Sarson ka Saag & Makke Ki Roti
Curried Mustard leaves & Spinach saag for the authentic Punjabi taste
Think Punjabi food and the first vegetarian dish that comes to mind is the winter special “sarson ka saag” enjoyed with thick makke ki roti (Unrefined maize flour) and home-made white butter and jaggery. Any Punjabi home maker will spend endless hours cutting and chopping the mustard leaves to her satisfaction. Not to forget are the thick mustard stems that need to peeled and chopped fine. A handful of spinach leaves and bathuwa (lamb’s quarter leaves) are thrown in for a smoother texture. It is cooked, mashed, and then tempered with spices to be served with a dollop of good old home made white butter on the top!
- 500g Mustard leaves
- 200g spinach leaves
- 200g bathua leaves
- 7-8 cloves garlic
- 1” piece ginger
- 2 large onions
- 2 large tomatoes
- 3-4 green chilies
- 2 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 1tsp red chili powder (or less as per taste)
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp makke ka atta (unrefined corn flour)
For the make ki roti:
- 3 cups Makke ka Atta (coarse yellow maize flour)
- ½ tsp Salt
- hot water as required
- Butter as required
- Wash and de stem all the leaves.
- The thicker stems of the mustard leaves need to be peeled and chopped.
- Wash well in plenty of water and drain.
- Finely chop 1 onion, the garlic and the ginger.
- Boil 5 cups of water in a pan. Blanch the spinach leaves and the bathauwa leaves for 3-4 minutes and remove.
- Refresh in cold water.
- Squeeze the water and blitz in the blender to a coarse paste.
- Finely chop the mustard leaves.
- Pressure cook the mustard leaves with 1 cup water for 10 minutes or till mushy.
- Finely chop the onions, ginger, garlic and the tomatoes. Slit the green chilies.
- Heat the ghee in a pan and add the onions.
- Saute the onions over medium heat till light golden in color.
- Add the garlic, ginger and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the red chili powder, garam masala and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and salt and cook on medium flame till oil separates from the masala.
- Add the finely chopped greens and the slit green chilies and mix well.
- Allow to simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Keep mashing all the while as it cooks.
- Mix makke ka atta in a quarter cup water and add to the saag and mix well. Simmer further for 10 minutes.
- Remove from fire and serve hot with a dollop of white butter and the makke ki roti with some jaggery on the side.
For the roti:
- Mix in the salt in the flour.
- Use moderately hot water to knead a soft smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into lemon sized balls and roll out each ball to a disc of about ¼” thickness.
- Cook the rotis on a medium hot griddle from both sides till the roti is well cooked.
- Remove from heat and smear butter on the rotis and serve hot with Sarson ka saag.