Sarson Ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish made with Mustard Greens and other leafy vegetables and a delicious tempering of onion and garlic in ghee. Served with a dollop of White Butter (Makkhan) and crispy warm Makki Ki Roti, this dish is soul-warming.
Here are some more Green Leaf Vegetable Recipes, that you can include in your everyday meals to up your Iron consumption – Restaurant Style Palak Paneer, Kashmiri Methi Chaman, Palak Chana Dal, Palak Corn Curry, Methi Makai Malai, Palak Chole, and Punjabi Saag Paneer.
About This Recipe
Sarson Ka Saag is one such Indian recipe that absolutely needs no introduction. No matter from which part of India you belong to, I am sure you will be aware of this oh-so-delicious Punjabi recipe.
Fresh and bright green sarson or mustard leaves cooked with a few other greens along with tomato, onion, and some everyday spices, this one is packed with lots of nutrients. And when served with that thick Makki Ki Roti with a dollop of homemade butter, this combination just tastes out of the world.
Not only in India, but this combination of Sarson Ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti is also getting its fame outside India too, and you will definitely find it on the menu of some popular North Indian restaurants in foreign countries.
You must be wondering why adding other greens? Well, other greens such as Bathua or Palak reduce down the bitterness from mustard leaves and adds a lot of taste of their own. If any one of these greens is not available, you can always substitute it with another.
While every home has its own way of making this popular Sarson da Saag, I have my own favorite recipe. And believe me, whoever had this Saag, has always loved it. As the Winters are ongoing, the markets will be flooded with these fresh greens. So get your hands on it and whip this Sarson Saag for your weekend meal.
This Sarson Ka Saag is,
- Vegan (avoid ghee)
- A Punjabi favorite
- Perfect Winter dish
Greens – Here, I have used spinach, bathua (Chenopodium album), radish greens, fenugreek leaves, and of course, mustard leaves. While mustard leaves are a must, you can always skip one or two other greens in this recipe if you can’t find them.
Tomato – Tomato adds a perfect tartness to the Saag. Use juicy red tomatoes for this recipe.
Makki Ka Atta – Makki Ka Atta or as it is called Corn Meal, is used to thicken the Saag, along with adding a great texture. Just mix it with a little water and add to the cooked greens.
Others – To add more flavor to the Saag, we will also need ginger, onion, garlic, green chilies, red chili powder, hing, and salt.
You can always adjust the green chilies and red chili powder, depending upon the spice you need for the same.
Tempering – Once the Saag is cooked, we will temper it with a ghee tadka of onion and garlic. While this is optional, it does add a great flavor and is highly recommended.
How to make Sarson Ka Saag?
Clean all the leaves and wash them thoroughly 2-3 times to get rid of any mud in them. Add the washed greens to a pressure cooker. Since we will be grinding the greens in a grinder later, you don’t have to chop them.
Add tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, radish, green chili, salt, and a cup of water. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat.
Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker.
Transfer the cooked and cooled greens in a grinder.
Blend to make a coarse paste. ( I like my saag a little coarse. If you like it smooth, grind the greens till smooth ) Transfer the paste in the same pressure cooker.
Dissolve makki ka atta in little water and add it in the cooker.
Add red chili powder and hing and cook for 3-5 minutes.
For tempering, heat ghee in a pan.
Add onion and garlic and fry till golden brown. Keep stirring while frying.
Pour the tadka over the saag. Serve hot with makke ki roti and white butter.
Pro Tips by Neha
The only time consuming part about this recipe is cleaning the greens. I normally clean them a day before I plan to cook the saag. And once they are cleaned, making it is a breeze. These days, you also get washed greens in some speciality stores. get them to save some time.
Many people think that Mustard Greens and Tomatoes should not be paired together. According to what I have read, I do not see any harm in this but if you still think that it’s not a good idea to pair these two ingredients, then skip using tomatoes. Use any other souring agent like lemon juice etc to give the slightly sour taste to the saag.
