Vegan Saag Aloo is a delicious combination of Indian spices cooked with creamy potatoes and fresh spinach. This tasty vegan Indian meal is perfect for budget-friendly mid-week dinners served with rice and naan breads, or as a side dish along with a larger Indian inspired feast.
This vegan Saag Aloo recipe can be easily prepared as gluten-free and with no added fat or oil.
What is Saag Aloo?
Saag Aloo is an Indian Punjabi dish and the main crux of the dish is simply green leaves [commonly spinach] and potatoes cooked within tasty Indian spices. The spinach is often replaced with mustard greens, Indian Basella leaves, collard greens and even broccoli.
Saag refers to the green veggie used and Aloo is the potato. Saag Aloo can also be termed Palak Aloo with the Indian word Palak referring to spinach.
Saag Aloo can be a side-dish to a larger Indian feast or served on its own as the star of the show.
Saag Aloo is an immensely popular meal at British Indian restaurants and take-out establishments.
Vegan Saag Aloo
This recipe for vegan Saag Aloo is inspired by the tasty traditional Indian meal Saag Aloo and is no way claiming to be authentic.
This veggie Saag Aloo is just our adaptation which results in a yummy, wholesome meal that is perfect for mid-week budget-friendly meals or fake-away's at home.
For more family Vegan Curry Recipes check out this tasty collection that I prepare for my family often.
Especially delicious is this Curried Parsnip Soup and these Chana Chaat Chickpeas, [this recipe comes with a stuffed acorn squash option], easy-peasy Slow Cooker Tikka Masala and our family favourite Old School Vegan Chicken Curry.
How To Prepare Vegan Saag Aloo
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add a few squeezes of lemon juice and stir through 2 teaspoons of garam masala.
Add the spinach in stages and stir and wilt, before adding more.
Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro and red chilli flakes if liked.
How To Store Leftover Saag Aloo?
Store leftover Saag Aloo by placing in a covered container and popping in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze Saag Aloo?
Freeze Saag Aloo for 3-4 months. Defrost completely before reheating.
What's the best way to reheat Saag Aloo?
A microwave can be used to quickly reheat Saag Aloo within a few minutes.
Or transport the leftovers to a non-stick pan/skillet or Wok, and add a little water or vegan stock/broth just enough to loosen up the sauce.
Over a medium heat stir the Saag Aloo frequently until piping hot.
What can I serve with Saag Aloo?
Saag Aloo can be served as a side dish along with a selection of your favourite Indian dishes, or enjoyed as the main event along with rice, naan breads, chapatis, mango chutney, lime or mint pickle, etc.
A dollop of vegan mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt is a tasty accomplishment.
To prepare your own easy 3 ingredient vegan flatbreads do pop over and have a look at our recipe, these pair nicely with any home-cooked curry.
Can I substitute any of the ingredients?
This is the beauty of savoury recipes, they can be easily tailored to your own preferences and family requirements.
A few ideas:
- for the garlic and ginger use fresh, dried, frozen or pureed versions
- replace the white potatoes for sweet potatoes, butternut squash or even pumpkin [although these three veggies may not require pre-cooking before adding to the recipe, but do add extra veggie stock/broth as and when required. Perhaps pre-roast the veggies to bring out their flavours, and reduce the amount of time they simmer in the recipe so as to not overcook].
- any type of green veggie leaves can replace the spinach but do consider the cooking times for each leaf variety and add them to the simmering potatoes at the correct time.
Can I use any type of potato for Saag Aloo?
Any type of potato that you have to hand is perfect for using up in this Saag Aloo recipe.
Although do consider the cooking times for each type of potato and be careful when pre-cooking so that the potatoes do not over cook and become mushy.
To pre-cook, the potatoes can be steamed, boiled, baked, microwaved, air-fried etc. I like to leave the skins on and just remove any blemishes so as retain as much nutrition as possible.
Also it is a good idea to retain the potato cooking water as some of it can be used to prepare the vegan stock required for the Saag Aloo recipe, and the rest for other recipes throughout the week.
Can I prepare vegan Saag Aloo as free from added fat or oil?
Coconut oil does add to the flavour of the finished dish but of course vegetable stock/broth can be initially used to saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Start with about half a cup [125ml] and add extra small splashes as and when required.
Is vegan Saag Aloo fine for a gluten-free diet?
Simply ensure that you select a gluten-free vegan stock/broth and that your curry powder is free from gluten ingredients especially any flour type thickeners that may have been added.
Any ideas for how to use up leftover Saag Aloo?
