“Sarsoon ka Saag” is a vegetarian dish mostly prevalent in Punjab province of Pakistan/India usually made from mustard greens (sarson) and spices. It is regarded as a traditional dish, and is usually served with ”makki ki roti” (literally translates as unleavened corn bread) topped with butter or more traditionally with ghee (clarified butter). No matter how many advanced skills I would master, I will never be able to detach myself from my roots. Not only it's an authentic recipe of “ Sarsoon Ka Saag,” it’s the memory that I have of enjoying it in cold mid-winter days/nights.
“Pasrur” is a quiet and small suburb of Sialkot, where mostly my dad’s side of the family resides. It is still a part of farm-to-table approach. I remember my dad’s cousin coming to see us with a basket full of mustard greens. My mom is famous for her “Saroon ka Saag” recipe, and people rave about it. She would whip up a whole batch, and it was the most delicious pot of comfort food you could ever get your hands on... Authentic and pure, makes you nostalgic. Some people would like to add spinach; i do too. It gives it a much-needed body and flavor. It’s a simple addition of green chilies that gives it an authentic flavor. Love in every BITE.
Is there any shortcut method of preparing it? Sorting, washing, chopping, and then cooking it. Hmm, I think I’ve found the way around it. A pack of already washed ready to go mustard greens at your nearby grocer. In today’s world of curry in a hurry, if you want to savor the taste of an authentic "Sarson ka Saag," you can totally eliminate the pre-prep and get to the cooking right away.
Sarson Ka Saag
Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1 hr
2 -10oz boxes of mustard greens (defrosted)
1-cup spinach (defrosted)
1/3-cup fenugreek (methi leaves) chopped
5 medium green chilies whole
½ tsp. red chili powder
½ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. maize flour
Salt as required
For the tempering:
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 tbsp. oil
In a medium saucepan add all the ingredients listed under mustard greens except for maize flour.
Cover and let the pressure cook and cook for 35 to 40 mins. Cover and let the greens cook till done. Check occasionally.
Pour the greens along with 1-cup water and maize flour in a blender.
Blend until still some texture stay, I like mine not too smooth like a baby food ☺.
In another pan, pour the pureed greens. Simmer for a good 25-30 mins.
In another small pan, heat oil or ghee. Add chopped onions and fry them till light brown, add into the prepared saag. Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Serve "Sarson ka Saag" hot with chopped onions, whole green chilies and a dollop of butter on the saag with "makki ki roti."
Makki Ki Roti
2 cups flour/corn meal
½ cup water
½ tsp salt
Oil for frying
2-3 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add half of the water and knead. Add more water if required.
Knead into a firm dough.
Form medium sized balls of the dough.
Roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.
Fry lightly on a griddle with ghee till well browned and cooked.
Top with butter and serve hot.