Thursday, March 24, 2011
A Couple of years back my exposure to “Saag” was limited to eating it at restaurants. Sarson ka Saag, Saag Aloo, Saag Paneer were a family favorite but it never occurred to me to cook them at home. For one thing I didn’t know where I would find “Sarson” in the U.S. and more importantly I had accepted defeat before trying. It seemed to me like an typical North Indian Dish and I wasn’t going to get it, so I thought.
My friend Monika Singhi Celly of Vegetarian Surprises one day enlightened me that Mustard greens were “Sarson” and “Saag” was one of the easiest dishes to cook.
Taking a cue from her recipe, I cooked Saag at home and it still remains a family favorite. I guess I can take it as a compliment!
Mustard Greens – 1 bunch
Chopped Spinach – 1 cup
Broccoli florets - 1 cup
Ginger – a big piece
Green chilies – 4 medium
Finely chopped onion – 1 medium
Water – 2 cups
Cumin seeds – half tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt and pepper
Oil – 1 tsp
Wash all the greens thoroughly. Chop the mustard greens roughly. Combine them with spinach, broccoli, ginger, green chilies and water in a pressure cooker. Turn the heat on and let everything cook together. Turn the heat off after two whistles. Alternatively cook it on the gas stove in a covered pan till the greens are done. Let the greens cool and then puree them in a mixture to form a thick paste. In a pan heat the oil and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle before adding asafetida and onions. Cook the onions for 3 minutes till they turn soft and gently stir in the green paste. Salt and pepper to taste, Saag is ready to eat.
· Best with Makki (maize flour) Roti
· Plain Roti/Paratha
· You can go ahead and make this dish with only mustard greens.
· Use of Onions is also optional, traditionally only leftover Saag is seasoned with Onions the next day.
· Add Cooked Potatoes/Paneer to make Saag Aloo/Saag Paneer
· One of the biggest health benefits of Mustard Greens is cancer prevention.
· Mustard Greens are a good source of Vitamin K