Saag aloo is usually made with regular potatoes but this sweet potato version from The Hairy Bikers is particularly luscious. The great thing about sweet potatoes is that they are richer in nutrients – particularly vitamin C – than white potatoes and lower in starch. They count towards your five a day too, while regular potatoes don’t.
This is a great meal if you are dieting, coming in at only 200 calories per serving and making you feel comfortably full. That means you can have a serving of rice and a couple of rotis with it, without bursting your waistband.
The secret to great flavour here is to use your own fresh curry powder mix. It’s not hard to make and my recipe is here.
RECIPE serves 4
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
20g fresh root ginger, grated
2 tbsp curry powder
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1 large ripe tomato, diced
300ml vegetable stock
a small bunch of coriander, stalks only, chopped
200g bag of baby spinach, picked over and thoroughly washed
the zest and juice of a lemon
a few green chillies, sliced
a small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or a deep frying pan. Add the onion and cook it quite briskly until it’s softened and very lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and stir until combined.
Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and stir to coat them with the garlic, ginger and spices, then add the tomato and the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the stock to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer very gently until the sweet potato is just cooked. This should take no longer than 10 minutes, but check regularly from 5 minutes as you don’t want the sweet potato to go mushy – it should still have a little bite to it. Loosen the sauce with a little more stock or water if necessary.
Add the spinach and chopped coriander stalks to the pan and cover the pan again until the spinach has wilted down. Stir very carefully to combine without breaking up the sweet potatoes.
At this point you can turn the heat off and leave it for for a few hours or overnight, the flavours will only get better. If you are going to eat it immediately, garnish with the lemon zest and juice and a sprinkling of finely sliced green chillies and chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with basmati rice and roti.