Nalgari Aloo Palak | Stir fried Spinach and Potatoes with spice mix

Spiced Potatoes and Spinach – South India style

It was almost time for him to come home, but I was nowhere close to starting dinner preparations. I had to take her to the children’s park but I was in no mood albeit she was feeling crabby and needy. I wanted some fresh air too, more so to be by myself. After a brief phone call and half an hour later he eventually made it home, picked her up to the park and I, refused to go. He suggested we go out for dinner, but knowing me, I turned that down too.
I prefer home-made, I said.
After pondering for a good 15 mins, I dragged myself to the kitchen and scrambled through the refrigerator. Potatoes, Spinach, lemon and some Nalgari powder, neighbor Maami* gave me the other day! Was it the bulb in the refrigerator or the light bulb inside my head? And quickly, I was out of my blues and into cooking the green.
The very thought of Aloo Palak immediately fills me with a whiff of Garam malasa and a mild aroma of cumin seeds. Unlike that, this one tells the tale of a blend of spices so south Indian, hence named that way.
It is inexplicable just how heavenly it looked to my eyes. Almost like in the movie Ratatouille, how the critic is flown back into the memory lane, the first bite of it took me right down to a Darshini* in namma* Bengalooru, to the taste of the Potato palya* on Masala Dosa, a taste you can only taste in hotels (as it is called there), comforting me like no other. When Maami handed me the Nalgari powder, I seldom imagined that I could use it to rouse such a nostalgic taste. Anyways, here’s the finger licking good recipe for it.
Things you’ll need:
  • 2 medium Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Spinach
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp Kobri / desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp Nalgari powder (will post the recipe soon)
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Salt
I’ve used red potatoes and I keep the skin as it adds so much to the visual appeal apart from its taste and nutritional benefits.

For tempering:
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of Hing
  • a pinch of methi / fenugreek seeds crushed (pinch with your three fingers here)
  • 1 tsp urad dal / split black gram
  • 4-5 small green chillies, broken in half
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
How it’s done:
  • Microwave the potatoes in a bowl of water covering them for 5 mins or until semi cooked and let cool.
  • Dice the potatoes when cooled.
  • Heat oil in a medium size kadai or skillet over medium to high heat. Add in the mustard seeds and let splutter.
  • Add in the methi seeds, urad dal, green chillies and hing in that order.
  • When the urad dal turns golden brown, add the turmeric and onions and sauté until onions turn translucent.
  • Add the potatoes, cover and cook for 5 – 10 mins
  • Stir in the spinach and cook covered until done
  • Sprinkle in the salt, Nalgari powder and Kobri and stir well.
  • Switch off,  squeeze in the lemon juice, mix well and serve hot with Chapati, Roti or Puri.
{Stir fried Potatoes; With Spinach}
{Nalgari powder sprinkled; Ready to be plated}


Alternatively, the potatoes can be diced raw and cooked in the skillet till done. Microwave method reduces the cooking time in half.
Maami [Maahmy]~ Used to call an acquainted elderly / married lady, Tamil
Namma [Nuhmma] ~ Our, Kannada
Palya [pul ya]~ A side dish made of vegetables, Kannada
Darshini [Duhr shee ni]~ Self service fast food eat outs, Karnataka

6 thoughts on “Nalgari Aloo Palak | Stir fried Spinach and Potatoes with spice mix

  1. Manju says:

    I like the addition of spinach to this dish – makes it an easy way to eat spinach. Also, the mix of colors with potato, sauted onions and green spinach make it look very mesmerizing. Veggies love it!

  2. Spacey says:

    If a potato dreams of being reincarnated, this should be it… 😉 jokes apart, I think this would make a serious dish if sweet potatoes + extra coriander leaves are used instead


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