I really love Indian food, but often find that Indian restaurants here in Sydney serve kinda bland food. To me it just lacks flavour and I always want to add extra spices to my dishes.
I guess I’m spoilt having lived in London – they truly have some of the best Indian food I’ve come across.
The solution? I make my own curries. There are a lot of vegan curry recipes out there, and as much as I like following some, I also like making my own versions of popular dishes.
If you don’t have a lot of spices at home, this dish might not be that easy to replicate, but if anyone is into spices as much as I am, you will most likely have most of the ingredients at home. In any case, you will find most spices at normal supermarkets.
This curry can be found in a lot of Indian restaurants under the name of ‘Aloo Palak’ – aloo = potatoes, palak = spinach. It’s not always prepared with a tomato sauce, but I personally find that makes it even tastier.
Bonus point that this is a really cheap dish!
Recipe for 4+ people:
- 500g potatoes, washed (peeled if desired) and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tins of crushed/chopped tomatoes, 400g
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 500ml vegetable stock – if using vegetable stock with salt, you may not want to add the whole teaspoon of salt listed below
- 3 pods of green cardamom
- 1/4 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (preferably one without salt and sugar)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ~ 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- chili to taste – I used 3 birds eye chilies
- 500g chopped frozen spinach
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- splash of lime juice
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion and all the spices except for salt and pepper. Fry on low heat for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
Add the potatoes and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the vegetable stock, tomato paste and crushed/chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and a little bit of pepper, stir well, cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Make sure to stir every now and again and when the potatoes still have some bite to them, add the spinach. Stir and let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the spinach cooked. Feel free to add more water if needed.
Before serving, add a splash of lime juice and taste test to see if it needs any more spices.
Serve with rice or on its own and sprinkle with fresh coriander.
I also really like adding some extra protein to it, such as chickpeas or cubed and fried tofu.