Aloo Palak Restaurant style | Potato Spinach Curry Recipe
Aloo Palak Restaurant style recipe is a simple North Indian dish made with potatoes, spinach, spices, and herbs. Creamy spinach gravy with fork-tender potatoes makes a delicious main dish that goes well with any Indian flatbread or rice variety.
I often make aloo-based dry sabzi and gravies whenever I want something comforting and easy. Potatoes with any other vegetables are a constant feature on our dining table. There are many potato-based recipes on the blog.
Palak being one of the healthiest vegetables is one of those vegetables that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with growing up! But now I’m loving it.
I’ve tried cooking palak in many different ways but palak dishes that have a rich and smooth gravy is the way I like it best. I wish my mom had prepared palak dishes like this, then I would not have the aversion to palak that I had.
Compared to its more famous and popular sibling palak paneer, there is no heavy cream or cashews added. So, this dish is light on the tummy.
What is Aloo Palak?
Aloo translates to Potato and Palak translates to Spinach. Aloo Palak, or Indian potatoes in spinach gravy is a traditional Punjabi dish.
Aloo Palak is one of the most popular dishes prepared in Indian homes, as well as available in many North Indian dhabas and restaurants.
Even the most avid health-conscious people cannot resist digging into rich and creamy dishes from Punjabi cuisine.
About Aloo Palak Restaurant style
Aloo Palak Restaurant style Recipe is the North Indian curry made with spinach, potatoes, and spices in flavorful, creamy curry.
Basically, there are two versions one is dried aloo palak and another one is gravy curry. So today I’m sharing the gravy version of aloo palak. What I love about my aloo palak restaurant style recipe is the eye-popping green color that shines from the spinach.
It’s no secret that vegetarian or nonvegetarian dishes tend to taste better in restaurants and dhabas than at home, and that’s mainly because of the cooking method and use of a few selected ingredients.
The additional step of this recipe is blanching and blending the spinach leaves, but after that, this dish comes together in no time.
Commonly spinach gravy-based curries are prepared by firstly blanching the baby spinach leaves which are later blended into a smooth puree.
Adding processed cheese to aloo palak is one of my experiments. This was just an experiment and glad I did.
This aloo palak restaurant style recipe uses minimal spices to truly allow the freshness of spinach and potatoes to shine.
There are different ways to add potatoes to the palak gravy – deep frying, shallow frying, or boiling. Boiled potatoes tend to break down, turn mushy, and will not soak up the wonderful flavors of spices. I prefer to saute the potatoes, cook them until 90%, and simmer them in the palak gravy.
With its creamy texture, fork-tender pieces of potatoes, the authentic aroma of kasuri methi, and a lot of clarified butter (ghee), this aloo palak restaurant style is sure to blow your mind.
Though this aloo palak with a gravy recipe is made without using nuts and heavy cream, the gravy is thick and luscious. The richness and creaminess come from processed cheese. It is a secret ingredient that a few fine-dinning restaurants add in palak-based curry dishes.
Reasons to try
Easy to prepare.
Easily available ingredients.
Full of flavors.
No nuts or heavy cream.
Tastes amazingly delicious.
Can be prepared in about 45 minutes.
No fancy ingredients.
Spinach provides a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Perfect lunch box recipe.
Do not miss the tips to retain the vibrant green color of the leaves and get a silky smooth palak gravy. With these tips, near restaurant-quality aloo palak is well within your reach.
1. Cut potato in uniform size as it ensures even cooking. Sauteeing the potatoes in oil and cooking along with ground spices gives the best taste to this recipe.
2. Blanching is a popular technique that restaurants and dhabas follow to retain the bright green color of the palak.
3. I highly recommend not using any water while blending the blanched palak leaves.
4. Add the spinach puree only after the potatoes are nearly cooked. This saves the spinach from being overcooked.
5. After adding palak puree, do not cover the pan while cooking. The green color will discolor and turn the gravy dark in color.
6. Do not cook the palak for a long time.
7. Be generous with fat (oil/ghee/butter). Green leafy vegetables have a dry texture, so they need extra fat to balance the harshness. Fat also helps spread both heat and flavor throughout the dish.
8. I prefer using kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) in restaurant-style recipes, which adds such a nice flavor and aroma.
