Suvir Saran’s Palak Ki Tikki (Spinach and Potato Patties) Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Suvir Saran’s Palak Ki Tikki (Spinach and Potato Patties) Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 50 minutes, plus 1 hour’s chilling
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These are adapted from Suvir Saran’s potato patties called palak ki tikki, from his lovely cookbook “Masala Farm.” They are a striking green because of all of the raw spinach that gets packed into them. The big, spicy burgers are incredibly easy to put together and to cook. Suvir serves them with chutney, either green or tamarind, but we both agree that they’re delicious with plain old ketchup. I made a quick raita to serve with the burgers by stirring sweet pickle relish into plain yogurt.

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Yield:Makes 10 substantial burgers (about 3½ inches)

  • 2pounds red boiling potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 4firmly packed cups finely chopped, stemmed, washed spinach (about ¾ pound leaves)
  • 1fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped
  • ¼cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1teaspoon garam masala
  • ½teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (Suvir Saran uses about 1¼ teaspoons)
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1cup panko or chickpea flour (you will not use all of it)
  • 2tablespoons grape seed oil

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

141 calories; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 337 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Suvir Saran’s Palak Ki Tikki (Spinach and Potato Patties) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Steam potatoes over 1 inch of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wide bowl and mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients except panko or chickpea flour and oil and mix well with your hands, squeezing the ingredients together. There will still be small chunks of potato and potato skin in the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  2. Scoop out about ½ cup of the spinach-potato mixture, roll it with the palm of your hand to make a ball, and coat with panko or chickpea flour. Then press down to flatten to a 3 to 3½-inch cake. Continue with remaining mixture. Chill for at least 1 hour.

  3. Step


    When you’re ready to cook, place a rack over a sheet pan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Swirl pan to coat with the hot oil. Lower heat to medium. Place 4 to 5 patties in the pan (do not crowd), and cook until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown for about 4 more minutes. Remove to the rack. Heat remaining oil in pan and cook remaining patties. Keep patties in a low oven until ready to serve. Serve with a salad and your choice of toppings, such as the usual (ketchup, mustard, relish), or yogurt raita, garlic yogurt, or chutney.


  • Advance preparation: You can form the patties and keep them refrigerated for up to 2 days, or cook them all the way through and keep them refrigerated for 2 or 3 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in a low oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The patties freeze well. Thaw completely before reheating.



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Cooking Notes


Made pretty much as written, but used pre-washed baby spinach that I didn't bother to chop, just mushed it right in, and used curry powder instead of garam masala. Really delicious! Reminiscent of the inside of a vegetable samosa. What's not to like about that?


It means: place a rack over a sheet pan. You need to know what a rack is and what a sheet pan is and then know what placing something over something is. You are giving up too easily.


I love these guys and make them often. It is a forgiving recipe. I don't listen to the measurements as far as spices go and just taste as I go. Tonight my adjustments were red kale instead of spinach, extra lemon, way extra garam masala and a jalapeno.Eat it as a burger, eat it with eggs, eat it with apple sauce like a latke.Tonight I ate them over greens with roasted beets with ground coriander, chopped almonds, and made a quick sauce with some yogurt and tamarind chutney.


Love this recipe. I agree that these patties are like the inside of a samosa. I travel a great deal. I prepare these, cook them, let them cool, and freeze them. When I get home I defrost a patty -- at room temp if there's time, or in the microwave -- and then pop it into the oven before I change and start to unpack, etc. Within about 20 minutes I have a delicious (vegan) meal. I double the garam masala, I use a Peruvian aji pepper instead of a green chili and omit the cilantro. Yum.


I took a leaf out of Kay Chun's tofu katsu recipe: tossed the panko with some melted butter, rolled the potato balls in it, pressed them onto a baking sheet, and baked until crisp and browned. For my studio apartment, avoiding frying can be a relief as the smell hangs onto my bedsheets for far longer than my appetite for the dish!

Julie Nasser

We accidentally bought sweet potatoes and they were DELICIOUS! The sweetness was balanced by the jalapeños and cayenne. We will definitely make these again with sweet potatoes!


July 15,2018 using 2 lbs baby gold potatoes. mash them pretty thoroughly still leaving some lumps or the cakes will fall apart. Use frozen chopped spinach 12 oz in a collander to thaw pouring lukewarm potato water over to “cook”. Squeeze out all water. Add 1/4 c cilantro, 2 tsp Garam masala, lemon salt seasoning, 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, 1 tsp ground dried jalapeño, 1 tsp chili. Made twenty 3 inch cakes w chickpea flour. Kept in fridge for 4 hrs before cooking in 1 inch corn oil 3-4 mins per side.


