Skip to Content

Indian Spinach

Sharing is caring!

This is one of those most important British Indian restaurant recipes

British Indian restaurant style pre-cooked spinach

Cooked spinach for use in curries and side dishes

In almost every busy Indian restaurant kitchen I’ve been in, there is usually a batch of freshly cooked spinach at the ready. This spinach is used in a number of ways.

Sometimes it’s added to vegetable bhajee. It is after all a nice addition. Then it is also part of many curries from special paalak/saag dishes to more common saag aloo and paneer saag.

You could get quite creative with the ready-cooked spinach. Add some to your chicken tikka masala for a chicken tikka masala saag. I think you get the idea.

This is an easy preparation. There is no hot spice added as the spinach is often added to mild curries.


British Indian Restaurant Preparations - Spinach

British Indian Restaurant Preparations - Spinach

Spinach is best used on the day it is cooked.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 250g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 inch cassia bark
  • 3 cassia leaves (Indian bay leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon paanch phoron
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 onions - finely sliced
  • Salt
  • a pinch of turmeric


  1. Heat a pot of water until boiling.
  2. Dump the spinach leaves in the water and blanch (cook in the water) for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stain the spinach and place in a cold water bath.
  4. Now squeeze the spinach leaves until most of the water is out and then chop finely.
  5. Heat the oil over medium high heat.
  6. When the oil is hot, add the cassia bark and cassia leaves and fry for about 30 seconds.
  7. Now add the paanch phoron and cook for a further 15 seconds before adding the chopped onions.
  8. You need to fry the onions for about five minutes stirring regularly so that the become translucent and soft but not over browned.
  9. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions to release some of the water and then add the chopped spinach.
  10. Fry until heated through.
  11. Add the turmeric and stir it into the spinach and then set the dish aside to cool for use in your curries.

Did you like this recipe?

Please join me on Facebook where I share all my latest recipes and videos. Just click that Facebook icon on the left and let's get to know each other!


*Paanch Phoron translated ‘5 spices’ is a whole spice blend of equal parts of spice including fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and fennel seeds. You can blend your own though the whole spice mix is readily available at Asian shops.

Nathan Solly

Thursday 5th of March 2015

Hi Dan, is it possible to use tinned spinach in replace of the fresh?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 21st of July 2015

Hi Nathan

Many restaurants do but the results will not be near as good. Give it a go anyway. It won't be bad.


Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!