Traditionally the cooked saag was churned using a wooden whisk called Mathani and the process was called ‘Ghotna’ but I personally like the saag to be blended in a food processor to a coarse mix. You can choose the texture you like and decide for yourself which process works best for you.
This recipe can be easily halved, doubled, or tripled. You can make a big batch and keep using it for upto a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cleaning the greens is a very important step while making saag. Start by cleaning the greens. Mustard stems can be tough. So discard them and keep only the leaves.
Take a huge vessel and fill it with water. Soak the greens in the water for 2-3 minutes and let the impurities settle down.
Then gently take out the greens and discard the water with the impurities. Repeat this process at least 3-4 times until you get clean water. The greens are now ready to be used. I like to do this step one day in advance. It saves me a lot of time when I am ready to cook the saag.
Some people make the saag by grinding it and some just cook the greens. If you are grinding the saag after cooking, you don’t have to chop the greens.
But if you are making the variation with no grinding, then chop the greens finely.
In Delhi, I have seen the vendors do this step for you.
The only downside of this is that we have to wash the greens after they are chopped and that takes away a lot of nutrients and taste from it. I prefer washing the greens first and then chopping them to retain the taste and nutrients in them as much as possible.
Follow the same recipe just replace the pressure cooker with a slow cooker. Slow cook for 3-4 hours and then blend the saag and temper it.
Sarson Da Saag recipe calls for a mix of greens with Mustard Greens being the prominent ones. Spinach and Bathua help to balance the bitterness of mustard leaves.
You can replace the two and even skip adding them if you like that bitter taste.
It is absolutely safe to eat Sarson ka Saag during pregnancy.
In fact, mustard greens have many nutrients and are rich in iron which will help to keep the hemoglobin level in check.
Makki Ki Roti aur Sarson da Saag is a match made in heaven. Although this is the traditional way in which Sarson da Saag is paired, you can actually have it with any Indian bread and it will taste as delicious.
A good drizzle of butter or ghee is always welcome. In case white butter is not available, yellow butter also goes great with it.
I also like to serve some Mooli Ka Laccha with this meal.
Sarson Ka Saag will last in the fridge for about a week when stored in an airtight container. If you are making it in big quantity, I would suggest you temper only the amount you want to serve.
Also, reheat only the amount you want to serve and add a fresh tadka every time. Also, close the container properly after every use. You can either reheat it in a pan or in the microwave. If you feel it has become a little dry, then add in a little water and reheat it properly.
You can add cubed and fried paneer pieces to your saag.
You can add any beans like Rajma or chole to it to make it more filling. Add cooked chicken or mutton pieces to your saag to make a non-vegetarian version. Keep it as your base and experiment with ingredients you like.
Some people also add turnip to their saag. If you are adding a turnip, replace it with radish that I have used in the recipe. Turnip and radish gives a nice spicy kick to the salad and is highly recommended.
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Sarson ka Saag Recipe
- 200 g mustard greens/sarson
- 35 g spinach/palak
- 35 g radish greens/mooli ke patte
- 35 g chenopodium/bathua
- 35 g fenugreek leaves/methi
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped radish
- 1 inch chopped ginger
- 8-10 cloves chopped garlic
- 2-3 chopped green chili
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp asafoetida/hing
- salt (to taste)
- 2 tbsp corn meal/makki ka atta
- 2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 3-4 cloves smashed garlic cloves
- Clean all the leaves and wash them thoroughly 2-3 times to get rid of any mud in them. Add the washed greens to a pressure cooker. Since we will be grinding the greens in a grinder later, you don’t have to chop them.
- Add tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, radish, green chili, salt, and a cup of water. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat.
- Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker.
- Transfer the cooked and cooled greens to a grinder.
- Blend to make a coarse paste. ( I like my saag a little coarse. If you like it smooth, grind the greens till smooth ) Transfer the paste to the same pressure cooker.
- Dissolve makki ka atta in little water and add it to the cooker.
- Add red chili powder and hing and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- For tempering, heat ghee in a small pan.
- Add onion and garlic and fry till golden brown. Keep stirring while frying.
- Pour the tadka over the saag. Serve hot with makke ki roti and white butter.