Buttery, creamy mustard greens cooked with aromatics like onions, ginger and garlic, and seasoned with toasted garam masala. This recipe for Instant Pot Saag, or Sarson ka Saag, is a winter-time classic from the northern-Indian region.
I like to serve Sarson ka Saag with Makki ki Roti, a flatbread prepared with fine-ground cornmeal.
It's preparation and flavor is very similar to a homemade corn tortilla.
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, which is yogurt side.
To me, this combination is at the top of my soul-food list!
How to Preserve the Green Color in Saag?
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 this saag recipe.
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.
To make this a vegan recipe, use light olive oil instead of ghee or butter.
Ideal Pairing for Instant Pot Saag: 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 and cumin on top, and lightly toast them.
The end result gets pretty close to the classic Makki ki Roti.
Serve this combo with some Sweet and Spicy lemon Pickle to round out the dish!
Sarson Ka Saag | Spiced Mustard Greens
- 6 cups Sarson (Mustard Greens) : stems removed and chopped
- 4 cups spinach : stems removed and chopped
- 2 green chillies
- 2 teaspoons ghee or butter (or light olive oil for vegan)
- 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
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder optional
- 2-3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder adjust to taste
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons corn meal or corn 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 or Pressure cooker. Heat oil on SAUTE mode. Add cumin and ginger-garlic paste and saute 30 seconds. Then, add chopped onion and saute another 30 seconds. Finally, add salt, spices and water. Stir well. Press "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.