dish!
- Grilled Romaine Salad – Grilled romaine salad is light and airy and makes for the perfect side dish.
- Chard Wraps – Enjoy a more filling side dish these chard wraps! Choose from 3 fillings.
- Stuffed Avocadoes – Last but not least, stuffed avocados always make a great side dish thanks to their savory flavors and healthy nutrient lists!
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp oil can use butter or ghee, 15 mL
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
- 1 tsp each salt, garam masala, ground coriander seed, cumin, smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 10 oz frozen spinach 283 g
- ½ cup water
- Cook Potato: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel and cut potato into bite-sized pieces. Once water is boiling, gently transfer potatoes to the water and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, cover, and set aside.
- Flavor Base: Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger, cooking until onion is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in all spices and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
- Spinach: Break the spinach into chunks and add it to the pot along with ½ cup of water. cover and cook until hot, about 10 minutes.
- Blend: Using a handheld immersion blender (or by carefully transferring to a countertop blender), puree the spinach mixture until smooth. If using a countertop blender, leave the lid ajar to allow hot steam to escape.
- Assemble: Return blended spinach to the pot and gently stir in potatoes. Serve hot with naan!