Take a big tasty bite out of National Vegetarian Week by making the most of delicious veggies and sumptuous spices. [Photo: Seven Dials Publishers]

Sweet potato sag aloo

15 May, 2017

This week is National Vegetarian Week and we’re celebrating by publishing a delicious veggie recipe each day this week

Si King and Dave Myers, aka TV’s The Hairy Bikers, are getting stuck in and encouraging everyone else to join in:

“As cooks, we’ve always appreciated our veg and they’re a hugely important part of our cooking. And lately, without really thinking about it, we’ve been eating less meat. The more we learn about cooking great food, the more we enjoy making use of all the amazing produce that’s on offer and creating dishes where vegetables, pulses and other plant foods are the stars of the show. That’s why we’re getting stuck into National Vegetarian Week this year… and we think you should too!”

This recipe is from their new book The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie (see details below).

“Saag aloo is usually made with regular potatoes but we like our sweet potato version. The great thing about these little beauties is they are richer in nutrients – particularly vitamin C – than white potatoes and lower in starch. They count towards your five a day too, while regular potatoes don’t.”

Si and Dave usually  make our own spice mix for this but if you prefer you can use curry powder. This recipe serves 4, and takes around 35 minutes to make and cook.

‘The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie’ is the 5th book in the Hairy Dieters series, which has sold over 2.5 million copies.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 20g fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp spice mix (see below) or mild curry powder
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 150–200g bag of baby spinach, picked over and thoroughly washed
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the spice mix

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

To serve

  • a few green chillies, sliced
  • a few sprigs of coriander


1 If making the spice mix, toast the whole spices lightly in a frying pan, then grind them to a powder. Mix with the turmeric.

2 Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or a deep frying pan. Add the onion and cook it quite briskly until it’s softened and very lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger and the spice mix or curry powder and stir until combined.

3 Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and stir to coat them with the garlic, ginger and spices, then add the tomato and the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the stock to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer very gently until the sweet potato is just cooked. This should take no longer than 10 minutes, but check regularly from 5 minutes as you don’t want the sweet potato to go mushy – it should still have a little bite to it. Loosen the sauce with a little more stock or water if necessary.

4 Add the spinach to the pan and cover the pan again until the spinach has wilted down. Stir very carefully to combine without breaking up the sweet potatoes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve garnished with green chillies and fresh coriander



  • The Vegetarian Society Approved trademark is the original and only one to trust. The only legally licensed vegetarian trademark, you can ensure that where you see its logo, all products have passed through its strict criteria and can be guaranteed 100% vegetarian. To find out more visit http://www.vegsocapproved.com/