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Spring-Green Saag

This dish did not want to look pretty. I tried! Can you take my word that it tastes 1000 times better than it looks? If not, you’ll just have to make it for yourself, to see!

saag meal

Above: saag, easy veggie salad, and Polenta for One.

(Side-note: I love raw pine nuts. They are like candy!)

saag 1

Here’s one of the ugliest recipes that I adore: Saag is an Indian dish, usually made with spinach. When I attended college in Philadelphia, I often ate at a cute Indian restaurant, which had incredible (and vegan!) saag.

I also once had really good saag at the Boston Vegetarian Festival.

Sadly, Texas doesn’t seem to offer anything as yummy and vegan-friendly… or at least I haven’t found it yet. Therefore, frustrated and saag-less, I decided to make my own version of the dish. Right in time for the “May Flowers” part of the poem, I’m calling this “Spring Green Saag.”

Spring-Green Saag

(Serves four, or two Katies!)

  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed (10-12 oz)
  • 1 medium onion (160g)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, or more if desired (I probably use about a tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup yogurt of choice, depending on desired creaminess (I use Wildwood unsweetened soy)

Add onion and oil to a hot pan. Sauté 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Stir in the garlic, curry, and ginger, and sauté for another minute. Then add your spinach, as well as 2 tbsp water. Cook another minute, or until most of the water has absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, as well as 1/4 cup water or milk of choice. You can also add a little coriander and turmeric, if desired, for more flavor.

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Published on May 1, 2011

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  1. Ellie says

    I have all the ingredients to make this! Maybe for dinner?
    And are those SUGAR-FREE coconut ice creams?!? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) says

    that saag sounds great! and even looks great since I know its not actually bird poop! WAHHHH i wish those new products were available over here- I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL I MOVE TO THE US!

    i love mexican, italian, asian… lebanese.. ERRYTHIN besides indian (apart from saag 😉

  3. The Teenage Taste says

    Mmmm…I’ve never heard of Saag before, but I must admit it sounds pretty delicious. I’m not a huge fan of Indian food either, except for Naan, but I do love Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Spanish food. Yuuuum! 😀

  4. Lucy says

    Mmm, I love Saag, I normally order Saag Aloo when with have Indian – spinach + potatoes + spices = good! 🙂

    Your recipe looks great (well, you know, the ingredients perhaps more than the photo, although that doesn’t look so bad!) and sounds really easy, I’ve never made Saag at home before but you’re recipe has inspired me to give it a try, thanks Katie – you should post savoury recipes more often! (altho I love your sweet recipes too, yum)

    I love all sorts of foods – Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Spanish etc etc…I basically will give most things a try 🙂

  5. Lenna says

    I love spinach in any form! And I don´t think your recipe look unpretty, actually I like how it looks, am I strange? 🙂 I love international cuisines…my favourite would be probably African cuisine and Indian as well.

  6. Heather @ kissmybroccoli says

    This sounds great Katie! I’ve been wanting to try more Indian dishes and this is definitely a good one…so quick and easy!

    My favorite cuisine is probably Mexican, but I do hold a VERY special place in my heart for Asian cuisine! LOVE sushi! Mmm!

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  7. McKella says

    I’m all about Asian food. I love the sweet/sour/spicy combination. And no dairy, which makes going Asian an easy, allergen-free experience. For the most part. Watch out for the cream cheese wantons.

  8. Jenny says

    I didn’t grow up eating classic “American” dishes – umm probably because I’m not American? Haha – but the food of the country I was in at the moment… I love pretty much all “international” cuisines! Not a big fan of “North American” food. Japanese is my favourite, though I love love love the spices and flavour combinations in Indian cooking. I love Indian spinach (saag) dishes as well! Mexican, Italian, Thai, and traditional mainland Chinese cuisines are great as well. 🙂

  9. Gen says

    That sounds awesome!!!!!! I love anything with curry? Do you think that I could use kale instead of the spinach though? Its easier to find here…..
    As for non-american foods, I love pretty much all of it, especially Italian and Mexican!

