Sarson Ka Saag
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Winter! Winter! Winter! Sarson! Sarson! Sarson!
…and other leafy greens ofcourse!
My favourite season with my favourite food is here and I couldn’t be happier!
In no particular order: Saron da saag te makki di roti (as any Punjabi would proudly say), Gajar ka Halwa, Gajar Gobi Shalgam ka Achaar, Pinni (yumm yumm), Palak Paneer, Moong Dal Halwa and many many more.
It’s the season of warming, comfort foods that are a bear hug for your soul!
For now, let’s start with this recipe of Sarson Ka Saag.
The recipe of Makki ki Roti will follow soon.
Time taken: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients to make Sarson Ka Saag
1 bunch or 4 cups Sarson / mustard greens
½ bunch or 2 cups Palak / spinach
¼ bunch or 1 cup Bathua / pigweed
¼ bunch or 1 cup Methi / fenugreek leaves
2 onions, medium size, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, medium size, finely chopped
14-15 garlic cloves, finely chopped or simply bruised with the back of a knife
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp ghee
2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
A generous pinch of hing / asafoetida
½ tsp haldi / turmeric powder
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp makki ka atta (corn meal not cornflour)
Salt to taste
1 inch piece of ginger, cut in to juliennes for garnish
Method of making Sarson Ka Saag
Wash and clean all the leaves. Discard the thick, tough stems as those will be fibrous. Leave the softer stems on.
Authentic, traditional recipes of Sarson ka Saag use all four leafy greens: sarson, palak, bathua and methi. You could pick and choose the ones that are easily available to you. Sarson or mustard greens are mandatory though ;)
Pressure cook the sarson, palak, bathua and methi leaves for 1 whistle. Manually release the steam from the pressure cooker immediately and place the leaves in cold water, to retain the natural green colour.
The leaves would have released some water while pressure cooking, retain and keep this water aside to add to the sarson ka saag while cooking it later.
Fine chop, mash or blend the sarson, palak, bathua and methi leaves to a coarse consistency. This also allows the flavours to meddle and an overall balanced flavour in your Sarson ka Saag.
In a thick bottom vessel / kadhai, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add jeera, ginger and garlic. Once the flavours of these aromatics are released, add onions and tomatoes. I like to add these together as we’re not looking at cooking them through, just about half cooked. The onion and tomato masala should still have a bite. Besides their flavour, the onions and tomatoes add texture to the sarson ka saag, so it is important to cook them only halfway through.
Once done, add turmeric powder. Then add the fine chopped / blended sarson, palak, bathua and methi leaves to the onion tomato masala. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala, sugar and salt. Sugar is added to balance the sharp flavours of sarson.
Add the water saved earlier from the pressure cooked leaves, plus more if required, to the sarson ka saag and cook it for another 5-6 minutes on medium low flame.
I like to add a teaspoon of makki ka atta to the sarson ka saag towards the end of the cooking process, to help bind the saag. If the makki ka atta is not added, you may notice that some of the liquid separates as you spoon the sarson ka saag on your plate. If you wish to add it too (highly recommended), add it when most of the water / liquid has dried up.
Most of the water should be cooked out before you serve sarson ka saag, the consistency should be thick. Garnish your Sarson ka Saag or Saron da Saag with ginger juliennes.
For a vegan version of this recipe of Sarson ka Saag, use your regular cooking oil (preferably cold-pressed mustard oil) instead of ghee. Use vegan butter to garnish.
More Indian Curry recipes here.
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