Sarson ka Saag, or, as we say in my family, Sarson da saag, is a leafy-vegetable preparation from Punjab, in the northern-Indian regions of India. Traditionally a winter-time speciality, it is prepared with mustard greens and spinach, that are seasoned with onions, ginger, garlic and warm Indian spices. Sarson ka Saag is usually served with makki ki roti, which is a flatbread prepared with fine-ground cornmeal.
It’s a treat that I make for my family for Sunday brunches during winter-time. The rich and buttery Sarson ka Saag goes so well with the crisp and earthy Makki ki Roti, that my otherwise picky kids & hubby also forget that they’re eating healthy greens for a meal, and, enjoying them too:-) I like to serve it with Sweet & Spicy Lemon pickle and a boondi-raita. To me, this combination is at the top of my soul-food list!
Preserving the Green Color
Whenever I prepare any kind of green leafy vegetables, I like to preserve the bright green color and not have them turn ‘dark and brownish’ in the cooking process. The key is to not over-cook them, AND, not cover them while cooking. I have tried many different ways of making saag. I found that the key is that when I flash cook (add them to boiling water, remove and put them in ice-bath), or, microwave the greens and then season them, it cooks them perfectly, and preserves the color beautifully. That is why I never pressure cook the greens. I pressure cook the masala (seasoning mix), and add the greens to that.
In this recipe, I have prepared my seasoning in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow the steps and cook the masala in a heavy bottom chef’s Pan, cover and cook the masala for 10 minutes. Open the lid and follow the remaining instructions.
Sarson ka Saag is traditionally served with Makki ki Roti, a flatbread made with cornmeal. Here is an easy recipe, with step-by-step video instructions for homemade Makki ki Roti. But, if you do not have the time to make those, pair them with stone-ground corn tortillas from your local supermarket, and you will enjoy that combination too! To elevate the tortillas to another level, lightly grease a fry-pan, brush the corn tortillas with a little ghee, sprinkle a little cayenne on top, and lightly toast them. The end result gets pretty close to the classic Makki ki Roti.
Sarson Ka Saag (Spiced Mustard Greens)Print Recipe
- Greens(Rinse well, chop and microwave together for 2 mins)
- 1 bunch Sarson (Mustard Greens),stems removed, chopped, about 6 cups chopped
- 1 bunch spinach, stems removed and chopped, about 4 cups
- 2 green chillies
- Masala seasoning
- 2 teaspoons ghee/butter
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves garlic, grated/crushed)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Corn Meal/Flour (Makki)
Prepare the greens Rinse mustard greens and spinach leaves 2-3 times, to wash off any dirt. Remove the fibrous stems from mustard greens and chop the leaves roughly. Do the same for spinach leaves. In a microwave safe bowl, add chopped greens and 2 green chillies, and microwave for 2 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree the greens to a medium fine consistency, or according to your preference.
Prepare the masala Turn on Instant Pot/Pressure cooker. Heat oil on SAUTE mode. Add cumin and ginger-garlic paste and saute 30 seconds. Add chopped onion and saute another 30 seconds. Add salt, spices and water. Stir well. Cancel SAUTE. Close lid, valve set to sealing position and pressure cook for 2 minutes on Manual or Pressure Cook.
Season Saag/Greens Manually release pressure by turning the valve from Sealing to Venting position (QR). Open lid after pin drops. Turn on SAUTE. Add fine-ground cornmeal and saute for one minute, to cook the flour through. If the mix looks dry, add a little as needed. Add the pureed greens and saute for 2 minutes to blend the flavors together. Serve warm with Makki ki Roti (cornmeal flatbread), or Corn Tortillas or Naan.