  10. Lisa says

    I think mine would be Indian. Im in love with all of Amy’s Kitchen frozen organic indian meals. stuff I would never have tried before, I know love! Like Indian Cheese, BASMATI RICE<3, and mataar paneer. MMM!
    and on a side note, I think thats a pretty good pic up above! love the addition of the chop sticks 😛

  11. jaclyn@lifeoftodayslady says

    One of my favorite cuisines is Mexican! I could eat Mexican everyday and not get sick of it. Mexican food is soooo flavorful and I love how vegetarian friendly you can make it!!!!

    p.s. pine nuts are the best!

  12. Lauren says

    Mmmm looks tasty! I love pretty much every cuisine I have ever tried. Indian and Ethiopian are definitely among my favorites though…that spongy bread they serve with Ethiopians meals is SO delicious!!!

  13. kspar66 says

    love the idea of making my own saag, thanks!! and soo lookin fwd to those SO delish products.
    I adore indian food but rarely make it in my own kitchen I blame this on a) not having a tandoori oven for naan and b) all the prepackaged meals, sauces, frozen entrees that say in hushed tones, “you can’t make melt in your mouth indian food yourself!”
    Since I have begun to make my own chinese food, and even my own kimchee (which is korean) I am def gonna pursue more ethnicity
    next up: making a shortcut (but from a legit african cookbook!) ethiopian injera in my cast iron skillet!

  14. Hela says

    first of all: I don´t think the saag looks that bad, I mean, it is spinach, so what do you expect?
    second of all: who would want a food that is awesome looking but tasting horrible? See?!
    I adore Indian cuisine and it is my first choice when it comes to eating out. So many dishes are vegetarian/vegan and the staff is always so friendly and offers to prepare the dishes with oil rather than ghee.
    I am a big fan of Thai and Arabian cuisine, too. And I love my wok 🙂 I added some red cabbage into yesterdays stir-fry, because I loved the pictures you posted when including it and it was superb!

  15. A.Cook says

    Katie, I don’t care what you say–I think the saag looks beautiful and AMAZING!!! 🙂 Not only is it Indian food (the cuisine I would pick if I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life) but it’s green. Seriously, I cannot stop eating leafy greens lately; I am DEFINITELY going to make this. Maybe I’ll even make it today…there is a Celtics playoff game this afternoon, which will provide an opportunity to convince the fiance to have some green food! Haha! Wow, I feel like I’m already practicing for motherhood, finding creative ways to make healthy food fun for a picky eater.

  16. Sasha says


    I’m Indian and I have to admit your ‘saag’ does look delicious.
    However, technically (and conventionally) saag is made with
    mustard greens, not spinach, which gives it a unique taste!

  17. Lilly says

    yum, I am def going to try this.
    I love tons of ethnic food, right now I am digging Thai and good Mexican. Where I live the ethnic food places dominate, I can’t even think of more then one American restaurant, it is so fun!

  18. carly says

    mm indian is my absolute favorite! i didn’t realize you went to bryn mawr, as you mentioned in a post a few days ago – i grew up right by there in ardmore! what was the indian restaurant you went to? i used to always go to khajuraho in ardmore. i also adore ethiopian food, and west philly has tons of amazing, cheap places. i miss that area!

  19. Brooke says

    Hey, I know how you feel! I made an AWESOME saag paneer last week, but mine looked worse… since it contained tomato paste, and I pureed part of it. Yeah, I didn’t want to blog about that… but I still want to share the recipe, because when I shared it with friends, it stopped conversations! (I didn’t take pics. It looked THAT bad!!)

    I guess I could just put a whole lot of decorations on the plate, or something. 😀

  20. Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) says

    I LOVE saag!! My momma is Indian and so I used to have saag and dal and stuff all the time!! I’m definitely gonna try your version!! 😀

    And these new products better be coming to the uk, or I guess I WILL have to make that move to Texas to live with you!! 😛

  21. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    I think the Saag sounds and looks really good!

