If you're a fan of vibrant flavours and healthy greens, saag bhaji, also known as spinach curry, is your dish. This traditional Indian side dish is packed with nutrients and delivers a unique taste you will love.
It is easy to make with a combination of tender spinach, aromatic spices, and your desired amount of chillies to create the spinach curry at the desired heat level.
This delightful Indian dish is not only full of flavour but also ticks all the boxes - it's gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, low in carbs, and low in fat.
How to make Saag Bhaji
Check out our video to see how quick and easy this Indian side dish recipe is.
Or read more about the ingredients and process of making this mouthwatering spinach side dish.
Before we start, here are all the ingredients you'll need for this spinach curry recipe.Jump to Recipe Card for Ingredients and Measurements
Fresh spinach forms the heart and soul of this dish, bringing its vibrant green color and earthy flavour.
Use fresh baby spinach leaves or regular spinach. If you want frozen spinach, it is best to defrost it and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible before cooking.
Vegetable oil provides the necessary base for frying and adds a subtle richness to the dish. Feel free to use other oils or ghee instead.
We like to use red onion to add a touch of sweetness and texture to the dish.
You can use shallots, white or brown onion instead.
Garlic cloves infuse the curry with its irresistible aroma and depth of flavour.
Use fresh garlic or garlic paste. If you like to add a touch of ginger, try adding garlic and ginger paste instead.
Adjust the amount of red chillies you use based on your heat tolerance and desire for spiciness. You can use green chili instead.
Of course, you don't have to use any chillies if you like it mild. Be aware that some chillies are spicier than others. We use three red finger chillies and keep the seeds in for a spicy kick.
Alternatively, try using red chilli powder to add flavour.
Let's talk about how to add more flavour to this Indian spiced sauteed spinach dish.
Whilst sauteeing spinach, salt helps to draw out moisture. We also season to taste with salt, which helps bring out the ingredients' natural flavours.
Asafoetida is a spice often used in curries. It adds a unique garlicky onion flavour to the spinach curry. It is a yellow powder with a potent smell, don't let the smell put you off. You only need a small amount to add an umami taste to Indian dishes.
We found it in Sainsbury's or Amazon sell asafoetida too. Failing that, you can use garlic powder or onion powder instead.
Cumin seeds lend their warm and nutty flavour to enhance the overall taste. An alternative to cumin seeds is cumin powder.
You can easily adjust the spices used to make it how you like. Try adding turmeric powder, garam masala powder, or other curry powder mixes for some Indian spiced flavour.
Mustard Seeds or mustard oil can also be a great addition to this Indian dish.
To make saag bhaji, you won't need any special equipment. Just essential kitchen tools you probably already own, here's what you'll need.
A sturdy cutting board will provide a stable surface for chopping your ingredients. A sharp knife will make easy work of slicing the onion and finely dicing the garlic and chilli.
A large pan for cooking the spinach curry. Make sure it has enough room to fit all the ingredients. Lastly, a wooden spoon or silicone for stirring and mixing the ingredients.
Let's quickly go through how to cook this Indian-style spinach recipe. You will find measurements on the full recipe card. Use the link here to jump straight there, or read on for the quick how-to.Recipe Card for Saag Bhaji
Start by roughly chopping the fresh spinach. We find rolling a handful of spinach leaves in your hand helps to keep it together whilst slicing.
Finely chop the red onion, and dice the chilli (remove seeds if you don't want it too spicy) and garlic.
Heat vegetable oil in a pan over low heat. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Stir gently to infuse the oil with their flavours.
Next, add the chopped chillies and garlic to the pan, stirring them into the oil. Allow the ingredients to release their aroma and infuse the oil with their essence.
Add the sliced onions and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Stir regularly to prevent any burning.
Add the chopped spinach to the pan and give everything a good stir. Watch as the spinach wilts and blends with the aromatic spices and onions.
Once all the spinach has wilted, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the mixture. This will help draw out any excess moisture.
After ten more minutes of cooking, you'll notice some liquid accumulating in the pan.
Carefully pour the excess water to prevent the dish from becoming too watery.
Finally, add vegetable oil to the pan and gently fry the spinach for 5-10 minutes.
We have some incredible serving suggestions to take your meal to the next level.
Want to cool down the heat of the saag bhaji? Whip-up refreshing cucumber raita balances the spice and adds freshness to each bite.
For a touch of sweetness and tanginess, serve your saag bhaji with a dollop of mango chutney.
Remember, these serving suggestions are just the beginning - feel free to explore other accompaniments or customize your meal according to your preferences.
Pair this delightful spinach curry as a side dish, and take a look at our other Indian cuisine choices to add an extra layer of texture.
The key is to create a well-balanced and enjoyable dining experience that brings out the best in your saag bhaji. Happy cooking, and enjoy your delicious meal!
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Saag Bhaji - Indian Spinach Recipe
- 550 g Spinach
- 1 Red Onion
- 4 large Garlic Cloves
- 1-4 Red Chillies add desired amount to your heat tolerance
- 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- pinch of Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Roughly chop 550 g Spinach
- Finely slice or dice 1 Red Onion, finely dice 1-4 Red Chillies (depending on your heat tolerance) and 4 large Garlic Cloves.
- Heat 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil in a pan over low heat stir in ¼ teaspoon Cumin Seeds and ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida
- Next, add chopped chillies and garlic, stir to infuse the oil with the ingredients.
- Add onions and continue to cook on low for 5 mins until soft, regularly stirring to prevent burning.
- Add chopped spinach and stir.
- Once all the spinach has wilted, add a pinch of Salt to help draw out the moisture.
- After 10 minutes more of cooking, pour out the excess water from the spinach.
- Add 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil and gently fry the spinach for 5-10 minutes longer.
- Serve with other Indian dishes, rice and salad.
Allow the saag bhaji to cool before storing it in the fridge or freezer.
Transfer the Indian spiced spinach curry into a clean, airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. It can be safely stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you're looking to store saag bhaji for more extended periods, freezing is the way to go. Transfer the cooled cooked spinach dish into freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags.
Saag bhaji can be stored in the freezer for up to a month without compromising taste and texture. It is best to defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
When you're ready to enjoy your leftover saag bhaji, follow these simple steps to reheat it.
Place the spinach curry in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir the spinach mixture occasionally to ensure even heating and to avoid any sticking or burning at the bottom of the pan.
Yes, our recipe for saag bhaji is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly dish. Ensure to use vegetable, coconut or olive oil (or other suitable plant-based oils). Ghee is not vegan-friendly.
Yes, you can adjust the spice level of saag bhaji according to your preference. Add more or less fresh chillies to suit your taste. You can always use chili powder instead.
It is best to start with less, you can always add more after it has been cooked and you have taste-tested it.
Absolutely! Saag bhaji is a great dish to prepare ahead of time. Follow the earlier storage instructions to keep it fresh until you are ready to serve.
We prefer to use fresh spinach leaves. If you only have frozen spinach, defrost and squeeze out excess water before adding it to the recipe.
More Indian Side Dishes
Love Indian food, with its delicious spices? We have plenty of other Indian recipes which are easy to follow and accompanied by helpful visuals for a seamless cooking experience.
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