Food

SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD LEAVES MASH)

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Here in Punjab, winter season means time to cook Sarson Ka Saag at every home.  Everyone wait for this season to enjoy this loving delicacy with Bajra Ki Roti. Saag is enjoyed with fresh homemade white butter or ghee, accompanied by radish, jaggery and fresh green chillies. This is the typical recipe of sarson ka saag having minimal ingredients, followed by Punjabi families at home. It’s a lengthy process to prepare this dish from washing to cutting and then simmering on low heat, but believe me it’s worth it.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAAG:

Mustard Green Leaves (Sarson):     500 gms
Spinach Leaves (Palak):     250 gms
Bathua Leaves (Bathua):    100 gms
Water:    250 ml
Whole Green Chillies:       2-3 pcs
Garlic (Whole but Peeled):   40 gms
Ghee:     30 gms
Garlic (Crushed):   30 gms
Ginger (Grated):     40 gms
Tomatoes:     1 pc (Medium Size)
Maize Flour:     3 tblsp
Salt to taste

PRE-PREPARATIONS:

Wash and clean mustard, spinach and bathua leaves in fresh water for 3 to 4 times to get rid of dust on leaves.
Dry the leaves and roughly chop.
Wash, peel and grate the ginger.
Wash and peel the garlic (As mentioned above, crush some quantity of garlic in mortar & pestle)
Wash and cut the green chillies into half.
Wash and chop the tomatoes.

METHOD PREPARATION:

Place all the three chopped leaves in a large pot.
Pour over the water along with whole garlic, cut green chillies, and salt.
No need to stir it and place the pot on medium high heat.
When the boil comes, reduce the heat to low and simmer it for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, turn off the flame and keep aside for 15 minutes, just to cool it down.
When you feel the mixture is little warm, stir it continuously with a wooden ladle or whisker to get a rough texture.
Transfer the mixture into the pot again, add maize flour and simmer again for 15 minutes on medium heat.
Heat the ghee in another pan or kadahi.
Add crushed garlic and cook till light brown in colour.
Add grated ginger and cook for another 1 minute.

Now add chopped tomatoes and cook again for approx. 8 minutes till the raw flavour from tomatoes goes away (There is no need to cook it completely or turn into a mushy texture). Now transfer this tempering into the pot and simmer again for 15 minutes. Please do not forget to keep any lid on the pot because at this stage this liquid splutter and is unbearable hot which may bounce.

After 15 minutes, Sarson Ka Saag is ready to serve.Serve hot with Makki Roti (Maize Flour Chapatti) or Bajra Roti (Pearl Millet Chapatti)

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
Saag must be served with a dollop of white butter on top or desi ghee (clarified butter) on top.
Radish salad & fresh green chilly goes perfect along with saag.
In Punjab, this dish is always served with ghee shakkar (Hot melted clarified butter on jaggery powder).

Chef Vikas Chawla

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