Saag Aloo is a popular delicious North Indian Curry. It is made with spinach and potatoes cooked with ginger, garlic, onions and aromatic spices. This is a simplified one-pot version of the authentic Saag Aloo, made in Instant Pot, which takes just 30 minutes to prepare. This is a nutritious vegan & gluten-free curry.
Saag is a regular in our house. Even more so, since we got the instant pot and I started making it as a quick one-pot recipe. It is so quick and easy to make in the instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker.
Want to find other easy Instant Pot Indian Recipes? Here are 29 Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes for you to try!
What is Saag Aloo?
Saag aloo (also called Sag Aloo or Alu Saag) is a healthy curry made from potato cooked in a spinach sauce. Saag means a curry made with greens and Aloo means potatoes. This is a popular dish in Punjabi cuisine.
Saag Aloo and Palak Aloo Curry are used interchangeably many times. However "palak" means spinach, and "saag" traditionally is made with a mix of greens such as winter mustard leaves, bathua (there is no good english name for this), fenugreek leaves & spinach leaves.
Mustard leaves have a a very interesting taste, they are slightly bitter but still very pleasing to the palate. That is one of the main reasons to cook them with spinach. I like to prepare saag with both mustard leaves and spinach, it gives the more authentic taste. If you don’t have mustard leaves at hand, you can prepare it with only spinach as well. But I warn you, it tastes so much better with mustard leaves.
I like to make many variations of Saag - Saag Paneer, Palak Tofu, Chana Saag and Saag Chicken! You can also add cooked chickpeas to saag. Another great option is to add sweet potatoes in this recipe in place of potatoes.
Is Saag Aloo healthy?
This Saag Aloo is made with lots of greens. I use spinach and mustard leaves in this recipe. Hence it is a very healthy and nutritious choice for your meal.
If you are trying to reduce carbs, you can skip potatoes or replace with tofu, paneer or chickpeas.
How to make Saag Aloo in Instant Pot?
Traditionally Saag Aloo is made as a multi-step recipe - Blanching spinach, then pureeing it. Steaming potatoes. Then tempering is prepared with onions, ginger, garlic and spices. And the pureed spinach and potatoes mixed in the tempering. As you can see, it seems quite a process.
However now I have simplified this recipe by making it an easy one-pot dish. Isn't that great?
We will first make the tempering, add spinach and steam the potatoes all at the same time in the pressure cooker.
If you are new to the instant pot, check out this quick setup guide.
Let's see the step-by-step recipe for this easy Saag Aloo.
- Start with heating oil in the instant pot. Then add cumin seeds and green chili.
- Then add onions, ginger, garlic and saute for a few minutes until the onions turn golden brown.
- Now add the spices and stir in with the onions
- Add the spinach & mustard greens. Stir them a bit with the onions.
- Now place cubed potatoes in a steamer basket and place the basket on top of the spinach. You might have to push down the greens to fit the steamer basket. I used russet potatoes which were peeled and cubed in this recipe. Cut the potatoes in 1-1.5 inch size. Don't cut the potatoes too small, else they can overcook. Baby potatoes will work in this recipe too.
- Pressure cook for 4 minutes. When the cooking time is done, do a 5 minute NPR. This means let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually.
- The potatoes shroud be perfectly cooked. Remove the steamer basket.
- Puree the cooked greens using an immersion blender. You can also puree in a regular blender. Make sure you let the greens cool a bit before blending. Depending on your preference, you can leave the greens coarse or make a smooth sauce.
- Then add the potatoes to the pureed sauce and sauté for a minute.
I did not add any cream to this recipe, but you can always add cream if you like.
Optional tempering - This is not required, however you can make tempering to add on top of the Saag as garnish.
To prepare the tempering, heat ghee or oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and hing (asafoetida) to the oil. Once the seeds start crackling, remove it off heat. Add red chili powder (I used mild Kashmiri chili powder, adjust quantity to taste).
When serving, using a spoon garnish the Saag Aloo with the tempering.
How to make Saag Aloo in Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
To follow the recipe exactly in a stovetop pressure cooker, you will need a large one which can fit the steamer basket. Otherwise you can always boil the potatoes separately.
Follow the same steps as for the instant pot. Pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium-high flame and let the pressure release naturally.
Can I use frozen spinach and mustard greens in this Saag Aloo?
Yes, frozen greens will work well in this recipe.
Pro-tips for perfect Saag Aloo
- The texture of the Saag is a personal preference, so when pureeing you can leave it coarse or make it a smooth sauce. If you prefer to not puree, add finely chopped leaves when making the saag.
- When serving top with a dollop of butter or the optional tempering for added flavor.
- Serve aloo saag with any bread of your choice. We love it with makki(corn) ki roti, whole wheat roti or paratha.
Hope you enjoy this Saag Aloo!
Instant Pot Saag Aloo (Spinach Potato Curry)
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 2 Green Chili Pepper optional, adjust to taste
- ½ tbsp Ginger grated
- ½ tbsp Garlic minced
- 2 cups Onion chopped
- 1 bunch Mustard leaves Sarson chopped. About 9oz
- 1 bunch Spinach Palak chopped. About 9oz
- ½ cup Water
- 2 Potato medium, peeled and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
- Heat ghee in the instant pot in saute mode. Add jeera, green chili and saute for 30 seconds. .
- Add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the spices to the instant pot and mix well. Add water and deglaze the pot. Press cancel.
- Add the mustard greens and spinach and mix a bit in with the onions. In a steamer basket, place the cubed potatoes. Place the steamer basket over the greens in the instant pot. You might have to push down the greens to fit the steamer basket. Close the lid with vent in sealing position.
- Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode for 4 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a 5 minute NPR, which means release the pressure manually after 5 mins. Turn off the instant pot.
- Carefully remove the steamer basket from the instant pot. Blend the ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using an immersion blender.
- Turn on the instant pot in saute mode. Add in the potatoes and cook for about 1 minute.
- Saag Paneer is ready to be served.
For Stovetop Pressure Cooker:
- To follow the recipe exactly in a stovetop pressure cooker, you will need a large pressure cooker which can fit the steamer basket. Otherwise you can boil the potatoes separately.
- Follow the same steps as for the instant pot. Pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium-high flame and let the pressure release naturally.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.