Potato Malai Kofta with Sautéed Spinach and Tomato Chutney


If you are feeding people who are sceptical of vegetarian food being able satiate BIG hunger, this traditional Indian vegetarian dish will have them converted. Moreover, they will also reap the rewards of the various ‘nightshades’ by way of the potato and tomato in this recipe.

Nightshades, friend or foe?

So what are nightshades and are they good or bad?

Nightshades are vegetables belonging to the family of plants with the Latin name Solanaceae. Examples of common nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

So, this recipe may be considered high in nightshades, but is this a bad thing?

Firstly, nightshades contain ‘solanine’, an alkaloid which is toxic in high concentrations. Trace amounts of solanine is found in potatoes however is usually safe for consumption. Secondly, nightshades are purported to be problematic for those with autoimmune disease due to their high lectin, saponin, and capsaicin content. That is to say, as suggested by different research, that nightshade intolerance may be caused by underlying issues.

The humble potato

Potatoes have been an affordable, healthy, and staple part of our diet for many hundreds of years but recent research shows a decline in the consumption of ye old faithful. Attributed to this, is the inconsistent research showing that “Western” consumption, which includes all potatoes regardless of preparation method (think French fries and crisps) is linked to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Hidden Magic

But, on the other hand, when not re-packaged as a fatty snack, the potato is a wonderfully beneficial part of any balanced diet. Potatoes are an important source of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, niacin, and folate.

Furthermore, glycoalkaloids found in potatoes and tomatoes have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells!

With a potato, it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it

In other words, like with so many things it is not necessarily what you do, but rather; the way that you do it.

As with the detection of any food allergies, pay attention to how your body responds when you eat a dish heavy with nightshades. Likewise, keep in mind that cooking methods will also affect the nutrient content of your food.

Above all, experiment with healthy recipes such as these and have fun while learning what is best for your body.

Make it a Meal

Combine this Potato Malia Kofta with Sautéed Spinach and Tomato Chutney with a fresh side of barely braised greens.


Potato Malai Kofta with Sautéed Spinach and Tomato Chutney

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield:2 servings


1 russet potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and grated on a box grater

4 ounces green beans, sliced into thin rounds

Extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, peeked and diced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 tablespoons tomato powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

5.5 ounces coconut milk

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup chickpea flour

4 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped

1/4 cup tomato chutney


  1. Add the diced potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 10-12 minutes. Once tender, add the grated carrot and green beans and cook for 1 minute. Drain the cooked vegetables.
  2. In a small saucepan, add 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato powder, curry powder, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until slightly thickened. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend into a smooth sauce.
  3. Add the chickpea flour to the cooked vegetables and form into 6 patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and pan fry the potato kofta until browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Return the skillet to heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the baby spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. To serve, dived the malai sauce between two plates, top with sautéed spinach, and then potato kofta. Top with tomato chutney and eat!

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