Aloo Palak Sabji - Basic Recipe with Minimum Ingredients

Sharing a super simple and super basic recipe today.  This is a result of:
1) us moving to another city in a corporate accommodation with a kitchen that was furnished with just the minimum necessities, and
2) us purchasing a small amount of grocery only for the 2 weeks I was there before I flew to Asia.

So all we bought was:

6 basic spices - cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder, and coriander powder
5 most used vegetables: tomato, spinach, potato, onion, and carrot
4 pantry items: sona masoori rice for dinner, flatted rice (poha) for breakfast, toor dal, and peanuts
3 pastes that I couldn't make on my own (because there was no grater, grinder, blender): garlic paste, green chili paste, and ginger paste
And of course the basic necessities: ghee, oil, sugar, salt, and milk.

And I pretty much did most of my cooking with just those items in the first week.  That's when I learned how to make use of the minimum number of ingredients to cook stir-fry dishes (I couldn't make a gravy dish because there was no grinder)...

Spusht | Aloo Palak ki Sabzi | Potatoes and Spinach Stir Fry
Aloo Palak Stir Fry
I definitely cooked my mixed vegetable dal, even without a pressure cooker every day.  And given my love for potato, I cooked one potato dish every other day.  First I made a simple Jeera Aloo, next time Aloo Pyaaz ki sabzi, next time Palak Aloo ki sabzi, and so on - using the same basic ingredients.  In fact, from your fully equipped kitchen you could add dry red chilies, bay leaf, or other spices for flavoring in oil along with cumin seeds.  Or you could add roasted peanut powder, or sesame seed powder toward the end for a nutty taste.  Or add other vegetables like onion, tomato, etc.  Or instead of spinach if you use fenugreek leaves, it will become the famous dish Methi Aloo ki sabzi.  All you need is an understanding of basic recipe and then make all your variations from there.

Spusht | Potatoes and Spinach | Aloo aur Palak ki Sookhi Sabzi
aloo aur palak ki sookhi sabzi

Dry Aloo Palak Subzi Recipe

serves 4-6

What you need:
2 cup parboiled, drained, diced potatoes
4 cup packed, chopped spinach
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder or lemon juice
red chili powder/chopped green chilies/green chili paste to taste
salt to taste


Parboil diced potatoes in a pot on stove-top for 15 minutes or in a microwave-safe bowl for 5-6 minutes.  Sprinkle a little salt when parboiling.  Insert fork to check if potato nice n tender.  If you don't parboil, you have to saute chopped, diced potatoes in oil and cover every once in a while so that it cooks in its steam.  And keep an eye so the potatoes don't stick to pan or burn at the bottom.  It's a lot of work, so I prefer just parboiling instead.

Let's Begin!

Spusht | How to cook Palak Aloo ki Subzi
how to cook palak aloo ki subzi
1. Heat oil in medium pan on medium heat, add cumin seeds, let sizzle.
2. Add potatoes, saute for a minute or two.
3. Add chopped green chilies if you have or skip this step and just add red chili powder later, or a combination like here.  (You could even add any of the green chili/ginger/garlic pastes at this point.)
4. Add turmeric powder. Keep stirring to avoid potato sticking to pan. Ah, so much better to use nonstick.
5. Add spinach, mix.
6. Add red chili powder (if needed), coriander powder, and dry mango powder (or lemon juice), mix well. And if using nonstick you could add the spice powders (except dry mango powder/lemon juice) in oil and saute along with cumin seeds.  But this steel pan sucks and spice sticks, so I add it all in the end.

Sprinkle some salt, mix well, cover the lid and take off the heat.  Let the flavors get absorbed, then enjoy your Aloo aur Palak Sabzi with warm chapathi.

Spusht | Palak Aloo Sabzi | Spinach and Potato Stir Fry
Palak Aloo Subzi - Dry spinach and potato stir fry
To make Jeera Aloo, you would minus the spinach from this recipe and use 1/2 tsp cumin seed powder along with coriander powder.  And to make dry Aloo Pyaaz ki Sabzi, you would use 2 cup chopped onion instead and saute along with cumin seeds.  Or just add any other vegetables or spices as per your taste.

There's no fixed recipe; take the basic idea and keep going from there.
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  1. Hey Nisha, there are times when with real less resources you end up having a blissful meal, I am sure you would have enjoyed this one too like that only :)!

    1. Yep Anamika, though it was quite a challenge to cook something new everyday with the limited resources :D

  2. Healthy, Simple and flavorful.. Nice side for chapathi...

  3. Healthy and flavourful sabji,who will say no to it.

  4. Hey Nisha.. looks wonderful. Love aloo palak/methi, all of it. Congrats on your move again, it's amazing what 6 ingredients can do for Indian food.

  5. I love the aloo palak good with roti..yum..making me really hungry...Beautiful clicks :)

  6. hey, where have you been? Hope things are okay. Long time. :(

  7. Erm I might actually experimenting coooking..following your simple steps..great post dude!

  8. Nice recipes here. And your other space too. Admire your diary writing. Will keep track.

  9. It's amazing how lovely home made food tastes even if minimum ingredients and spices. Lovely blog and will be following you via facebook.


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