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 Aloo made in the instant pot served in a earthen bowl with the tempering in the back and naan on the side.
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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 potatoes cooked in a spinach sauce. Saag means a curry made with greens, and Aloo means potatoes. This is a popular dish in Punjabi cuisine, just like aloo palak.

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 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 a 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 this Indian spinach recipeSarson ka Saag, Saag Paneer, Palak Tofu, Chana Saag, and Saag Chicken! You can also add cooked chickpeas to the saag. Another great option is to add sweet potatoes to 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, skip potatoes or replace them 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.

Learn more about the instant pot pot-in-pot method with this comprehensive 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.
In the instant pot, add oil, cumin and green chili pepper to make Saag Aloo
Spinach add to the preparation for Saag Aloo in instant pot
In instant pot, showing onions sautéed for about 3 minutes.
A steamer basket with potatoes placed on top of spinach in the instant pot to be cooked to make saag aloo
  • Pressure cook for 4 minutes. When the cooking time is done, do a 5-minute NPR. This means letting the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then manually releasing it.
  • The potatoes should be perfectly cooked. Remove the steamer basket.
  • Puree the cooked greens using an immersion blender or a regular blender. Make sure you let the greens cool a bit before blending. You can leave the greens coarse or make a smooth sauce, depending on your preference.
  • Then add the potatoes to the pureed sauce and sauté for a minute.
Showing a potato cube steamed along with spinach to make saag aloo
Potatoes in pureed spinach curry in the instant pot

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.

Saag Aloo made in the instant pot served in a earthen bowl with the tempering in the back and naan on the side.

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 that 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 a 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 meal) ki roti, whole wheat roti, or paratha.

Hope you enjoy this Saag Aloo!

Saag Aloo made in the instant pot served in a earthen bowl with the tempering in the back and naan on the side.
4.86 from 35 votes

Instant Pot Saag Aloo (Spinach Potato Curry)

Saag Aloo, a popular delicious North Indian Curry, 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 takes just 30 minutes to prepare. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 2 Green Chili Pepper, optional, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic , minced
  • 2 cups Onion , chopped
  • 1 bunch Mustard leaves, Sarson chopped. About 9oz
  • 1 bunch Spinach, Palak chopped. About 9oz
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Potato , medium, peeled and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces

Spices

Instructions 

  • Heat ghee in the instant pot in saute mode. Add cumin seeds and 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 the vent in the 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 that 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.

Notes

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 1 tablespoon ghee or oil in a small pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and a pinch of hing (asafoetida) to the oil. Once the seeds start crackling, remove it off heat. Add red chili powder (optional, I used mild Kashmiri chili powder, adjust quantity to taste). When serving, using a spoon garnish the Saag Aloo with the tempering.
Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don’t forget to adjust to your taste. 
Potatoes: 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.
Add Broccoli or Cauliflower: Some people add broccoli while preparing saag, which is great too. You can also add cauliflower. It helps to get a thicker texture. I like to add broccoli when I am making plain saag without paneer.
No mustard leaves? Make saag with spinach. Just double the quantity of spinach and keep the other ingredients the same.
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 746mgPotassium: 1040mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 8070IUVitamin C: 45.8mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 6.5mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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28 Comments

    1. Hi Sandeep – You can add fenugreek leaves along with spinach. The taste will be different though, but still good. Make sure you have the same quantity in total. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Ben – Glad to hear you liked the Saag. I have added the quantity for tempering ingredients in the notes section now. Hope you enjoy it!

  1. The flavor was amazing, so I’m giving your recipe 5 stars…but I tried twice and got a ‘burn’ reading both times so I finally just put the spinach ingredients on the stove and sautéd it while I pressure cooked the potatoes for a few minutes with a cup of water. Then I just drained the water from the potatoes and followed the rest of Your instructions! It was really yummy! Much better than another Saag Aloo I made from another recipe! I’ll definitely keep making this recipe…next time I’ll try using a little more water and not mix the spinach with the water!! Awesome! Saag Aloo is one of my favorite things to order at the Indian restaurant! I didn’t like the flavor of the other recipe I made, so I haven’t tried to make it myself for several years! I’m glad I tried yours! Now I can make my two favorite Indian dishes Saag Aloo and Chicken Tikka Masala (that I also often make Vegan with Cauliflower and Tofu)! It took me 2 years of tweaking the Tikka Masala to get the flavor I wanted…but your Saag Aloo was perfect as written (I only had a very spicy jalapeño pepper, so I didn’t use 2 full green peppers…We like some heat, so I used about 1/3 of the jalapeno…sometimes I use a full one, but this one was spicy so I used less than normal)!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Hi Suzanne – So glad to hear you enjoyed the taste of the Saag Aloo. I very much appreciate your patience with the burn notice. Thank you for your willingness to give it another go in the instant pot.

  2. I wanted to make this tomorrow night but I don’t have a steamer basket! Anything I can do to make it properly without a steamer basket?

    1. Hi Keri – You can put the potatoes in any oven safe dish or bowl. Or you can also boil potatoes separately and then add to the saag after it is pressure cooked. Hope you enjoyed it.

  3. Mind-blowing taste. This is your best recipe so far. My husband said he’s never eaten such good alu palak in his entire life. I’m going to make the same recipe but will add paneer next time . Thank u !!!

  4. I was drowning in hearty greens from my CSA share : kale, collards, chard so I needed to find a way to use them all. This recipe fit the bill. It was easy, tasty, and healthy.
    I did a 50/50 mix of my various greens + baby spinach. I also used less chili (my Serranos were particularly spicy that day) I added more salt to my greens and some garam masala. I finished it with some yogurt.
    So tasty! Definitely going into the rotation for when I need something easy and full of veggies.

    1. Hi Erin – So glad to hear you enjoyed the Saag. Thank you for sharing the changes you made, it definitely helps other readers too!

    1. Hi Asim – This specific steamer basket is from India, I had it long before the instant pot. There are many steamer basket options on Amazon which could work well. You can also use a silicone steamer basket (there is one from OXO on Amazon).

  5. Very tasty and quick recipe in the instapot. I did add the juice of half a lemon and enjoyed the added tartness. My husband went crazy for this palak recipe. He said tonight was a homerun. Thanks for sharing. We will add it to our meal plan and share it with friends.

    1. Hey Naomi – So glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed the Saag Aloo. It is very helpful if you share the recipe with your friends. Thank you!