    I just loev Mexican food, but also Italian and Chinese. Who am I kidding I love almost all food.

  22. melissa @ the delicate place says

    i just tried that so delicious no added sugar coconut vanilla ice cream last weekend! while i was glad that it wasn’t as sweet as normal, i felt like it had a bit of a chemically aftertaste 🙁 what did you think?

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I actually haven’t tried it! They don’t sell it near me yet. To be honest, I’m not even sure I’ll try it… I’ve heard that it’s sweetened with erythritol, and I don’t know too much about that…

  23. Jess says

    I don’t get out much, but I’m partial to Mexican, and “Asian” in general. I’ll eat or try just about anything though. That saag looks good, and fortunately, i have spinach on hand, so maybe i’ll try it this week 🙂

  24. Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

    My favorite non-American cuisines are Japanese and Thai. Oh, and Chinese buffets. 😉 but mainly I loovveeee sushi and curry!

  25. Veronica says

    I think the saag in the first pic looks really good! By the second, it started to get a little saad that you hadn’t eaten it yet. 😉 I hate stopping to take pics before eating too and just shared one of my usual freak-out escapades on my blog about trying to finish taking pics b4 my food got cold. I’ve never tried saag so I’m saving this–I looooove Indian food! Really, there isn’t an ethnic cuisine I don’t enjoy–they’re all fantastic. I can’t even rank them b/c I love them all so much. Food is like my children, I can’t pick faves-haha!

  26. meg says

    I am with you, sometimes I think my blog makes it seem like all I eat is breakfast, because it’s usually prettier than my savory meals! Also, I’m often much too interested in eating to bother taking a picture 🙂 Ugly as it may be, I love indian food, and can’t wait to try your recipe!
    I saw the sugar-free coconut ice cream and whole foods yesterday and got SO excited! I got the mint chip but haven’t tried it yet! I’m hoping maybe they’ll come out with sugar free versions of their yogurts too…

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      That would be so awesome… To get unsweetened yogurt right now, I have to buy a really big carton of wildwood, and I can never finish it all before it goes bad, since I don’t use much yogurt. But sometimes I really want to make a recipe (like this saag) that uses yogurt!

  27. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says

    Thai food, sushi/Japanese, french, or what I’d call nouveau americana, i.e. super fancy minimalistic food prepared with real ingredients and is artful, beautiful, and even decadent 🙂

    I love anything that tastes…amazing. And has a focus on simple ingredients prepared beautifully.

    Love your new recipe and product alert, too!

  28. Ally (oatsandspice) says

    I always look forward to your posts about new product alerts – I have still been on the lookout for the vegan greek yogurt you posted last month – still no luck –UGH!

  29. rebecca lustig says

    your take on saag is awesome. maybe genius. just maybeee. 😉

    oh gosh, I love ethnic food, i don’t think i can pick a favorite. sometimes i crave mexican, sometimes sushi, a lot of times asian stir fry, sometimes south american, a lot a lot of mediterranean… yeah i could go on for aw hile ha

  30. kaila @ healthy helper! says

    My favorite ethnic food is Japanese…but I have always always always wanted to try Ethiopian! It sounds soooo amazing!

  31. Ginger&Rice says

    I’m allergic to pine nuts! Isn’t that so sad?
    I just bought a carton of Green Tea Coconut Milk Ice Cream! I’m gonna try it tonight after dinner!

  32. Tara says

    I always love new product alerts! Going to check those out right after I press submit.
    I love Indian food, though I’ve never tried saag! I love naan bread, especially when it’s fresh and warm from the oven. Tandoori vegetables and baigan bharta make my heart sing too!
    I LOVE mediterranean food. Hummus, dolmas, falafel, baklava.. it’s all so good!

  33. BroccoliHut says

    I recently discovered the wonders of African fare–so many delicious lentils and coconut milk dishes!

  34. Gloria says

    The mint chip is amazing!! this ice cream has turned my life upside down. I had 3 pints in the past 2 weeks and I feel awesome. No sugar coma, yay!!

