Spinach Curry (Palak Curry)
Spinach Curry is a simple Indian dish made with fresh spinach, onions, spices and herbs. It goes well as a side with Indian breads like Chapati, roti, butter naan or flavored rice like Jeera Rice, Turmeric Rice or ghee rice. This Indian palak curry is healthy, easy to make & tastes super delicious. In India, we make spinach curry in many ways just like any other veggie.
About Spinach Curry
So some people just stir fry and then simmer with coconut milk or milk. A lot of people just cook chopped spinach with spices & lentils or legumes. Since palak is mild in flavors it turns out well however it is cooked.
Most of these curries are mildly spiced as we don’t want the flavor of spices to dominate. So this spinach curry is different from the usual Indian curry preparations. This recipe does not use any lentils and is made with pantry staples.
Sometimes I also add sautéed veggies like peas, potatoes and carrots. The curry is mildly spiced to flavor up and is not very hot. So this is kids’ friendly if you skip or reduce the green chilies.
I make this quite often to go with the rotis & my family loves it because it is so aromatic, flavorful & tastes delicious.
In Indian Cuisine we use spinach to make different kinds of dishes. This Chana Saag is a favorite at home and often I add a handful of the fresh leaves to sambar, stir fry dishes and some times even to make chutney. Here are some you may want to check.
Hara bhara kabab
How to Make Spinach Curry (Stepwise Photos)
1.Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a pot and add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
2.When they begin to splutter, add ½ cup fine chopped onions and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies. Saute them well until the onions turn golden. Then add chopped 1 tablespoon chopped ginger garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric.
3. Saute for 2 minutes to bring out the aroma of ginger garlic. Then add 1½ tablespoons besan (gram flour) and ¾ teaspoon garam masala. If you do not have gram flour, you can use 4 tablespoons almond meal or 6 tbsps (¼ cup + 2 tbsps) grated fresh or frozen coconut. If you do not have both then, skip it and use thick coconut milk later as mentioned below.
4.Regulate the flame to low and saute all of these for about 4 to 5 mins without burning. When done you will begin to get a nutty aroma.The raw smell of the gram flour/ besan should disappear completely. If the flour begins to stick to the pot, add a bit more oil and cook covered.
5. Add 2½ cups chopped spinach.
6. Saute again till the leaves wilt completely. Cool this slightly.
7.Pour water to a blender jar and add this mixture. Blend to a smooth or coarse puree to suit your liking. I do it smooth as my kids don’t like the chunky curry.
8. After transfer the puree to the pot along with 1¼ cup water. Give a stir and bring it to a boil.
9. Cook it for 3 to 4 mins adding more water if needed. The spinach curry begins to smell flavorful when done. Crush ½ to ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi and add it. Turn off when the curry turns slightly thick yet is of pouring consistency. It thickens further after cooling.
10. Tempering the spinach curry is very essential. Heat ¾ tablespoon ghee or 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan. Add 1 to 2 broken dried red chilies and 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves. Fry until the garlic turns lightly golden. Add ⅛ teaspoon hing/ asafoetida and turn off.
Pour this over the palak curry. Give a good mix and cover the bowl. Rest it for a while. This way the flavors of garlic, red chilli and hing will be absorbed well.
The most important step is to squeeze some lemon juice before serving. Serve with hot butter naan, Chapati roti, jeera rice or ghee rice.
Spinach Curry (Palak Curry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2½ cups (150 grams) chopped spinach (tightly packed, palak)
- 1½ tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ cup (1 medium) onion (fine chopped)
- 1 to 2 green chilies
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic (½ tbsp ginger ½ tbsp garlic, or 1 tsp paste)
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ tablespoon besan (gram flour) (substitute 4 tbsps almond meal or 6 tbsps fresh/frozen coconut)
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- 1¼ cup water (more if needed)
- ½ to ¾ tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, adjust to taste)
- 1 to 1½ tablespoon lemon juice (for serving)
- ¾ tablespoon ghee or 1 tbsp butter or oil
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves (sliced)
- 1 to 2 dried red chilies (broken)
- ⅛ teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
- Rinse and chop onions, spinach, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
How to make Spinach Curry
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add onions and green chilies.
- Saute till the onions turn golden. Add ginger garlic, turmeric and salt. Saute for 2 mins.
- Next add besan/gram flour and garam maslaa. On a low heat, saute till the flour begin to smell aromatic. The raw smell of the flour should have completely gone.
