Aloo palak is a simple Indian dish made with potatoes, spinach, spices and herbs. It is a super easy and delicious way to get a little extra iron in your diet. This aloo palak is the Indian version of the sautéed spinach with potatoes & a few spices. It tastes amazingly delicious with a burst of garlicky and citrus flavors. Aloo palak goes well with just anything – roti, bread, poori, rice & also makes a good filling for your sandwiches, wraps and rolls. Bookmark this for those busy weeknights when you really don’t want to spend a lot of time whipping up your dinner.
About Aloo Palak
Aloo palak is a North Indian side dish of potatoes and spinach sautéed or cooked with onions, garlic, cumin seeds and garam masala. The dish is named after potato & spinach, where Aloo is a Hindi word for “potato” and Palak for “spinach”. There are numerous ways this dish is made, with recipes varying by region and households.
Often you will also find this served in the North Indian restaurants in a Thali (a full meal served with several sides). Similar to many other Indian dishes, even aloo palak is made in 2 different versions – dry and gravy.
I have shared the recipe to make dry aloo palak in this post. To make the gravy version I simply use my Palak Paneer or this Spinach Curry recipe into which I add the sautéed /grilled or air fried potatoes. Making any spinach gravy takes some time as the recipe requires sautéing and blending the spinach.
While I reserve the gravy version for occasions and weekends, this dry aloo palak is our absolute favourite & is made time & again. My picky eating boys love this just with anything and sometimes I skip the onions too since the dish comes together much faster.
My aloo palak recipe is simple, guaranteed to make eating your spinach taste delicious & healthy.
With Boiled potatoes: Sometimes I also make aloo palak with boiled potatoes. I cook the cubed aloo (without water) along with rice in the Instant pot/ pressure cooker and then add them to the tempering. Next add palak and saute. This method also saves time as you don’t need to cook potatoes in the pan.
Other leafy greens: You can make this recipe with other leafy greens such as methi (fenugreek), moringa leaves or amaranth.
Green Peas or Corn: My kids love green peas or sweet corn in this recipe. Both these add some sweet tones. This version goes well with everything else but not rice. Use it as filling to make wraps and sandwiches.
How to Make Aloo Palak (Stepwise Photos)
1. You will need 3 to 4 cups of chopped spinach. Pluck spinach leaves and wash them in a large pot of water. Drain and wash a few times. I usually spray some vinegar and rest them for 10 mins, then wash them a few times. Drain them completely in a colander. There should be no water in the palak. Chop them just before adding to the pan.
2. Wash 2 to 3 medium potatoes and peel them. Cube them to ¾ inch cubes. You will need 2 cups of these cubes.Do not chop them large as they take long time to cook. Add them to a bowl of water and keep aside until needed. [other option is to boil the potatoes al dente first and use them in the recipe.]
3. Meanwhile slice 1 medium onion, chop 2 cloves of garlic and 1 to 2 green chilies.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add garlic and green chilies. I usually deseed the green chilies and use. You can skip chili if you have very young kids. Fry garlic for a minute, then add a pinch of hing. Avoid browning the garlic as they burn later when sautéed with potatoes.
5. Add sliced onions if using. Fry them until lightly golden. You don’t need to brown them as they will caramelize later.
6. Remove the cubed potatoes from water and add them here. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour 3 to 4 tbsp water and mix well.
7. Cover and cook until fork tender.
8. The potatoes must be just cooked but not mushy. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt, turmeric, ¼ teaspoon garam masala (optional), kasuri methi (optional) and ¼ red chili powder.
9. Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Taste test and add more spice and salt if required.
Make Aloo Palak
10. Add in the chopped spinach.
11. Stir fry on a medium high flame just for 3 to 4 mins until they wilt off. Evaporate any excess moisture by sautéing on a high flame. Turn off the heat. I usually sprinkle a tsp of toasted sesame seeds and lemon juice towards the end.
Serve aloo palak with puri, roti or chapati.
Onions: Using onions is optional. A lot of times I skip the onions. However they impart a sweet flavor which helps to tone down the mild bitter flavors of spinach.
Green chilies: I always feel aloo palak tastes best with green chilies, for both heat and flavor. So I use a small amount of red chili powder to spice the potatoes else they will taste bland.
Potatoes: Make sure potatoes are chopped to bite sized about ¾ inch in size else they take longer to cook. You may air fry or grill or parboil them first for a short time if you want.
Spices: Using too much of ground spices alters the flavor and taste of the leafy greens. For extra flavor simply use more garlic, kasuri methi and green chilies.
Avoid overcooking: Do not overcook spinach. You are just going to sautee it until completely wilted. Add it right at the end, when the potatoes are done to your liking. Overcooking makes the spinach taste bitter and metallic. If your spinach is not young/tender, cover and cook for a while.
Spinach: I like to use a moderate amount of palak and not a lot. Using a lot more may make your dish taste bitter. Avoid using the stalks and use only the leaves.
Crushed peanuts or sesame seeds: To add a nutty taste add some coarse crushed roasted peanuts just before serving. Kids will love that. You can also sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.
Lastly you can replace potatoes with sweet potatoes in this recipe.
How to Prepare Palak
Some of you had asked me to share how I clean spinach. So I have shared it below. To save time you can also use the ready to use spinach so you don’t need to prepare. This is what I have been using recently.
- I usually inspect each leaf for larvae and worms. Discard the leaf if I find any.
- Then I spray vinegar and rest the leaves for 5 to 8 mins.
- Pluck the leaves and discard the stems as most times they have a metallic or bitter taste. The stems of palak are usually fibrous and stringy even after cooking so I remove them if the leaves are not young.
- Next rinse them a few times in a large pot of water.
- Remove and put them in a colander. When the water drains completely, finely chop the leaves. You can also use a food processor.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped) or ginger
- 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
- 2 green chilies (deseeded and chopped)
- 1 medium onion (¾ cup sliced or ½ cup chopped, optional)
- 2 cups potatoes (cubed to ¾ inch, 2 to 3 medium potatoes)
- 4 cups spinach (8 to 10 ounce chopped, more if you like)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (more to adjust to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (adjust to taste)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala (optional)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional)
- Rinse the spinach in lots of water a few times and drain them to a colander.
- Peel & cube the potatoes to bite sized pieces. optional – Keep them immersed in a bowl of water to avoid discoloration.
How to Make Aloo Palak
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan.
- When the oil turns hot add ¾ teaspoon cumin and let them splutter.
- Then add 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies. Fry them for a minute. Sprinkle hing.
- Next add medium sized chopped or sliced onion and fry until light golden.
- Drain the water from potatoes completely. Then add them to the pan & fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- You can just stir fry until the potatoes are fork tender or Pour 3 tablespoons water and cook covered until tender but not mushy.
- Then sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional), kasuri methi & garam masala (optional). Saute for a minute or two until the raw smell of chili powder goes away. Taste test and add more salt or spice at this level.
- Next add 4 cups of chopped palak. Saute on a medium high flame for about 3 minutes or until the leaves wilt.
- When the moisture evaporates turn off the stove. You can sprinkle 1 tsp of toasted sesame seeds before finishing
- Sprinkle lemon juice before serving. Serve aloo palak with roti, chapati, paratha or rice.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Aloo Palak Recipe first published in November 2012, Updated in March 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes