Aloo palak, another delicious vegetarian dish with boiled potatoes, spinach and spices. This aloo palak is popular food in India, particularly in Northern India. It is also popular in some other parts of India. This food is similar to palak paneer. Boiled aloo (potatoes) and palak (spinach) are main ingredients in this dish, that is why it is called as aloo palak.
Many people think these two dishes are same just potato is used instead of paneer. But it is not, I mean it should not be same. Actually palak paneer is generally less spicy, little sweet in taste and creamy. You can see a shine in its gravy but aloo palak is more hot & spicy than palak paneer. It is not sweet in taste and no cream or full cream milk is used to make dish dish. People normally prefer to have aloo palak with both rice and roti (Indian bread).
Many people just do not prefer this dish as they find palak paneer far better dish than aloo palak. You can see a funny thing in their naming. First one is palak paneer. That means it is paneer based dish, so paneer is dominating here over spinach. But if you see the name of aloo palak, palak is used after aloo. That means it is spinach (or palak) based dish. As potato is very common vegetable and people often use in various dish, so it is not enjoying same status as paneer (cottage cheese). Ha ha! Is it not funny?
In most North Indian food restaurant you can have alu palak. Price for aloo palak depends on type of restaurant where you want to order. mostly plain boiled potatoes are used in aloo palak but in some restaurants small fried potato cubes are also used to make this delicious food.
I tried this dish in many Northern states and tastes were almost similar in all locations. For first few times I did not like it because it was something new to me and so my taste was not developed those days for North Indian cuisine (particularly Punjabi cuisine, I guess). But later I started preferring aloo palak. Not only that, today I can even make aloo palak at home too but I do not make so often as I cook occasionally whenever I want to try something which is not regular dish to me.
Have you ever tried aloo-palak at restaurant or tasted home made alu palak? If yes then share your experience below.
Best part of having home made food is you can do a lot of experiment while cooking. You can make your dish more tasty according to your choice. If you prefer to have that food little sweet or add more chili then you are free to go for it.
So are you ready to make aloo palak? You actually need very less number of ingredients to make alu palak as compare to palak paneer. Gravy is based on chopped onion, garlic paste and ginger paste and finely chopped tomatoes. Red chili powder and garam masala added to bring taste in this food. Turmeric powder is not added here as it will kill greenish color of this dish. Lemon juice will always work in such kind of North Indian dishes, so lemon juice is added to bring little sour taste in this delicious food. You can add lemon wedges in water while boiling potatoes. It will add lemon flavor to potatoes. I prefer to add melted butter in alu palak it brings nice aroma in this dish though many people do not want to add butter here, if you do not want to add butter here then simply don’t. But there are many people who make the whole dish in butter. Normally plain boiled potatoes are used here but you can saute boiled potatoes in a pan before adding to gravy.
Aloo palak recipe
- Potatoes / aloo - 200 gm
- Spinach / palak - 1 cup, chopped
- Onion / pyaz - 1 large, chopped
- Ginger / adrak - 2 tsp, paste
- Garlic / lahsun - 1.5 tsp, paste
- Tomatoes / tamatar - 1 large, chopped
- Red chili / lal mirch - 2.5 tsp, powder
- Garam masala - 2 tsp, powder
- Butter - ½ tbsp, melted
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Oil - 1.5 tbsp
- Water - 1 cup
- Salt - as needed
- Heat oil in a cooking pot and add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped onion one by one
- Now cook all spices till onion turns to light brown color, then add finely chopped tomatoes
- Cook tomatoes and other spices properly, add salt as needed and cook till it releases oil
- Now add red chili powder, garam masala and mix well
- Add spinach puree* to gravy and mix with other spices, and cook till spinach turns from green to dark green, release oil too
- Now pour one cup of water (or as needed) and stir to mix gravy into water
- Add boiled potatoes** and again boil for 4-5 minutes, adjust gravy
- Then add lemon juice and ½ table spoon melted butter and mix
** Pour water (as needed, do not add to much water) in a pressure cooker, add salt, few drops lemon juice, lemon wedges and of-course potatoes. Pressure cook till 2 whistles. Then peel off skin and keep it for further use in aloo-palak
Try some more food spinach soup, saucy potato salad, paneer do pyaza, masoor dal etc.