Today we move on from Rawalpindi in Punjab, Pakistan to Punjab India. For the third combo of the week, I have one of the most famous food combos from the state of Punjab, sarson ka saag with makki ka roti. This combo is favorite among the locals in Punjab, both in India & Pakistan. Saag is green leaf vegetable curry. Sarso is mustard and sarson ka saag is mustard leaves curry. Mustard leaves are seasonal and available only in winters. These leaves are bitter in taste and to mellow the bitterness, it is cooked with other leafy vegetables such as spinach. Bathua known as lamb’s quarters in english is also added to sarson ka saag along with spinach. Since I could not get my hands on bathua, I used only spinach.
I made makki ka roti to go with the saag. I made it over the weekend for myself and had some leftover saag. That evening I had only saag and Mr.U reluctantly ate it with roti. He liked the saag so much that roti & saag was his lunch the following day. He kept on saying that he liked this green curry and would not mind eating it once in a while. Next time I make it, I will cut back on butter but wonder if it would taste this good with less butter 🙁
Saag was very spicy and please adjust the seasoning to taste and I substituted mustard leaves with broccoli rabe. Next day this was my lunch; roti, sarson ka saag, beans fry, sliced cucumber and onion. Below is the Instagram picture of my lunch.
Makki De Roti recipe here
Sarson da Saag
Adapted from: Ribbons’s to Pasta
Cooking the Greens -
- 100 grams Mustard Leaves or Sarso, chopped or 2 ¾ cup chopped Mustard Leaves (I used broccoli rabe ~ Rapini)
- 50 - 70 grams Spinach, chopped or 1 ¾ cup chopped Spinach
- 2 - 3 Green Chilies (Though I used 3, I would recommend 2 chilies)
- ¾” Ginger chopped or 1 ½ - 2 tsp. chopped Ginger
- 1-2 Cloves of Garlic (I used 2 big cloves)
- 1 medium sized or 150 grams Tomato chopped, about ¾ cup when chopped
- 1 ½ - 2 cups Water (I used 2 cups but recommend 1 ½ cups)
- 1 - 1 ½ tbsp. Oil
- ½ medium sized Onion chopped or ⅓ cup chopped Onions
- 2 tsp.Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp. Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp. Chili Powder
- ¼ tsp. Garam Masala (I used store bought garam masala)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ tsp. Jeera Powder
- 1 tbsp. Makki ka Atta ~ Maize Flour (I used yellow corn flour from the Indian store)
- 2 - 3 tsp. Butter (I used 2 tsp.)
- 1 teaspoon Butter + 1 tsp. Oil (can use butter instead of oil)
- ⅛ Hing ~ Asafoetida
- ¼ - ½ tsp. Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- Cooking the greens - I used broccoli rabe instead of mustard leaves. Pluck the leaves and discard the stem. Trim the ends of the spinach. The measures listed in the ingredient list is after trimming and plucking the leaves.
- Wash the leaves several times to wash away the dirt from the greens.
- Take the green leaves, green chilies, chopped ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a pressure cook with 1 ½ - 2 cups water. I used 2 cups and after pressure cooking felt 1 ½ cups or less would have been sufficient.
- Pressure cook until the greens are soft and mushy. I pressure cooked for 5 whistles, reduce the flame to low and cooked for additional 3 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally. When the greens cool down, put in a blend and puree it. Do not make a fine paste and keep it on the coarse side. One can use an immersion blender to puree the cooked greens.
- Seasoning - Heat oil in a pan and saute onion until translucent.
- Add ginger garlic and saute until the raw smell is gone.
- Add coriander powder, chili powder, salt, cumin powder, garam masala and mix well.
- Add cooked greens, mix well and bring to a boil.
- Mix maize flour with 1 - 2 tablespoon of water and make a paste.
- Gradually add maize flour paste along with butter and mix well.
- Reduce the heat and cook until butter floats and the curry reaches the required consistency. I cooked for about 7 - 10 minutes.
- Tempering - In a separate pan heat butter + oil in a pan. Add all the ingredients listed under tempering.
- Pour it over the saag and serve it with makki ka roti, sliced onion and cucumber, and a glass of lassi or buttermilk.
- Mustard leaves are bitter in taste and a good substitute is broccoli rabe, which is also bitter in taste. In fact, the Indian store where I do my groceries had labeled broccoli rabe as saag.
- To mellow the bitterness of the mustard leaves, spinach is used. 2:1 mustard leaves to spinach is used and if bathua is used, the ratio is 4:2:1 mustard leaves to spinach to bathua.
- A small piece of turnip can also be used. Chop and cook the turnip along with the greens.
- My saag was very spice and as we love spicy food, we relished it. Please adjust spices to owns heat tolerance level.
This day in 2014: Czech Republic - Hunter's Mushroom Soup
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56
Simply Tadka says
One of mine favorite recipe in indian cuisine.. look so inviting
Suma Gandlur says
I haven't mustered the courage to try a sarson ka saag because of it's flavor. However this is is one classic combo as you mentioned, for Punjabis.
Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille) says
looks like the perfect comfort food meal. wish I had this last week when I was sick
Usha your platter is making me wish I could like the screen...honest but then I hav eto set an example to my kids will not do it. Delicious saag.
That is one hearty, comforting and classic combo. This is the only dish that I like broccoli rabe in, otherwise I don't like it's bitter taste. Awesome combo choice Usha.
Gayathri Kumar says
I have heard so much of this popular combination, but as I don't get mustard leaves here, I never tried. Now I know I can sub it with some other greens. Your saag and roti look so yum..
Wow..A recipe with mustard leaves..again totally new to me Usha..As i said in Srivalli space, i'm gonna learn about lot of new ingredients, their usage and wonderful recipes from this Mega BM..It's time to learn for me..Loved your presentation and would love to know how it tastes..
That's a tempting platter Usha. Like Srivalli said, I have to grow mustard just to make this saag...
Even i dont get sarson leaves here, wish i get those greens here to give a try to this beautiful combo dish.. Love that last click, just inviting me.
Vaishali Sabnani says
Wow Usha, the platter looks so tempting! Wish the winters just comes in quickly. I am so tempted to eat, if only there wasn't a screen. Thanks for trying dear.
Sneha datar says
A classic and all time favorite dish with new additions.
I second Harini yaar. I don't get mustard leaves at times. And you know of my friend she adds a little bit of cabbage and broccoli along with mustard leaves.. lot of variations naa. Great recipe
Wow! broccoli rabe instead of mustard leaves? very interesting substitute.
Wow , I want to eat it now.So delicious.Our fav.We didn't had it since one and half year.Very nice pictures Usha.
Wow that platter looks so inviting and love those tumbler and saag bowl so beautiful
Amazing platter Usha..we loved the saag when I had made it last for the regional cuisine..since we do not get the saag here, I grew it in my pot..guess I will have to do it again..good that Mr U liked it..
that is such a popular combo!!! super delicious