Sarson ka saag

Saag means any green leaf based dish which is made in India and Pakistan. Saag is a mustard leaf or spinach or any green leaf based dish, which is very popular in India and Pakistan.

Sarson ka saag, palak paneer, saag aloo is a very popular Punjabi north Indian dish. sarson ka saag is made with green mustard leaves, and served with makki ki roti (cornmeal roti), with a dollop of butter on it. I tasted this first time in a dhabha in delhi, where it was served with sarson ka saag and makki ki roti with a dollop of butter on both and pickle also. From that time it is one of my favourite dishes. It is my favourite, as I have tasted spinach leaves, amaranth leaves and other leaves in south of India, but never tasted mustard leaves. It was delicious. If you go to any restaurant or dhabas you can see variety of saag dishes like palak panner , palak ghost, saag aloo, which are very popular dishes.

In this recipe I have made sarson ka saag and with the same ingredients I have made saag using big radish leaves or turnip leaves, which tasted like sarson ka saag. So there are 2 recipes in this, which are little bit similar in taste but both follow the same procedure and the ingredients.

The radish leaves which I used were big and similar like mustard leaves which we get in uk, but my friend was telling it is turnip leaves, the confusion was because it was from my garden and there were no vegetables just the leaves, as we took out from the ground before it grown into any vegetable, but we both cooked it in our style, it was tasty and delicious.

Saag I have cooked it in my own style, adding the ingredients which I like, so with the same ingredients you can make sarson ka saag or with big radish leaves or turnip leaves can try with spinach also. Traditionally it is cooked in butter, but I have used oil and butter both, its your wish what to use.

I have always seen, when they cook sarson ka saag (mustard leaves), they add spinach leaves , to remove the bitterness, but I have never added spinach in my sarson ka saag, it never tasted bitter . If it is fresh and tender and soft leaves, it will not taste bitter. In sarson ka saag we add cornmeal (makki ka atta), for thickening and taste also, which is yellow in colour.

In this recipe I have shown you both the pictures of mustard leaves and other leaves (raddish or turnip). In my other recipe I will show you simple and delicious Punjabi sarson ka saag, which was shared by my friend from Punjab.

Ingredients

  • Water – 1 cup
  • Paste

  • Mustard leaves or radish leaves – 400 gms (after removing the thick stems)
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Green chillies – 3
  • Garlic cloves – 5
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Seasoning or tadka

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 3
  • Garlic cloves – 3
  • Curry leaves – 25
  • Green chillies – 3
  • Onion (big, chopped) – 1
  • Tomato (big, chopped) – 1
  • Corn meal (makki ka atta) – 3 tbsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Salt - as per taste

Method

    Cooking the green leaves

  • Wash the leaves well, discard the thick stem part and add directly to the vessel to cook.
  • Take a wide vessel, add the mustard green leaves with its tender stems (chopped or without chopping), dry red chillies, green chillies, garlic cloves.
  • Cook on medium flame for 8min and 5min on low flame, by closing the lid, no need to add water, when you cook the green leaves it will release the water (add water if it dries up quickly )or cook it at low flame till it is cooked well.
  • When it is cooked well, leave it to cool aside.
  • Grind it to a paste (little coarse or fine paste) by adding water and keep it aside.
  • Seasoning/Tadka

  • Preheat the vessel/kadai, add oil and butter, when hot, add mustard seeds, let it pop, add dry chillies, curry leaves, stir for 30sec, add onions and fry till it is golden brown.
  • Add green chillies (slit or chopped) , garlic(crushed or chopped), fry well, till it is light golden colour.
  • Add coriander powder and tomatoes, cook till the oil starts leaving or it is cooked, stir well.
  • When it is cooked, add the paste and mix well, cook for 5min on medium flame.
  • Add the corn meal (makki ka atta), mix well, add water 1cup and cook at low flame for 20 to 25 min.
  • Stir in between, be careful it starts spluttering, keep the vessel aside and mix it.
  • If it becomes thick again add 1/2cup water.
  • Add butter, if you wish and let it melt while it is simmering.
  • When cooked, serve it with makki ki roti, naan, or just simple roti(phulka) with a dollop of butter.

Notes

  • While cooking the green leaves, I have closed the lid and cooked, but it is said, if kept open, the colour will be green, but when cooked in low flame, by closing the lid, the aroma of green leaves will be within the vessel and no need to add water and cook.
  • Sometimes in my seasoning/thadka, I just added mustard seeds 1tsp, cumin seeds, drychillies5, curry leaves garlic cloves 4, green chillies 3 and tomatoes 1 to 2, it tastes good, no coriander powder and onion.
  • In your seasoning can add garam masala also, which is optional.
  • Add the required water, according to your consistency.
  • In picture I have shown mustard leaves and big radish leaves, but I have shown the recipe for one, as I have used the similar method and ingredients for both, well I will call one as sarson ka saag and the other as just saag recipe.

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