Punjabi Sarson Ka Saag

4.80 from 10 votes

Sarson Ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish made using 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 leafy vegetable recipes that you can include in your everyday meals – Restaurant Style Palak Paneer, Kashmiri Methi Chaman, Lauki Chana Dal, Palak Corn Curry, Methi Makai Malai, Palak Chole, and Punjabi Saag Paneer.

Punjabi sarson ka saag served in a bowl.
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About This Recipe

Sarson=Mustard and Saag=Greens. Sarson Ka Saag (spiced mustard greens curry) is a Punjabi specialty made using mustard greens as its main ingredient.

It is made all over northern India in winters when fresh mustard greens (sarson leaves) are in season.

Mustard greens are slightly bitter in taste and so they are cooked with other leafy greens like spinach and bathua saag (chenopodium) to mellow them down.

Other ingredients like radish, radish greens, tomatoes, onions, and lots of garlic are also added to elevate the taste of the curry.

Sarson ka saag tastes the best when served with warm makki di roti, jaggery, and white butter.

Not only is this curry delicious, but it also has many health benefits.

It’s a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins like A, C, K, and E. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber and iron.

Traditionally the green leaves were cooked for hours and were churned using a wooden whisk called Mathani while cooking. The process was called ‘Ghotna’.

It took a lot of time to get the saag to the right consistency. But now with blenders easily available, you can blend the saag much quicker.

While every home has its own way of making this popular Sarson da Saag, I have my own favorite recipe.

My recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and has an authentic taste to it.

You can cook the leaves in a traditional pressure cooker, an instant pot, or in a pot over the stovetop. I am sharing all the methods in the post below.

This recipe can be easily scaled up or down as per your requirement.

Ingredients

Sarson ka saag ingredients 1
Sarson ka saag ingredients 2
Sarson ka saag tempering ingredients.

Greens – Traditionally, spinach leaves, bathua leaves (Chenopodium album), radish greens, fenugreek leaves, and of course, mustard leaves are used to make the saag.

While mustard leaves are the main ingredient, you can always skip one or two other greens in this recipe if you can’t find them.

You can also replace some of the greens with collard greens or turnip greens.

The mixed greens bag available at Walmart or Trader Joe’s is also perfect to make this curry.

Tomato – Tomatoes give a perfect tartness to the saag. Use juicy red tomatoes for this recipe.

Makki Ka Atta – Makki ka atta (cornmeal, maize flour) is used to thicken the saag and make it creamier.

Others – You will also need fresh ginger, onions, garlic, green chilies, radish (or turnips), red chili powder, asafetida (hing), and salt.

Some people add garam masala powder to their saag but I personaly don’t like it. Feel free to add some if you wish to.

You can always adjust the green chilies and red chili powder as per your liking.

Tempering – Temper the saag with a ghee tadka of onions and garlic. You can also add some cumin seeds to the tempering for added flavor.

How To Make Punjabi Sarson Ka Saag

Preparation

Start by preparing the green leaves.

Pluck the leaves from the stem and discard the thick stems.

Measure 200 g mustard leaves (sarson), 35 g spinach (palak), 35 g radish greens (mooli ke patte), 35 g chenopodium (bathua), and 35 g fenugreek leaves (methi).

Note – If you don’t have any of the above-mentioned greens, then just skip adding them.

Wash the leaves thoroughly 2-3 times with water to get rid of any mud in them. 

Drain well.

Cook the Greens

In A Pressure Cooker

Add the washed greens to a large pressure cooker. Press the green so that they fit in the cooker.

They will be reduced drastically in volume once cooked.

Since we will be blending the greens in a blender later, you don’t have to chop them.

Greens added to a pressure cooker.

Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 tablespoon chopped ginger, 2 tablespoon chopped garlic, ¼ cup peeled and chopped radish, 2 teaspoon chopped green chilies, 1 teaspoon salt, and a cup of water to the cooker.

Tomatoes, onions, chilies, ginger and garlic added to the cooker.

Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for one whistle on high heat.

Lid of the cooker closed.

Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker. Let the greens cool down slightly.

Cooked ingredients.

In An Instant Pot

Add the washed greens to the inner pot of the instant pot. Press the green so that they fit in the pot.

They will be reduced drastically in volume once cooked.

Since we will be blending the greens in a blender later, you don’t have to chop them.

Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 tablespoon chopped ginger, 2 tablespoon chopped garlic, ¼ cup peeled and chopped radish, 2 teaspoon chopped green chilies, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ cup of water to the instant pot.

Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 2 minutes at high pressure.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot. Let the greens cool down slightly.

In A Pot Over Stove Top

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Once it comes to a boil, add the ingredients and press them with a ladle to cover with water.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and let the greens cool down slightly.

Blend The Greens

Transfer the cooked and cooled greens to the large jar of a blender along with the leftover water.

Cooked ingredients added to a blender.

Blend to make a coarse paste (I like my saag a little coarse. If you like it smooth, blend the greens until smooth).

Blended to make a coarse paste.

Make The Saag

Transfer the paste to the same pressure cooker or another pan.

Paste transferred to a pan.

Dissolve 2 tablespoon makki ka atta (cornmeal or maize flour) in ½ cup water and add it to the cooker.