I put them in the freezer for a half hour, then onto a lightly greased baking sheet and into a 400 degree oven for ~20 minutes, flipped them over, baked for another 10 minutes. Crusty and delicious.


This is likely to draw condemnation because I didnt make the recipe but was inspired by it. So I mashed the potato salad I had in the fridge with the usual ingredients mayo etc. and bacon and chard and walnuts, made balls and smooshed them in panko, fried them and added an egg over easy on top dusted with Tajin and yum...


I loved this! It was easy to make, and squishing all the ingredients together with my hands was fun. Note: I didn't have time to chill it for an hour, so I put it in the freezer for about 25 minutes. Also, my hands burned terribly and I realized it was from hand massaging the jalapenos. Since it didn't taste particularly spicy, I will leave out the jalapenos next time, and avoid a few hours of pain. (BTW, milk and then white vinegar were biggest helps in soothing jalapeno burn!)


I think the point is if you keep the patties warm on a rack, not sitting directly on a pan, the bottom would stay crispy.


I didn't have spinach on hand so I used chopped broccoli, left-over roasted vegetables and some brown rice. Really tasty.


Delicious recipe, but I would definitely add more Garam masala- it varies on the potency of your own blend, but for the quantity of potatoes I’d recommend more. Even a splash of chilli powder helped.


I amped up the spice to good effect - more cumin and 1t black mustard seeds.

private note to me

Add egg and more panko to batter


These were fantastic! Added some finely chopped onions to the mix and used pickled Indian hot peppers instead of a fresh one. Served with raita and tomato cucumber salad. The patties were devoured by me and my ten-year-old. We will be making these again double the recipe and setting aside some in the freezer for busy weeknights.


Very good - made with sweet potatoes after reading several comments suggesting that swap. Only wish I'd heeded the comments to blanch/microwave the spinach and squeeze out the liquid. Unbaked patties were very soft, even after chilling. Not easy to flip after 10 minutes of baking either. Will make again and tweak because the flavor is wonderful.

Jim Z

This will now become a staple in our household for our Veggie friends and all. Delicious! We chose the yogurt with India pickle relish as our topping.

Karyn in Berkeley

Just. Awesome. As Written.I was worried about raw spinach if it would be too watery. No issue. Served w cucumber raita and a kale salad.


So delish! Made this with leftover baked potatoes so they were already cold which cut out the chilling time.


Did anyone else have issues with the patties not sticking together? Recipe was tasty enough and it was great over a salad but completely fell apart when i fried them. Any suggestions on what I could change to avoid in the future?

Jen H

This was a doomed venture from the start for me. I steamed the potatoes for 15 minutes in my Instant Pot and they were still firm so I steamed for another 8 minutes or so and let sit in the IP for natural pressure release. They still didn’t mash well. And with 4 cups of spinach, I just couldn’t get balls that I could press into patties to form. So I added some chickpea flour. Then, I couldn’t get the panko to stick to the balls. So I added chickpea flour to the panko.


What kind of green chili is this? I know jalapeño, serrano, poblano etc. from Mexican cooking but with other cuisine recipes it sometimes says green chili and I am not sure what type to buy from the store.


These are delicious. They were fragile, so next time I'll add an egg to bind them. Also, blanching the spinach a little will make it easier to mix, I'll bet.


So much easier if you cook the spinach first!!! Trader Joe's triple washed baby spinach.

Kate O’Neill

Very good. Does taste like the inside of a samosa. Spinach should be very finely shredded. I added much more spice, including a tsp of ground cumin, and a small amount of ground mustard seed. Heavy on cayenne or fresh hot peppers. Chilling in fridge or, if need be, freezer is essential to get the patties to stick together.


Went with potato buns with a garlic yogurt aioli sauce and broccoli sprouts. Very delicious.

Anna K.

Like many, I measured the spices and lemon with my heart and it turned out amazing. I also figured the grape seed oil was on account of this being fried on high heat. I didn't feel like going out and getting some especially for this recipe so I used my sesame oil which turned out to be a great choice.

Kathy B.

Very delicious! Had some leeks that needed to be used so sautéed them up and added them in, they added flavor but need to be diced not in slices. Used leftover potatoes and used a can of diced tomatoes with chilies since didn't have any fresh green chilies which made them more moist and the right amount of heat. Held together well. Chop the spinach for a better texture. Fried some and baked some,both were delicious. Kicking myself for not picking up some yogurt to make a raita to go with them

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Suvir Saran’s Palak Ki Tikki (Spinach and Potato Patties) Recipe (2024)
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