Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Mustard Leaves Sag, Curry (Sarson ka Saag)

This dish originally comes from the Punjab region of India, but is now popular all over Northern India. During mustard growing season, green fields of Punjab and North India are covered with ‘sarson ke phool’, the yellow mustard flowers. Green leaves of mustard are used like spinach and made into a delicious sag/saag. It is served by many 'dhabas', the roadside truckers restaurants. Serves 4-6

  • 500 gm. ‘sarson ka sag’ (green mustard leaves)
  • 100 gm. fresh spinach or palak leaves
  • 100 gm. fenugreek or methi leaves (if fresh not available, use 2 tbs. dry 'kasoori methi'
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped (1 heaped tbs. grated). Pieces of ginger, rather than ground ginger, taste nice in this dish.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or finely chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 green chillies, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 1 level tsp. turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbs. maize/corn meal (flour) or makka atta
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • For tempering:
  • 2-3 tbs. ghee or olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • A pinch of hing or asafoetida
  • 2 medium onions (250-300 gm.), peeled and grated or chopped finely.
  • 3-4 whole dry red chillies
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. chilli powder (to taste)
  • Clean and wash mustard, fenugreek and spinach leaves well. Drain and chop roughly.
  • Boil the leaves with garlic, ginger, green chillies, turmeric, salt and a little water for 20-30 minutes. You can pressure cook them for 4-5 whistles/pressures/minutes. Turn heat off and cool.
  • Place in a blender, along with corn flour, and grind to a paste.
  • Cook in a pan for a further 10-15 minutes, with the lid closed (it splashes a lot), until it is bubbling gently.
  • Tempering or tarka:
  • Heat ghee or oil in a tarka ladle or small pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and asafoetida and wait for seeds to splutter or turn brown.
  • Add onions and fry until nicely browned. Add whole red chillies and chilli powder, stir quickly with a small spoon and pour over the hot sag.
  • Serve hot, with Makka Roti (corn bread) or Tandoori Roti or Missi Roti and a piece of jagary or gur, with lashings of fresh butter.
Note: If you can't get hold of mustard leaves, fresh 'cabbage greens' leaves are a good substitute.

by: Mamta Gupta

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