Cornmeal dissolved in water.

Add 1 teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon asafoetida and mix well.

Cornmeal paste, chili powder and asafetida added to the cooker.
Mixed well.

Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.

If the saag is thick for your liking, then add some water to it and cook for a minute. If it’s too thin, then cook it for 5-6 minutes until the consistency is right.

Check for salt and add more if required.

Ready saag.

Temper The Saag

Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a small pan over medium heat.

Ghee for tempering heating in a pan.

Once the ghee is hot, add ¼ cup finely chopped onions and 5-6 garlic cloves (smashed) and fry till golden brown. Keep stirring while frying.

Onion and garlic added to the pan.
Browned onions and garlic.

Pour the tadka over the saag and mix well. Serve hot with makke ki roti, jaggery, and white butter.

Tip – Save some tempering to garnish the saag.

Tempering poured over ready sarson ka saag.

Pro Tips By Neha

The only time-consuming part of this recipe is cleaning the greens. I normally clean them a day before I plan to cook the saag. These days, you also get cleaned and washed greens in some specialty 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.

This recipe can be easily halved, doubled, or tripled. You can make a big batch and keep using it for up to a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean the saag?

Pick up the leaves and discard the thick stems of the greens.

Take a large pot 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.

How to make sarson da saag recipe in a slow cooker?

Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and slow cook for 3-4 hours on high heat. Then blend and temper the saag.

Can we make sarson ka saag without spinach?

Spinach and bathua help to balance the bitterness of mustard leaves. You can skip adding them if you like that bitter taste.

Can we eat sarson ka saag in pregnancy?

Yes, 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.

Variations

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.

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. Turnips and radishes give a nice spicy kick to the salad and are highly recommended.

Serving Suggestions

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.

You can try Roti, Plain Tawa Paratha, Lachha Paratha, or even Missi Roti.

Do not forget to serve some white butter, jaggery, and onion along with it.

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 Mooli Ka Laccha with this meal.

Storage Suggestions

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.

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.

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Sarson Ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish made using 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.
4.80 from 10 votes

Punjabi Sarson ka Saag Recipe

Sarson Ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish made using 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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 200 grams mustard greens (sarson )
  • 35 grams spinach (palak)
  • 35 grams radish greens (mooli ke patte) (or turnip greens)
  • 35 grams chenopodium (bathua)
  • 35 grams fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup chopped radish (or turnip)
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 8-10 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2-3 chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons corn meal (makki ka atta)

For tempering

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • 3-4 cloves smashed garlic cloves
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Instructions 

Preparation

  • Pluck the leaves from the stem and discard the thick stems.
  • Measure 200 g mustard leaves (sarson), 35 g spinach (palak), 35 g radish greens (mooli ke patte), 35 g chenopodium (bathua), and 35 g fenugreek leaves (methi).
  • Note – If you don’t have any of the above-mentioned greens, then just skip adding them.
  • Wash the leaves thoroughly 2-3 times with water to get rid of any mud in them. 
  • Drain well.

Cook the Greens

  • Add the washed greens to a large pressure cooker. Press the green so that they fit in the cooker.
  • They will be reduced drastically in volume once cooked.
  • Since we will be blending the greens in a blender later, you don’t have to chop them.
  • Add tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, radish, chilies, salt, and a cup of water to the cooker.
  • Close the lid of the cooker and 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. Let the greens cool down slightly.

Blend The Greens

  • Transfer the cooked and cooled greens to the large jar of a blender along with the leftover water.
  • Blend to make a coarse paste (I like my saag a little coarse. If you like it smooth, blend the greens until smooth).

Make The Saag

  • Transfer the paste to the same pressure cooker or another pan.
  • Dissolve makki ka atta (maize flour) in ½ cup water and add it to the cooker.
  • Add red chili powder and asafoetida and mix well.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.
  • If the saag is thick for your liking, then add some water to it and cook for a minute. If it’s too thin, then cook it for 5-6 minutes until the consistency is right.
  • Check for salt and add more if required.

Temper The Saag

  • Heat ghee in a small pan over medium heat.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add onions and garlic and fry till golden brown. Keep stirring while frying.
  • Pour the tadka over the saag and mix well. Serve hot with makke ki roti, jaggery, and white butter.
  • Tip – Save some tempering to garnish the saag.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Cook the Greens In An Instant Pot
Add the washed greens to the inner pot of the instant pot. Press the green so that they fit in the pot.
They will be reduced drastically in volume once cooked.
Since we will be blending the greens in a blender later, you don’t have to chop them.
Add tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, radish, chilies, salt, and ½ cup of water to the instant pot.
Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 2 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot. Let the greens cool down slightly.
Cook the Greens In A Pot
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Once it comes to a boil, add the ingredients and press them with a ladle to cover with water.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and let the greens cool down slightly.
Notes
This recipe can be easily scaled up or down as per your requirement.
While mustard leaves are a must, you can always skip one or two other greens in this recipe if you can’t find them.
You can always adjust the green chilies and red chili powder as per your liking.
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 310mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1895IU, Vitamin C: 39.8mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 1.1mg
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13 Comments

  1. Thanx for recipe, looks delicious , traditional punjabi way of making sarson ka saag , my mom makes it like that, thanks for sharing !