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Recipe: Indian Spiced Spinach


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Indian spiced spinach

Table of Contents

Ingredients Directions

In Indian food recipes, you may see spinach referred to as Palak or Saag. Here we are making a very simple, but very delicious, version of Palak Paneer, without the Paneer (a cubed cheese).

Type of dish: Side Dish
Servings: 4
Equipment: Cooking pot


  • 6 packed cups chopped spinach (this is about four really big bunches of spinach before chopping)
  • 1 red or yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 TB cooking fat such as coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. The quickest way to prep the spinach is to wash it, spin it dry with a salad spinner, and then chop it by hand or with a food processor.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion. If you like heat, add a chopped green chili here (omit for autoimmune). Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes, give or take, until onions become translucent.
  4. Mince the garlic and ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and stir in.
  5. Add the spices (coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric) and stir well.
  6. Add the spinach along with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Leaving the heat on medium, the spinach will take a while to cook. Stir frequently for the first five minutes or so to prevent the spinach from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you’d rather add a tablespoon or two of water, that will work, but eventually the spinach will let out its own water.
  8. After about 5 minutes, cover the pot and allow the spinach to cook for about 15 more minutes, until its color changes to dark green. Take the lid off and stir every two minutes for the whole duration in order to keep the bottom of the spinach from burning/sticking.
  9. By staying nearby and stirring often, you will need to add less (or no) water, and the flavor will stay in the spinach.
  10. To serve, remove with a slotted spoon.


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  1. I made this tonight. It was delicious. I’m a huge spinach fan (my husband not so much) but served it with a Chicken Korma and rice pilaf and it was wonderful. Thank you

  2. Gotta say, I tried this exactly as written and have some issues with the recipe. First off, it doesn’t take 8 minutes on medium heat to get your onions to translucent – by then you’re actually starting to brown them. Second, the cooking times and techniques are all wrong on the spinach. Spinach cooks down VERY fast. Six packed cups of chopped spinach is about two servings after it’s cooked down, and it only takes a couple of minutes for it to be completely wilted. 15 minutes covered would reduce the spinach to a state of something resembling goo. Flavor-wise, the spices are a bit light for my taste and there is waaay too much onion. Also, in general, in Indian cooking garam masala is used as a finishing spice, so I’d suggest that if anyone plays around with this recipe they simply add a 1/4 tsp of garam masala at the end of cooking.