You miss the food you love when you are away from it. It happened three years back when we were on our 17 days Europe trip.We ate pasta, panini and pizza every single day and we missed Indian food to the core. Mr. Husband and we decided to search for Indian food that too in Paris. Now, if you are vegetarian, I am pretty sure you will agree how tough it is to find vegetarian food, that too specifically Indian where no one understands your language. Roaming on the streets of Paris for almost 2 hours, we finally saw a Pakistani restaurant.
All the main dishes were non vegetarian and on the corner or the menu we found three vegetarian sides. Aloo gobi (potatoes cauliflower), which my husband hates; daal tadka (lentils), which we had to order and lastly aloo palak (potatoes and spinach). That was the first time ever in 27 years when I must have tasted how aloo palak in restaurant tastes like. For us, alu palak is more like everyday curry(subji) and while eating in restaurants we always order exotic dishes like paneer butter massala, Punjabi dum aloo or paneerkofta.
We sat in French-cum-Pakistani ambiance to have our food- daal, alu palak, naan and rice. Aloo palak restaurant style was distinct from the one we cook at our homes. We were so hooked with its taste that till date I whenever I cook aloo palak, it always restaurant style.
Aloo Palak (Potatoes Spinach Side) Restaurant Style is dry (sukha) made with chopped spinach and not pureed spinach. It is then loaded with spices and has incredible taste. You have to use chopped garlic so that when you eat you get tiny bits of garlic, which is really nice. With that goes in dry red chilli and basic Indian spices, cooked on real slow flame-the result is that every inch of potato is coated and infused with flavours. The ratio of potatoes and spinach is also the key to make successful restaurant style subzi (curry)- that is 2:1. Here I used 2 cups of chopped boiled potatoes and 1 cup of chopped spinach- you get the picture? Let’s see the recipe.
2 cups boiled potatoes, chopped in cubes.
1 cup chopped spinach
4 cloves of garlic/lehsun, chopped
1 inch ginger/adrak, chopped
2 tablespoon cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 dry red chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/2 red chilli powder
2 tablespoon coriander powder/dhaniya
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add asafoetida and cumin seeds, let it crackle.
To it add, dry red chillies, ginger and garlic. Cook till garlic is brown in colour.
Throw in chopped spinach and turn heat to medium. Cook till spinach is soft.
Turn heat to slow, add chopped potatoes , turmeric and salt. Mix and cover and let it cook for 8-10 minutes.
Then add in all the remaining spices and lemon juice. Cover and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
You can use whole baby potatoes as well.
I used baby spinach, feel free to use bunched one as well.
Serve with any indian bread- puri, parathas or naan.
Goes well as side with rice and daal tadka.