I don’t know about you, but sag aloo is a fairly essential component of my perfect Indian meal. What I love about this hands-off slow cooker method is that your sag aloo can cook effortlessly in the hours leading up to dinner time, so if you’re making it as a side dish you have all your attention to give to the main course. Or, if you’re having the sag aloo as the main dish, it’s just a very easy dinner.
For all their brilliance, slow cookers do have their limitations. Slow cooker curries can lack depth and authenticity, unless the onions, garlic and spices are fried before being transferred to the slow cooker. This process is essential to getting the right flavor. I wasn’t prepared to compromise on that and throw everything in raw, although some recipes do suggest doing so, I knew it wouldn’t have the taste I’m after. Equally, I rather begrudge pre-cooking when I’m making a slow cooker recipe! Luckily, I’ve found the best of both worlds.
To start this sag aloo off, you’ll put the onions, garlic, spices and raw potato in the slow cooker for 60 to 90 minutes in a little bit of oil, without any other liquids. On a high heat, it will crisp and fry within the slow cooker and those flavors will develop just as they should. You’ll stir it a couple times to prevent sticking. Then you add the liquid ingredients, and the potatoes will cook through.
Still a lazy option, but without any compromise! The flavor in this dish is incredible, if I do say so myself.
I personally love to serve this alongside a tomato based pea and paneer curry, but it would also work as a main dish with some nan and rice!
Slow cooker sag aloo
Yield 6 servings
- 2 small onions (or 1 very large), chopped
- 5 potatoes (about 600g / 21oz), chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 mild green chili, de-seeded and sliced
- 2 tsps garam masala
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
- A couple tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable stock
- 250g (8.8oz) baby plum or cherry tomatoes
- 300g (10.5oz) of fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Set your slow cooker to high, and pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil while you prep your ingredients. This will allow the oil to pre-heat a little bit.
- Add the potatoes, onions, chili, ginger, garlic and spices to the slow cooker. Stir through to coat everything with the spices and oil.
- Allow to cook for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring a couple times throughout. The spices will become fragrant and the ginger, chili and garlic will start to cook and crisp.
- Add the remaining ingredients (the spinach, vegetable stock, tomatoes and spinach). The spinach will quickly start to wilt so be sure to give it a stir to get everything mixed together once that starts to happen.
- Leave cooking for another 2 to 3 hours, until the potatoes are tender.