Aaloo Palak

This recipe is very special and one of my favorites. I am thrilled to share my simple , easy to follow recipe of this traditionally slow cooked laborious process, all without compromising flavor.

My homemade version is not doused with cream and butter which often is the reason for flavor in many restaurants. I like to rely on the natural taste of the ingredients and add to the deliciousness with perfect combination of spices.

Ingredients
1 pound of baby potatoes, peeled (around 10-12)
3 bags of baby spinach (about 12-13 cups of fresh spinach)
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
3 green chillies (substitute: 1 serrano)
3 cloves
1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsps salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
3 tbsps cilantro, washed and finely chopped

Method
In a large saute pot, heat oil for 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds and just when it starts turning light golden brown,  add chopped onions. Keep sautéing on medium-high heat until the onions are golden brown, around 10-12 minutes. Drop the heat to low.

In the meantime, using a blender, make a puree of roughly chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. No extra water needed since the tomatoes will lend a lot of water.

Add this pureed tomato mixture to the simmering onions. Make sure you are on low heat, there will be some spluttering. Mix well and let cook covered for 15 minutes until the tomato puree and spices are cooked and infused together with the onions and cumin.

Uncover and let the tomato sauce simmer on low heat. In the meanwhile, puree the baby spinach in a blender with few tsps of water. You will have to do this in batches. Make sure the spinach is a puree and not too watery. It is raw spinach at this time.

Add the pureed spinach to the simmering tomato sauce. Mix well and let simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, while mixing every few minutes. You will notice a change from a bright green to a darker and earthier green as an indication of being done.

While the sauce is simmering, boil the potatoes in salter water until fork tender. They should be cooked, yet remain firm.

Back to the spinach sauce: Add salt, coriander powder and garam masala to the sauce, and mix well.

Add the halved cooked baby potatoes in, and let simmer over medium heat for another 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cilantro and turn off the heat. Tastes great with any indian bread or basmati rice.

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