A favourite with my family is to create curry pasties with any leftover curry.
Chop up the potatoes into thick dice and use the Saag Aloo to fill pastry such as vegan puff pastry. [many shop-bought puff pastry packages are accidently vegan].
Follow the pastry cooking directions for times and cooker temperatures, and bake the curry pasties until risen, golden and piping hot.
Curry pasties are tasty served hot with a nice green salad or enjoy chilled for pack lunch, picnics or food-on-the-go.
Another idea is, instead of pastry use a home-made bread dough, the same type of dough that would be used to prepare pizza bases or bread rolls/baps. This is a fun way to create some tasty calzones.
Roll out about 100-120 grams of bread dough into an oval-rectangle shape, fill the middle with a few scoops of curry, and roll the dough up or fold the dough over.
Squeeze the edges together. A little melted vegan margarine or a brush of olive oil, spread over each calzone adds a nice colour.
Bake with the edge side down, following the cooking temperatures for the bread dough. Although I tend to bake filled pizza or bread rolls/baps at 190 C [170 Fan/ 374 Fahrenheit] for around 18 minutes.
[if using the bread dough to prepare homemade calzones, an idea is to spread a little tomato puree over the base and then add the curry filling.
Next add a sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese, and then roll up or fold over. My kids absolutely love these for lunch hot or chilled. A chopped fresh tomato or few slices of red onion, is also a tasty addition.]
Potato And Spinach Sag Aloo
- Non-stick skillet/deep fry pan/stove-top casserole pan or a large Wok
To saute onions
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil [or ½ cup vegan stock/broth]
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 250 grams onion 1 large, cut into medium thick slices
- 2 teaspoons dried garlic powder or 4 garlic cloves, diced, or 2 teaspoons garlic puree
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder or 1 inch piece of ginger root grated or fine diced, or 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 2 tablespoon mild curry powder if using a hot curry powder it can be reduced to 1 tablespoon if preferred
- 1 can chopped tomatoes 400g/15 oz
- 800 grams potatoes, cooked if using new baby potatoes these can be left whole, half or quarter larger potatoes, remove skin blemishes but retain potato skin if possible
- 250 grams spinach left whole if baby spinach, rough chop any larger leaves, or shred if preferred
- 250 millilitres vegetable stock broth
At end of cooking
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or just a few squeezes from the fresh lemon
- 6 grams coriander [cilantro] rough chopped, use more if liked
- Melt the coconut oil or heat up the ½ cup [125ml] veggie stock in the non-stick pan.
- Add the onion slices, cumin seeds, garlic and ginger.
- Over a medium heat cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the pre-cooked potatoes and curry powder. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup [250ml] of vegetable stock/broth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir through the garam masala and lemon juice.
- Over a low-medium heat begin to add the spinach a few cups at a time. Stir the spinach through the curry to wilt, and once wilted fill the pan again with fresh spinach and stir. Continue until all the spinach has wilted and been stirred through the curry.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro/coriander and red chilli flakes if liked. A wedge of lemon is also nice as is a scoop of mango chutney and a dollop of vegan mayonnaise.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Leftover curry can be stored within a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Or frozen for 3-4 months.
- To reheat, add to a non-stick pan and perhaps add a little vegetable stock to loosen up the sauce. Reheat until piping hot throughout.
- Leftover Saag Aloo can be used to prepare curry pasties [puff pastry] or curry calzones [bread dough]. Check the recipe notes for guidance.
- For gluten-free curry choose a gluten-free vegan stock/broth and check that the curry powder is free from gluten ingredients such as flour thickeners.
- For a change use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Or even butternut squash, acorn squash or pumpkin. Instead of parboiling the sweet potatoes, etc roast in the oven or an air-fryer and then add to the recipe but reduce the simmering time.
- Any variety of potato is fine for this recipe, but be careful not to over cook while precooking the potato.
- Potatoes can be precooked by steaming, boiling, baking, roasting, air-frying, microwaving, etc.
- Save the potato cooking water as some of it can be used to make up the vegan stock/broth if using stock powder/cubes, the rest of the liquid can be stored for a few days and used for other recipes.
- To save time and fuel if cooking potatoes for a recipe a few days before this one, cook extra potatoes and store in the refrigerator for this recipe.
- Instead of spinach choose kale, collards, mustard greens, spring greens, etc, but add these greens in earlier as they take longer to cook compared to spinach.
- To make this Saag Aloo even more budget-friendly look out for potatoes and spinach within the reduced section of your local supermarket or store.
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