9. Let the potatoes soak in the palak gravy for a few minutes before serving.
10. Before serving, squeeze lemon for an additional layer of flavor.
Potatoes: I’m using Yukon gold potatoes and recommend using the same. You can use regular potatoes or even baby potatoes as per your availability.
Spinach: I’m using baby spinach. You can use any variety of spinach.
Oil: For this recipe, I’m using sunflower oil. Feel free to use your favorite oil.
Clarified butter (ghee): It is a key ingredient in this recipe.
Green chilies: For spice, I feel that leafy vegetables taste best with green chilies.
Ground Spices: turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and garam masala.
Processed cheese: It helps to absorb moisture and make the gravy more viscous without adding cream.
Processed cheese works the best, do not use any other cheese.
Herbs: coriander leaves and kasuri methi.
Whole spices: cumin seeds and dried red chilies.
Seasoning: salt to taste, as always!
How to make Aloo Palak
1. Take 250 grams palak in a wide bowl. Go through the leaves and discard any that have holes, that appear rotten, are brown, or show signs of mold. Also, remove the stems that are thick.
Fill the large bowl with water. Swish the leaves around and use your hands to separate the spinach, and let them sit in the water for 2 – 3 minutes. This will make the dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl. Discard the water and repeat the step until the water runs clear.
2. Boil water in a big and deep vessel. Let the water come to a rolling boil.
Add the leaves only after water boils.
3. Add cleaned palak leaves, 2-3 green chilies, and 1 tbsp coriander leaves. Add 1/2 tsp of sugar.
Gently push the leaves down and ensure that all the leaves are completely submerged. Sugar helps to retain the green color of leaves.
5. Continue to boil the leaves on a high flame for 1 minute.
Don’t over-boil the leaves to prevent them from turning black.
6. Use a slotted spoon and immediately transfer the blanched spinach leaves to a bowl with cold water. Or, use a colander to drain the hot water from the palak and immediately add it to the ice-cold water.
Cold water stops the leaves from cooking further.
7. Gently squeeze the excess water from the leaves and add to a blender jar.
8. Grind to a thick smooth paste without adding water. Keep it aside till you are ready to use it.
The blanched palak leaves have enough water to blend.
9. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom kadai or non-stick pan over medium-high flame, add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. Let them crackle and change color.
10. Add 1 big onion finely chopped and saute until they turn soft.
Don’t saute the onions till brown. The colour and flavor of the gravy will change.
11. Add 2-3 medium size potatoes cubed and saute frequently (but not constantly) on medium-high flame for 2 minutes.
Ensure that the flame is medium, if the flame is low, the veggie will release liquid and steam rather than saute. Sauteeing the veggie brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and makes them palatable.
12. Now add 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw aroma goes away.
13. It’s time to add ground spices – 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, and salt. Give a good stir.
14. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
Water quantity should be just enough to cook the potatoes.
15. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are 90% cooked.
16. Uncover the pan and check the potatoes. If they are not cooked, add more water and cook till they are almost tender.
17. Add the palak puree and stir to mix evenly. Turn the flame up to medium and cook until all the moisture from the spinach completely evaporates.
The time will depend on the thickness of your cooking pan and the intensity of the flame.
18. Grate 1 cube of processed cheese and mix well so that the cheese dissolves and there are no lumps.
Add water only after the moisture from the palak has reduced.
19. Add 1/2 cup of hot water. Add more or less water to get the desired consistency.
Hot water will continue to maintain the heat of the pan. You can replace water with milk for a more creamy gravy and it also tones down the bitterness of palak leaves.
20. Mix to combine to make a smooth gravy.
Taste test for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
20. Add 1/2 tbsp kasuri methi and 1/2 tsp garam masala.
21. Add 1-2 tbsp clarified butter and mix well.
Clarified butter helps cut down the harshness of the spinach leaves. You can replace it with butter.
21. Simmer the gravy without covering the pan until the oil separates.
Aloo Palak Restaurant style is ready. Serve hot with roti or rice.
Lasooni Aloo Palak/Garlicky Potato Spinach curry
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tbsp ghee in a small pan over medium-low flame.
Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 2-4 garlic chopped. Let the seeds crackle and saute till the garlic starts to change to a light golden brown.
Next, add 2 dried red chilies.
Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder.
