The Website “Frugal Feeding” recently wrote about the spinach and potato dish called saag aloo. (Saag aloo sounds a little like a line from one of Lady Baby’s songs, “saag a-loo my darlin’.” But not.) So, because I had new potatoes, some spinach, and much kale raab from the CSA, I tried a variation.
Begin by toasting spices in a large pan (half teaspoon turmeric, one teaspoon garam masala, and a teaspoon of black onion seeds – called for but I couldn’t find). This smells terrific as it warms. Then add oil, and begin to cook a finely chopped onion.
Continue cooking the onions until translucent, then add three cloves of garlic mashed, one or two chopped chili peppers, seven or eight cherry tomatoes cut in half, and 300 grams or 10 ounces of potatoes cut into one-inch chunks.
Frugal Feeding is a Brit, so his recipes always call for a little interpretation by Yank readers – his grams to our ounces. He says to add a “splash” of water after a few minutes – but he quantifies his splash as 50 to 60 milliliters – around a quarter-cup by my trusty Pyrex measuring cup.
With the lid on, continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender.
The original recipe calls for 160 grams of fresh spinach (about five ounces of spinach or in this case leaves and flowers of raab) blanched in hot water, then blended in a food processor until paste-like.
Stir the greens into the pan once the potatoes are cooked and serve with rice or chapitis. I remembered to mold the rice using a cup (as the sweet bride taught me), and the saag aloo looked colorful around the rice.
How did it taste? Both bland and spicy – maybe it needed more salt than I added – maybe I shouldn’t have added another splash of water (to prevent too much sticking). The potatoes tasted great, but maybe the black onion seeds were crucial. And I substituted the raab, so not really a fair test, though it made a very green paste. It was warming and used up the raab, and leftovers the next day tasted way better.
Maybe saag aloo another time!