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 roti, butter naan or flavored rice like jeera 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.
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.
How to make spinach curry
1.Heat oil in a pot and add cumin seeds.
2.When they begin to splutter, add onions and green chilies. Saute them well until the onions turn golden. Then add chopped ginger garlic, salt and turmeric.
3. Saute for 2 minutes to bring out the aroma of ginger garlic. Then add besan (gram flour) and garam masala. If you do not have gram flour then you can use 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 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 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 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 ghee or butter in a small pan. Add red chilies and chopped garlic. Fry until the garlic turns lightly golden. Add 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.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 150 grams spinach (palak) (2½ cups tightly packed
- 1½ tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion (½ cup 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 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
- 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 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.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes