Traditional Sindhi cuisine is one of the oldest cuisines of India. Most people associate Sindhi kadhi and papad as soon as they hear Sindhi food. However, there are many other gems in our kitchen which uses lentils. Our forefathers have always stressed on having green leafy vegetables and having healthy food. Having green vegetables is highly beneficial as it helps you avoid anemia. It also helps improve immunity. Hence, this Dal palak Sindhi recipe is one of the most popular dishes of our community. Most signature dishes of our cuisine contains lentils like dal pakwan, kadhi and dal ka paratha. We have rich meals and do not shy away with the use of nuts in our daily diet.
Here is a Sindhi Sai bhaji curry which ensures the body receives both iron and protein rich greens along with carbohydrates in rice. Learn to make this easy saag recipe here. Other Sindhi recipes include Kali mirch koki, Onion koki ,papad , bhuga chawar, , sindhi chauthe, sindhi besani ,sindhi tairi , Seyun patata and Sindhi khorak.
Who are Sindhis ?
Sindhi community are the descendants of Indus valley civilization. This community has survived the test of both the time and partition. Although, the diaspora got scattered, post the partition, they have preserved Sindhiyat wherever they settled.
Similarity with Telugu cuisine
The Telugu community also makes various lentils and greens combinations. palakura pappu is a dish very close to this spinach based lentils. In this case,we add tamarind juice and temper with dried red chilly,garlic and curry leaves. You can use tuvar or arhar/split pigeon peas lentil for it.
- Pressure cooker/ instant pot
- Potato masher
Sai bhaji ingredients
- Yellow mung dal/chana dal ,soaked in water
- Spinach leaves
- Ghee/ clarified butter/ oil if vegan
- Cumin seeds
- Grated ginger
- Turmeric powder
- Green chillies
- Coriander powder
- Red chili powder
- Kasoori methi optional
- Salt as per taste
- Heat ghee or oil in a pressure cooker. Add ginger, green chillies and chopped onions. Let it cook until pink.
- Cook tomatoes along with salt until it soften. Add all the spices.
3. Add all the vegetables along with lentils & water. Pressure cook for upto 3 whistles on a medium flame.
4. Mash the lentils.
Depending on your taste, you can make sai bhaji in different ways. Traditionally this is a palak chana dal Sindhi recipe. However, we use some moong dal also, as it is lighter to digest. Hence, it's also a moong dal palak recipe. Add little quantity of sorrel leaves ( khatta bhaji/ gongura), fenugreek leaves(methi) and dill leaves along with spinach. Accordingly, adjust the quantity of spinach in the recipe. Reduce the quantity of tomatoes if using khatta chukka or khatta bhaji. You can even add other greens like amaranth for flavor.
You can use ginger-garlic paste instead of ginger and garlic cloves if in a hurry. You may make this traditional Sindhi dish without chopped vegetables too.
Simple sai bhaji recipe can also be made if you are unwell. Sai bhaji without onion and garlic helps you regain strength and is light to digest too when made with moong dal. You can also add a pinch of asafoetida during tempering. Although heeng is not gluten-free, it helps aid digestion of lentils.
Alternatively, you can also make a one pot meal by adding rice to it and making sai bhaji pulao. Just add water accordingly so that rice is cooked soft.
You may also use any lentil of you choice. This palak curry can be made with masoor dal or red lentils. You can also use just tuvar or thoor dhal. Recipe of sai bhaji can also be made in instant pot.
You can store it for 1-2 days in refrigerator.
This Sindhi palak recipe is best served in dinner with rice, fried potatoes or aloo tuk, crispy rice papad, kheeche/khichiya, fried or roasted papad and boondi raita. Best combination of delicious sai bhaji with Green garlic rice or Bugha chawal or Tairi.It is a must have on Teejri or Kajri teej. It is best to squeeze a lemon juice on your lentils as vitamin C helps in Iron absorption.
Try more greens from Indian kitchen?
How to make Sindhi sai bhaji ?(video)
Another great recipe is seyal bhindi patata if you want to enjoy the curry and dal with roti.
Sindhi dal palak recipe | Sai bhaji sindhi recipe
- pressure cooker/ instant pot
- potato masher
- ½ cup yellow mung dal/channa dal dal soaked in water for 30 minutes.
- 250 grams Spinach chopped after removing stalks or baby spinach (around 5-6 cups of chopped spinach)
- 2 medium Tomatoes chopped
- 1 medium Onion finely chopped
- 1 capsicum finely chopped
- 1 medium size Carrot finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon ghee or oil if vegan
- Wash the lentils and soak in water for 30 mins,drain the excess water later.
- Remove the stalks of spinach.Chop it into smaller pieces, keep it aside.
- In a pressure cooker, heat the oil .Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Add chilli, ginger.Saute them for 10 secs.
- Now add onions and salt, until the onions turn pinkish in color.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 -10 mins.
- Once they soften,add the spices and carrots.
- Add the spinach followed by lentils and water.
- Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles on medium flame.
- Open the lid, mash it well with the whisker.Adjust its consistency to a semi-dry.
- Serve hot with plain white rice or Bhuggal Chawal.
Depending on your taste,add little quantity of khatta bhaji, fenugreek leaves and dill leaves along with spinach.
Accordingly adjust the quantity of spinach in the recipe.
Reduce the quantity of tomatoes if using Khatta chukka or khatta bhaji.
Spinach shrinks and leaves water when hot.
Add more water will make the recipe more liquid.
You can also blanch spinach and use it.
- Always wash your greens well to remove dirt. If it smells bad or is wilted, discard.
- Always reheat your leftover food before consumption.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
Sai means green, bhaji means vegetables in Sindhi. Hence, the name sai bhaji as it has greens in it.