Stella’s Aloo Palak

This is a pretty basic Indian recipe that I tweaked from various versions online, and it was surprisingly easy and filling! I’d never before thought about making a spinach purée, and now I’m thinking of ways to work it into other, non-Indian dishes. As any of you Indian food lovers know, “aloo” means potatoes, and the “palak” here simply means spinach – spinach potatoes! This recipe is characteristically North Indian, and makes a versatile, healthy side dish.

1 lb. fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 green chiles, chopped (I used homegrown jalapeños)
1/2 lb. potatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric
4 Tbsp butter, halved
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp fresh cream (optional)
salt, to taste

1. Boil the potatoes in a stock pot with a dash of salt and the turmeric until they are just cooked, approximately ten minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. Add spinach along with the garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and onions, and cook for about ten minutes until spinach is just wilted.

3. Remove the spinach mixture into a food processor and blend into a purée. Set aside.

4. In the original skillet, melt remaining butter and mix in the coriander seed. Add spinach purée and simmer for about three minutes. Next add the cooked potatoes and cumin. Sprinkle with a little water, and stir. Aloow to cook for a few more minutes, so the flavors will be absorbed.

5. Add cream (if using), stir thoroughly, and serve immediately.

Makes four side servings.

Pictured here with Rum-Spiced Carrots

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