Flip Cookbook

Girl geek foodies making healthy cooking fun and easy.


Super Easy Spinach Sweet Potato Subzi

A lot of readers have given me feedback that they really want to cook Indian food but generally find it too complicated. Too many ingredients or too many pots. It’s true, Indian food can get a little complicated. Especially if you want to cook the dishes you typically find in Indian restaurants. But those dishes are not what Indians eat at home. Indian home cooking is much much simpler.

Indian home cooking generally revolves around 7 spices – cumin powder, coriander powder, cayenne powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin seeds (jeera) and mustard seeds (rai). Indians simplify storing these by having a single spice box which has smaller containers to hold each one. That way we just have to pull out one box to get all the spices.

You might be thinking that even 7 spices are a little too much. But not every Indian dish has all 7 spices. You really don’t have to use all of them to get an Indian flavor. In the recipe I’m sharing today, I use only 4 of these spices. Yet the dish is distinctively Indian. What I love about this recipe is that it’s super easy and quick to cook. (The blessings of leafy vegetables like spinach πŸ™‚ ). The sweetness of the sweet potato is nicely complimented by the spices and buttery bitterness of baby spinach. Try it out – I’d love to see if this helps simplify and make Indian cooking a lot more approachable. If it doesn’t – let me know, I’ll come up with another recipe for you to try!


Spinach Sweet Potato Subzi

Makes: 6 servings
Ready in: 20 minutes


  • 1 onion
  • 10 – 16oz packet of baby spinach
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 dry red chilies (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)


1. Peel and chop the onion into chunks. Peel and slice the sweet potato into circles into 1/8th inch thickness.

2. Peel the ginger and chop into small pieces.

3. Heat the olive oil in a wide pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds (jeera), the ginger and dry chillies. You can test if the oil is heated by throwing in one or two cumin seeds in the oil – if it sizzles then the oil is hot enough. Fry for about 30 seconds.

4. Add the onions, cumin powder, coriander powder and cayenne pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.

5. Add the sweet potato slices. Stir and cover until the sweet potato softens – about 5 minutes. Stir periodically.

6. Mix in the spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts. Add salt and serve! Simple and so good!!

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8 Responses to Super Easy Spinach Sweet Potato Subzi

  1. i love the addition of sweet potato chips here!!! great earthy flavors πŸ˜€

  2. This looks so fresh and tasty. We are making it tonight for dinner. I have recently gotten into cooking Indian food, well I’m not sure how authenticly Indian my tries have been πŸ™‚ And I have been loving yall’s recipes–making it easier for us newbies who used to be intimidated. Keep ’em coming!

    • Raj says:

      We definitely will keep them coming. How did you like the recipe Eryn? It was actually something I invented because I happened to have a sweet potato around. The traditional one (at least what I grew up eating) is made with regular potatoes.

      • We loved it! It was definitely easy to make and sooooo delicious. I ground up some coriander seeds in my coffee grinder to get a powder- not sure if that’s the same thing or not, but it seemed to work. I also used hon tsai tai (a spinach like green) instead of spinach, and it worked out really well. Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

        • Champa Kasat says:

          hi raj i tried your spinach sweetpotato subzi, its so good!!!!! even your uncle (baba) liket it its so easy to make it. I am going to try all your recipes slowely.

          • Raj says:

            Hi Champa Ma, Wow – I feel honored to have a veteran cook like you trying out my recipes! Really glad baba liked it too.

  3. Taruna says:

    I love all of your recipes.. and ur bent towards healthy eating..
    I will try this sweet potato recipe today itself..

    Only 1 question: Is extra virgin oil safe for sauteing / Indian cooking ? Or do we have to use refined oils only ?
    I read in articles online and in health books, that all virign / extra virgin oils (those high in unsaturated fats vs. saturated fats), will become unstable when used at high temperatures.

    Would you know about this ?

    Thanks !

    • Raj says:

      Hi Taruna – Aww.. so glad you’re enjoying the recipes here! Re: extra virgin olive oil – there is a lot of debate around this topic. My personal experience has been that generally when I cook every day Indian food, I don’t have the heat set any higher than medium-high. Basically – I never let the oil get to a point where it’s smoking. Also vegetables (like yams) have a lot of water in it.. so generally you don’t need to cook them on high.

      Some options to consider if you are really concerned about this: Organic canola oil.. Coconut oil.

      This article covers some of the finer points in detail: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/heating-olive-oil

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