- Then add spinach and saute till it wilts. To a blender pour ⅔ cups water. Add the sauteed spinach and onion mixture.
- Make a smooth or slightly coarse puree to suit your liking.
- Transfer this back to the same pot along with more water. (I added 1¼ cups in total to blend and add at this stage). You may need more.
- Bring this to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 mins until the spinach curry smells good.
- When the curry turns thick yet is of pouring add kasuri methi. Mix and turn off. Taste it and add more salt if needed. It will still taste slightly bland at this stage.
- Heat ghee or butter in a small pan. Add sliced garlic and red chillies. Fry the garlic until it turns golden.
- Add hing and pour this to the spinach curry. Give a good mix and cover it.
- Squeeze lemon juice before serving. Spinach curry is best served hot with butter naan, roti or jeera rice.
- Besan (gram flour) can be substituted with 4 tbsps of almond meal or 6 tbsps of fresh or frozen grated coconut or thick coconut milk. If using thick coconut milk, pour half cup to the blender to puree along with spinach and onions.
- Do not increase the quantity of gram flour as its leaves a dominant taste.
- Adjust the amount of kasuri methi to your liking. Do not skip that.
- Do not skip lemon juice.
- Substitute ghee with oil to make it vegan. Skip hing to make it gluten-free.
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.
Watch Spinach Curry Video
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
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. More about me
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I made your spinach curry last night. It is OUTSTANDING!!!!!! I’m so excited. Now I have to try your other recipes.
Thank you so much Margaret! Glad you like it
You are my favourite Indian Asian cuisine cook.. have recommended your recipes to my friends and just subscribed to your YouTube channel.
I don’t buy dried red chillies as I’ve had issues with red chilli powder so I am opening myself to fresh red chilli which seems to be ok. I just have two questions please;
1. What else can I substitute for the dried red chilli in the tempering stage?
I do have red chopped chillies stored in vinegar.
As I am cooking more frequently following your amazing recipes which my husband also enjoys very much, I would buy dried red chillies in the near future, if nothing else is ok to substitute it for.
2. Is there a spice or any other difference between using fresh red or green chillies?
Thank you 😃
Thank you so much!
1.Yes there is nothing else to substitute. But you can totally skip them in any recipe. It is just used to impart a smoky flavor. You may try adding 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder to the tadka after the heat is turned off.
2. Yes there is a difference in the flavor. But if that’s what you have, use the red chilies.
If you have a problem with red chili powder or dried red chilies, you can use fresh red chilli paste. Blend the fresh chilies (deseeded) with some oil to a smooth or coarse paste. Use this in place of red chilli powder. You can also freeze this. It stays for several months. Your curries won’t have the same color but it is good for digestion. Hope this helps.
This recipe won my heart as many other that I have cooked from your blog, easy to prepare and so flavorful. The combination of carlic-cumin tempered in ghee gives such a nice aroma and taste and surely lime does the work when cooking spinach 😌
I made it rather thick and had it with sourdough-raggi utappams (very non traditional combination🙂 that’s how I have used to eat), but it vas very nice all together. Thank you once again 🙏
So happy to know you liked it! Yes you are so right, the tempering is so good. Thank you so much!
Can this be frozen and consumed later?
I didn’t try. Not sure if it tastes good
Best palak recipe. My husband doesn’t like palak so I wanted to try some different recipe. Trust me, everyone at my place loved loved it. Literally they could eat without chapati also. The flavor had come so good. You are my Savior Swastika. Simple and best and s well presented. Looking forward to try more from your recipes.
So glad to know you all loved it! Thank you so much for leaving a comment.
You’re my favorite food blogger. Living in the US, i’d lost touch with indian recipes but i’m back on track now :). Tried this today and it was absolutely delicious with rotis.
You are welcome! Glad to know!
Thank you so much!
Came out delicious. This was the first time I used gram flour in a curry recipe. My family loved it. Can you share a recipe for soft roti. Video is much appreciated. Thank you ?
Glad your family loved it. Thank you! Yes will share it.
Hello, can milk be used instead of water to make the spinach curry?
I haven’t tried it with milk. You can instead blend 10 to 12 soaked cashewnuts or almonds with half cup water to smooth milk and use.
Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe. The step by step photos are quite helpful.
Came out really nice. Easy to make and was yummy.
Wish I could post a pic.
Glad to know! Thank you! Yes pls send the picture either by email, fb, or on insta. Would love to see it!
Spinach curry is delicious ?.My kids loved the greens for the first time. Thanks for this recipe.
Welcome! Happy to know! Thank you