Sarson Ka Saag with Makki Roti and fresh makhan is a winter delicacy in North of India. Creamy sarson ka saag with the rustic makki roti is such an amazing, hearty combination. The entire meal is considered healthy and immune boosting. Much needed when winter cold strikes!
What is Sarson Ka Saag?
Sarson Ka Saag is a famous Punjabi dish prepared with mustard greens. Often a combination of few other greens goes in preparing the dish.
I mix spinach with mustard greens to prepare this creamy saag.
There are lots of health benefits of mustard greens. It is rich in anti-oxidants, high in fiber and is definitely a good source of iron.
Sarson ka saag is not something I grew up eating. It's something I only heard in Bollywood movies until my Punjabi friend made me taste it in a restaurant.
I didn't like it instantly. I do think it's an acquired taste.
But eventually, as I started to make it more often, I started to enjoy it a lot. And now, I don't wait for winter to eat this amazingly healthy mustard green curry.
Ingredients you need:
Mustard Greens - Mustard greens are a winter specialty, which makes this dish a classic winter delicacy in Northern India. You can definitely prepare it with frozen mustard greens too, but the fresh ones will taste a lot better.
Spinach Leaves - Mustard greens just on its own will taste very strong with a hint of bitter taste. To mellow it down, fresh spinach is added. Avoid using baby spinach and instead get those tad bit longer size spinach leaves.
Ginger and Garlic - I like to add finely chopped ginger and garlic in the beginning of cooking the dish. Apart from that, I also slice a few garlic cloves into thin strips to add in the tadka while serving.
Tomato and Onion - Finely chopped tomato onion makes the base of the curry to add texture and flavor.
Cumin Seeds - Cumin Seeds are actually the only earthy spice that I add in this dish.
Maize Flour - The dish is paired with makki roti that is prepared with maize flour, and a couple spoons of maize flour is added to sarson ka saag. It not onlt adds flavor, but also helps to thicken the saag.
How to prepare Sarson Ka Saag?
There are different ways one can prepare this mustard green curry:
You could slow simmer the mix of greens in water for a good 50 to 60 minutes until it gets creamy and mashable. After that, add the tadka on top.
The second method is of course the one I am sure most people follow these days, is by adding everything in instapot and pressure cook it.
I follow none of the above and take a middle route here. So my method take about 20 minutes.
- Roughly chop the washed mustard greens. Also clean and chop the spinach leaves.
- Boil both the greens for a while to soften it down.
3. Purée the boiled greens to a smooth texture.
4. Sauté garlic, ginger and green chili along with cumin seeds.
5. Add the chopped tomato and sauté until it's softened down to a jam like consistency.
6. Add the puréed green and simmer in medium low heat for a while.
7. Add a couple spoons of maize flour and mix it around. It will add flavor and thicken the saag too.
8. Finish the saag with a tadka of ghee, cumin seeds, sliced garlic and dry red chili.
I have been following this step for several years now and the curry turns out flavor packed, luscious and with very minimal effort.
How to retain the gorgeous green shade of the saag?
Typically, any greens when cooked for long turned into a shade of rustic brown. But I personally do love the green shade, and a friend of mine taught me a solid trick.
The trick is a pinch of baking soda! Just add a tiny pinch when boiling the greens, and you will be surprised at how gorgeous green it stays even the next day.
Now, I have friends who prefer the rustic brown color. If you are the same, then do not add the baking soda while boiling the greens.
Taste of Mustard Greens
Mustard greens have the rich peppery flavor. With the other spices and combination of greens that go in the preparation, the saag comes out wonderful.
There is not much texture, hence makki roti is a perfect pairing combination. It is not fluffy like other Indian breads, but more rustic and has a good bite.
The mustard greens we get here are quite tender, so it doesn’t take a long time to cook. I don't discard the stems, as those have the most nutrition.
With Sarso Ka Saag and Makki Roti, fresh white butter is a must, and I always whip a small batch every time I plan this meal.
Irrespective of what method you choose to prepare this curry, the meal will turn out delicious and very satisfying!
Sarso Ka Saag (Mustard Greens Curry)
- 1 bunch mustard greens (roughly chopped, I don't discard the stems)
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced to be used later for tadka)
- ½ inch ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 green chili (finely chopped)
- 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 medium size tomato (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 3 dry red chilies
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon corn meal
- Boil enough water in a pot to boil both the greens. Drop the mustard greens first as it will take more time than spinach. Once the mustard greens softens, drop the spinach and boil for couple more minutes. Drain the greens and once cooled enough, blend it to form a smooth or coarse puree.
- In a separate pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic, ginger, green chili and onion. Sprinkle some salt, turmeric and sauté for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is mildly brown in shade and the raw smell is gone.
- Add tomato and cook for a couple of more minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked through.
- Pour the pureed greens and give it a stir. Check for salt and add any, if required. Cook for a couple more minutes and finally sprinkle the corn meal. Give it another stir and cook for 2 more minute.
- Once you are ready to serve, heat two tablespoons of ghee in a small pan, sprinkle cumin seeds, sliced garlic and dry red chili. Once the spice sizzles, and the garlic tunr midly brown, pour the whole thing on top of the saag. Give it a mix and serve warm.