Back in February I made aloo palak which is pretty much the same dish, at least in concept. That recipe and this one use the same ingredients, but combine them in interestingly different ways, particularly creating the sauce out of onion instead of spinach. Seemed worth a try.
1/2 pound potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch diameter pieces
1 pound spinach, cleaned well
1 large onion (or one small onion plus some garlic and some shallot)
1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon cayanne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fenugreek
4 ounces canned tomatoes
1. Heat a medium pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add potatoes and cook until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes
2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the spinach with a little water from the cleaning. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from pan, let cool to handling temperature and squeeze out most of the moisture.
3. Slice the onion. Clean any spinach juice out of the large pan, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add half the onion and sauté until golden brown. Add the whole coriander and cumin and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a food processor.
4. Add the rest of the onion, shallots and garlic and blend until smooth.
5. Return to the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, spinach and spices. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes (the original recipe called for half as much tomatoes, but 2 ounces is barely any at all so I doubled it.), stir well, cover and simmer 10 minutes more.
Serve with rice or roti and a dollop of chutney.
The spinach is well overcooked, of course: on the verge of falling apart and a little mushy but the stems still have some texture. There's a bit of spinach flavor left plus mild spiciness, but the flavor is dominated by the onions and potatoes (which add welcome textural interest). It's all rather sedate so the spicy tangy bite of the chutney is a welcome addition. The amount of chutney in the picture is rather too much, but once I added another scoop of the saag aloo, it evened out nicely. It doesn't much resemble any restaurant saag aloo, I don't think, but it's been a while since I've had it. I wonder if this is a typical recipe or some weird aberation.