Kudos for David Loftus, who did the photography for “Save with Jamie,” for making this recipe look so appealing in the photos for the book. My photo doesn’t look horrible, I think, but the ones in the book look SO MUCH more appetizing.
One of the problems with this recipe is the way that it’s spelled. Our local indian spells is saag aloo, but a quick check on the Interweb shows that both spellings are OK, so maybe I’m being a bit picky. It doesn’t take anything away from the dish, however, which was quite good.
The recipe itself is a winner. First of all, it’s vegetarian and even vegan — if you drop the use of yogurt– which is always a good thing in my book. We would have had it for Meat Free Monday, but alas we had it on a Tuesday just to mix things up a bit. I’m always looking for good vegetarian dishes, so I think this one might be added to a regular rotation.
There’s two things you should know before making this, though. First this dish takes some time to make. In my case, it took about an hour from start to finish. This wasn’t a problem for me, as I had the time, but if you’re in a rush, this isn’t a recipe to use. The long cooking time probably did contribute to the really rich flavours that it had, so perhaps the time commitment was worth it. Second, you need to be confident in the instructions and be willing to work the burner on your stove. There is a lot of liquid that needs to be boiled down, but you do get there in the end, even if it does seem like quite a lot of liquid at the beginning. It just takes time to do so (see No. 1).
I had to make one modification, which might have altered things somewhat. It turns out that frozen spinach is a rare ingredient, as none of our local stores (The Cooperative, Sainsbury’s, even Waitrose) had it to sell. In the end, I got 400 grams of fresh spinach– rather than 300 grams of frozen– and mixed it into the curry in batches so it would wilt and become incorporated. I’m quite certain that just adding frozen spinach would be easier, but I had to make do. It might have been even better using fresh instead of frozen as a result.
Did we like it? Yes we did. I had mine wrapped in lettuce leaves (see photo above), while Tim and Andrew had theirs with naan bread and rice. I think Tim and I liked ours slightly more than Andrew, but only because he’s not a huge fan of spicy dishes and this had quite a bit of chilli in it. In the future, I might not add the temper of chilli and garlic to the boys’ dishes and instead just put it into ours.
Will I make it again? Probably. But only on a weeknight in which I had the luxury of time to make it, which, unfortunately, in this house, isn’t very often.