Here is a tasty Indian inspired sauce that can be easily made ahead and frozen (prepare the potatoes before serving as they would not freeze well). Traditional sag aloo is based on spinach but I like the added complexity from mixing kale and mustard greens together. Experiment with a different mix of greens and let us know how it turns out.
This sauce is not a something that can be quickly thrown together – it will take a bit to make but well worth it in the end. Plus, it’s a great way to use a lot of greens at once! If you want to shorten the recipe a bit, you can use your favorite pre-ground Indian spice mix – I think equal amounts of curry powder and garam masala would work well. You could also use another vegetable in place of the potatoes – thaw out frozen cauliflower for an easy substitution.
Saag Aloo (Spinach Sauce with Potatoes)
Recipe notes: 1) you can substitute waxy potatoes like Red Bliss but don’t use starchy potatoes such as Russets as they tend to fall apart and not hold their shape, 2) you can add more jalapeno depending on your desired spice level – although it is impossible to tell how much heat any one chile will give without tasting it (as it depends on the growing conditions), 1/2 jalapeno probably won’t give much noticeable heat.
- 4 medium (1-1/3 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if desired, and cut into 1″ cubes
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Seeds from 3 cardamom pods, about 1/4 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and cut into a small dice
- 1/2 large jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 10 ounces kale (about 1 large bunch), washed and roughly chopped
- 10 ounces mustard greens (about 1 large bunch), washed and roughly chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped
- Juice of one fresh lime
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
- Rice and/or naan to serve
- Place potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, remove plastic wrap away from your face to avoid the steam, and test for doneness. Cover and cook for a few minutes longer if they aren’t cooked all the way through. Alternatively, you can steam the potatoes in a steamer basket set over simmering water (should take about 5 minutes to cook through). Set aside.
- Grind the cumin and cardamom seeds using a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder. Combine with the remaining spices and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the spice mixture. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the greens in 2 or 3 batches, if necessary, until they have wilted down and start to release moisture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer 1/2 of the spinach mixture to a blender or small food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth, about 5 1-second pulses. Return the puree to the skillet with the remaining greens and stir to combine. Add the tomato, lime juice and heavy cream, if using, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the potatoes. Serve over rice and top with chopped cashews.