Sunday, May 27, 2007

Frozen Spinach With Potatoes (Saag aloo) Review

4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 157

A respectable, mild dish in which mushy spinach surrounds potatoes. Although I was disappointed when I realized it's not the type of saag one gets in Indian restaurants, when I judge it on its own merits, I'm fairly happy. It looks as an authentic dish should, dotted with black mustard seeds. Some bites are pretty flavorful -- maybe those are ones with more garlic, mustard seeds, and the stuff from the bottom of the pan.

Some notes on the ingredients:
  • I used a yellow onion, as the recipe didn't specify what type.
  • I used Yukon gold potatoes, as the recipe didn't specify what type.
  • I skipped the asafetida, as I didn't have any on hand.
Some notes on cooking:
  • I used three tablespoons of oil, not five as suggested by the recipe. I partially made this decision because I used a non-stick skillet.
  • I didn't bother chopping the spinach coarsely -- it didn't seem necessary.
  • I forgot to press the water out of the spinach, but I did leave the leaves in the colander for a while.
  • Perhaps as a result of the previous oversight, I found the spinach gave off enough water during cooking so that I didn't need to add any.
This dish doesn't need rice.



Anonymous said...

Hint, next time you don't have asafoetida (hing powder), try substituting 1/4 tsp mix of garlic and onion powder for one small pinch of hing. Don't let the powder burn, or it will be very bitter.

Hing gives off a (pseudo) garlic onion flavour and is used by some Indian communities because both of these are not allowed if you're on a satvic diet.

BTW, you can easily buy hing powder from Indian stores, it usually comes in a bright yellow round box. Buy the smallest as it lasts for ages as only tiny quantities are used each time. The raw smell soon changes once it is heated in oil, so don't be put off by the strange odour.

mark said...

Thanks for the tip!