  35. Catherine @ Running Beginners says

    Not really on topic at all but I’ve been meaning to pop in and say. My sons have a slight obsession with porridge (or oatmeal as you guys call it there) now too haha. We went through pretty much all of your recipes (which they love!) and they still keep asking for “different special flavoured porridge”. So I had to get creative the other day and made some apple pie porridge. I tried to think about what goes in an apple pie and the different flavours and then what to use to make the porridge taste similar. It turned out pretty well – just needed some ice cream and would have been like the real thing lol. So you’ve inspired us to get interesting and creative as well as having us borrow your recipes all the time too 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Awwwwwwwwwwww!!! That just makes my day :). I have a sneaky suspicion that a lot more people would like porridge if they got creative and flavored it not just with butter and sugar, but like a dessert pudding! Oh, and I love apple pie oatmeal… wish I’d been at your house when you made it, to snatch a bowl ;).

  36. Missy says

    So this is off topic .. but I finally got around to making your boatmeal! I doubled the recipe and baked them in a heart shaped muffin tin, yielding 6 heart shaped muffins. I brought in two for work this morning to pop in the toaster oven. They smelled sewww amazing while baking last night! Yum! Thank you for the recipe!! The only things I changed – I didn’t have applesauce so I made my own (microwaved apple chunks and smooshed them) and I didn’t have chocolate chips so I used chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. Whee!

  37. Helen says

    Katie, I actually prefer seeing the savory dishes, even if they aren’t photogenic and even if you don’t include a recipe. Seeing the healthy foods you eat on a daily basis inspire me to eat healthier, and aren’t we all always looking for inspiration to eat healthier? So please don’t worry about the photos!

  38. Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks says

    I am a sophomore/almost junior at Bryn Mawr–was this Indian restaurant Tiffin?

    I was just there on Friday night! Such good food!

  39. Livvy says

    Mhmmm this looks so great!!! I love indian inspired food and well, love all your recipes, too! I WANT TO TRY those new flavors! yum!

  40. Maddy says

    Hey Katie! I know this has nothing to do with your post except you mentioned food in Philadelphia…I’m there right now touring colleges (haverford and swarthmore today!) and am in Philadelphia for a couple days. Any restaurant recommendations? If you could tell me one of your favorite vegan/vegetarian ones, or other cool ones in general, that would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks so much!!


    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Oh so cool! I went to Bryn Mawr (right next to Haverford… I even took a class there!)
      When I was in Philly, I was NOT into healthy eating. My favorite place was Gianna’s (on South Street) for their VeganTreats cakes and pies. I never tried Horizon, but I hear that it’s an amazing restaurant. And the South Street Whole Foods is awesome. Their hot bar is huge! On the opposite side, there’s a WF in Ardmore too… it’s the smallest one ever! (No really, it is.) And Ardmore has a cute little health food store.
      Oh, and Cherry Street Chinese was my favorite restaurant, but I hear it closed :(. I bet the whole city’s changed by now!
      Have fun!

  41. Angie says

    I just love your blog recipes!!!! I am on an inflamation diet and have been really disgusted with eating, until now that is!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to try each and every one of those oatmeals and bars to go not to forget the ice creams, shakes, cupcakes and…… I have eaten at that Indian place in Philly The brunch was awesome!!!!

  42. Me! says

    You spoke about pics of your green food to be not as appetizing as desserts. Well I tell you what, take the pics because some of us really enjoy your foods and love to see them! You and your blog are AWESOME! 🙂

  43. Lucy says

    Just made the saag… so easy and yummy and comforting. Of course, without the authentic Indian spices, it doesn’t quite taste like what you’d eat at an Indian restaurant, but it’s pretty darn close for an homemade alternative. Thank you! 🙂

  44. Lili says

    This turned out OK. I didn’t make the recipe exactly to scale, so maybe the flavors are a bit off, but I could add more curry! For a spinach dish, this is pretty good. I’ve never eaten saag before though so I don’t know how it’s supposed to taste xD

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