Turn off the flame after adding red chili powder to prevent it from burning.
Immediately pour the tadka over the Aloo Palak Paneer. Lasooni Aloo Palak Restaurant style is ready to serve.
Aloo palak restaurant style goes best with any Indian bread or even with rice. Some of the regular companions are whole wheat flour plain paratha, rumali roti, tandoori roti, poori, naan, etc which are perfect for scooping the gravy along with sliced onion and lemon wedge.
It can be served with rice varieties like plain basmati rice, bagara rice, veg pulao, or jeera rice that soaks up the delicious sauce.
You can store the curry or any leftovers in the refrigerator for 1 day. Let the curry cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Reheat before serving in a microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. The gravy will thicken as it cools, so add little water while reheating.
For a more garlicky flavor add 3 – 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped along with onions.
If you are not a potato lover, then feel free to omit them and make a plain palak curry following this recipe.
Or feel free to add in your preferred veggies – mushroom, sweet corn, baby corn, or a combination of garden fresh veggies of your choice.
Can replace potatoes with paneer, soya chunks, boiled eggs, or chicken.
You can even add some chickpeas (soaked and boiled) to make chole palak.
You can add fresh cream or malai towards the end to make the gravy more creamy. Do not cook the curry after adding the cream.
More Related Recipes
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Aloo Palak Restaurant style | Potato Spinach Curry Recipe
For Blanching Palak
- 250 grams Spinach (palak)
- 1 tbsp Coriander leaves
- 2-3 numbers Green chilies
- Water (as needed)
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
For Aloo Palak Curry
- 2-3 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Cumin (jeera)
- 1 big Onion (finely chopped)
- 2-3 medium size Potatoes (cut into cubes)
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red chilly powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/2 tbsp Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala
- 1-2 tbsp Clarified butter (ghee)
- Salt to taste
For Second Tempering/Tadka
- 1/2 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tbsp Clarified butter (or butter)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 2-4 Garlic cloves
- 2 numbers Dried red chilies
- 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
- Take palak leaves in a wide bowl. Go through the leaves and discard any that have holes, that appear rotten, are brown, or show signs of mold. Also, remove the stems that are thick.
- Fill the large bowl with water. Swish the leaves around and use your hands to separate the spinach, and let them sit in the water for 2 – 3 minutes. This will make the dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl. Discard the water and repeat the step until the water runs clear.
- Boil water in a big and deep vessel. Let the water come to a rolling boil.
- Add cleaned palak leaves, green chilies, and coriander leaves. Add sugar. Gently push the leaves down and ensure that all the leaves are completely submerged.
- Continue to boil the leaves on a high flame for 1 minute.
- Use a slotted spoon and immediately transfer the blanched spinach leaves to a bowl with cold water. Or, use a colander to drain the hot water from the palak and immediately add it to the ice-cold water.
- Gently squeeze the excess water from the leaves and add to a blender jar.
- Grind to a thick smooth paste without adding water. Keep it aside till you are ready to use it.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadai or non-stick pan over medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Let them crackle and change color.
- Add chopped onion and saute until they turn soft.
- Add cubed potatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
- Now add fresh ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw aroma goes away.
- It’s time to add ground spices – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Give a good stir.
- Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
- Cover the pan and simmer on low flame until potatoes are 90% cooked.
- Uncover the pan and check the potatoes.
- Add the palak puree and stir to mix evenly. Turn the flame up to medium and cook until all the moisture from the spinach completely evaporates.
- Grate processed cheese and mix well so that the cheese dissolves and there are no lumps.
- Add 1/2 cup of hot water. Add more or less water to get the desired consistency.
- Mix to combine to make a smooth gravy.
- Add kasuri methi and garam masala. Mix well.
- Add clarified butter and mix well.
- Simmer the gravy without covering the pan until the oil separates.
- Aloo Palak is ready. Serve it hot with any flatbread or rice variety.
Lasooni Aloo Palak
- Heat oil and ghee in a small pan.
- Add cumin seeds and chopped garlic. Let the seeds crackle and saute till the garlic starts to change to a light golden brown.
- Next, add a dry red chilly and red chili powder.
- Immediately pour the tadka over the Aloo Palak Paneer.
- Lasooni Aloo Palak Restaurant style is ready to serve.
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