Aloo palak step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Healthy and comforting aloo palak sabzi is a simple dish made with spinach, potatoes, and aromatic spices. Fork-tender potatoes in a mildly spiced spinach base is oh-so-delicious and the perfect comfort food. This vegan potato and spinach curry is dry and is cooked with onion and garlic. It uses minimal simple spices and is ready in less than 20 minutes.
There are many different ways to cook palak aloo. My recipe is in the form of a dry curry. My favorite way of making this spinach potato curry is in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, which needs minimal monitoring or babysitting and gets done quicker. I am also including stovetop instructions in this post.
I am also using frozen spinach in this recipe which saves a lot of time. It is so convenient and saves the hassle of cleaning and chopping fresh spinach. For this dish, it is really important to chop the spinach finely to get the right texture, and frozen spinach is perfect for it. However, if you are using fresh spinach, make sure you chop it finely using a food processor.
This homemade version of aloo palak is very easy to make and pairs with rice-dal, tandoori roti, and naan bread. It is also a great option for filling in a sandwich or wrap. This curry also freezes well, making it great for meal prep.
Read on for ingredients, instructions, tips, and variations to make hearty and delicious dry aloo palak in the Instant Pot.
Spinach: I am using frozen spinach to make this dish. See the tips section below on how to use fresh spinach.
Potatoes: Use waxy or semi-waxy potatoes that do not fall apart when pressure cooked.
Onion and garlic: Red or pink onions work the best; however, you can also use brown onions.
Spices: This dish has minimal use of spices. I used dried red chili, whole cumin seeds, ground coriander, ground turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala.
Lemon juice: Lemon or lime juice is added to the finished dish to enhance its flavor.
Optional ingredients and substitutes:
- Use mustard oil instead of regular cooking oil for a strong and pungent flavor that you get in dhaba style aloo palak.
- Add fenugreek seeds along with whole cumin in the initial tempering.
- Garlic paste can be used instead of finely chopped garlic.
- Use ground cumin (cumin powder) instead of whole cumin seeds. In that case, add it along with other powdered spices.
- Use one tablespoon of gram flour (besan) to thicken the curry.
- Substitute red chilli powder with finely chopped green chilies.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds and dried red chili. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add garlic and saute for about one minute (step 1).
Next, add the chopped onion and saute for 3 minutes, until they soften (steps 2 and 3). Add the cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, and salt (step 4).
Mix well and saute for 2 minutes (step 5). Add ¼ cup of water and deglaze the pot well. Make sure there are no brown bits stuck. Next, add the frozen spinach (step 6).
Cancel saute mode and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode (on Low pressure) for 3 minutes (step 7). Do a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
Set the Instant Pot back to saute mode and simmer until the excess moisture dries. Add garam masala powder and lemon juice (step 8).
Dry palak aloo sabzi made in the Instant Pot can be served with roti or paratha.
To make spinach potato curry on the stovetop:
- Heat oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan. Add cumin seeds and dried chili to the hot oil.
- Once the cumin seeds splutter, add garlic and saute for one minute.
- Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Next, add the potatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, and a little salt. Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are done (about 8-9 minutes).
- If you use frozen spinach, add them along with the potato cubes. If you use fresh spinach leaves, add the chopped spinach only to the cooked potatoes.
- Once the spinach and potatoes are cooked, increase the heat and let the excess moisture dry.
- Turn off the heat and add garam masala and lemon juice. Mix well and serve.
Chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces of the same size so that they can cook quickly and evenly.
I like to make this dry curry using frozen spinach. They are very convenient to use and save the long time needed for cleaning and chopping them. However, if you use fresh spinach, add them only after pressure-cooking the potatoes.
Also, it is important to finely chop the washed spinach for this dish. Use a food processor to chop the cleaned fresh spinach. Big pieces of spinach will ruin the texture of the dish.
Make sure you deglaze the pot really well and remove any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is important to avoid burning the curry.
Use ¼ to ½ cup water depending on the size of the Instant Pot. For an 8-Quart IP, use ½ cup water and for the smaller ones, use ¼ cup. Don't be tempted to add more water as we want the curry to be dry.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This dish also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Use other greens like mustard greens, fenugreek leaves, collard green, or kale. You can also use a mix of greens to make saag aloo. You can use just fenugreek leaves to make aloo methi.
Swap potatoes with sweet potatoes to make shakarakand palak sabzi.
Add a small amount of kasuri methi to this dish. Add ½ cup of corn kernels to balance it with a hint of sweetness.
Use can use tomatoes to make this dish. In that case, add the tomatoes along with powdered spices and cook the tomatoes first. Then add the potatoes. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
Skip the onion and garlic to make no onion-no garlic palak aloo. Replace them with tomatoes and ginger. To make it without onion and garlic, add whole spices and ginger first. Then add tomatoes and powdered spices. Cook the tomatoes and then proceed to add potatoes. The rest of the recipe remains the same. You can use this chickpea spinach curry as a guide.
Add blanched and pureed spinach to make it like a curry instead of dry sabji. Follow this palak paneer recipe if you want to use spinach paste to make the gravy version.
Whole baby potatoes can be used instead of regular potatoes. Adjust the pressure cooking time to 6 minutes in that case. Avoid starchy potatoes like russet potatoes.
More palak recipes using frozen spinach
For every packet of frozen spinach (10 oz), you will need 1 lb of fresh spinach.
Yes. This dry sabzi is suitable if you are following a vegan diet.
Saag, in general, refers to a mix of greens, like mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, kale, etc. whereas palak means spinach. Saag aloo is made using more than one variety of leafy greens whereas palak aloo is made using spinach only.
This potato spinach curry is:
- a vegan Indian dish,
- uses minimal spices,
- pairs with roti and rice,
- a great way to include a green leafy vegetable in your diet.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please don't forget to give me a 5-star rating!
Aloo Palak / Potato and Spinach Curry
- 2-3 large potatoes (around 1 lb)
- 10 oz frozen spinach (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 dried red chilies
- 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼-½ cup water (see note 3)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into small bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Add water and keep them immersed in water.
- Frozen spinach can be used straight from the freezer without the need to defrost it. If you are using fresh spinach, clean them well and finely chop the leaves.
Making the dry curry:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil. Once it heats, add cumin seeds and dried red chili.
- Add garlic and saute for about one minute, until the garlic begins to change color.
- Next, add the chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes, until they soften.
- Drain the water from the potatoes and add them next.
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add ¼-½ cup water and deglaze the pot well. Make sure there are no brown bits stuck (see notes 2 and 3).
- Add the frozen spinach.
- Cancel saute mode and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode (on Low pressure) for 3 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Set the Instant Pot back to saute mode. Let it simmer until the excess moisture dries.
- Add garam masala and lemon juice.
- Serve hot with roti, naan, or rice.