Winter is here in India and it doesn't seem to leave where I stay in Australia. Best part of the winter is the treats it brings along. Each season has a special dish a special veggie and fruit. It is mangoes for the summer. Carrots and greens best denote the winter. Greens come in all variety mustard (sarson ka saag), spinach (palak), amaranth (totakura) and sorrel/rosella (gongura). Each full of Iron.
While thotakura or amaranth greens is famous in South, Mustard or sarson is the greens ,which speaks to you up north. Saag or Sarson ka saag is a dish we have all grown up with.
Households all across Punjab serve Makki di roti and sarson da saag during winter. It is a dish which comes from rustic roots and flavors closest to heart. It has an earthen taste. Simple flavor and hearty meal makes everyone happy. Traditional meal has loads of white butter or ghee. You may also use oil if choosing to go vegan.
Sarso ka saag or mustard leaves curry is a great way to have greens. We cook it along with other greens like bathua, palak. Serve this with maize flatbread or Makke ki roti. Thankfully we get mustard so easily here too.Greens are great for Iron and simple to cook too. You can simply blanch and store it over weekend. Temper and you are ready for a meal instantly.
You can know about the popularity of this dish with this famous punchline from Amrish Puri. "Sarson da Saag te Makki di Roti.. Kurta Lamba te Voti Chhoti".
This line from DDLJ is all about memories of cold winters of Punjab. One of my favourite movies which celebrates tradition as much as the love story.
- Pan for curry
- Hand blender / masher
- chopper optional
- Griddle / tava for making roti
- mixing bowl or stand mixer
- baking sheet / parchment paper
Ingredients for sarso ka saag
The core ingredient is sarson , i.e. mustard leaves. You can cook them with some water in a pot(covered with lid) or in a pressure cooker.
Core ingredients are
- Boiled mustard greens
- tomato puree
- chopped onions
- boiled spinach.
How to make sarson ka saag?
- In a pan,heat oil or ghee for tempering. Add chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chili cook until the onion turns pink.
2. Add chopped tomatoes to this along with salt.
3. Cook till tomatoes soften.
4. Add the boiled/blanched spinach and sarson.
5. Mix well and let it cook in the open pan. Once it has softened, mash it with a hand masher or hand blender.
6. Optionally, you may choose to add 2 tbsp. makai flour (unrefined corn flour) , this will help to thicken the curry.
Ingredients for makke ki roti
- corn flour / makke atta / maize flour
- warm water
How to make makki di roti?
- Take makki atta (maize flour) , add warm water to it
2. Knead the makki ka atta into a smooth dough, if the dough is not smooth then the roti will break while rolling out.
3.Roll out the roti on a grease / baking paper
4. Heat a griddle / tava , start cooking the roti
5. Flip it once cooked from one side
6. Cook the roti on the gas flame directly, you may cook on the tava if you do not have gas cooktop. Once cooked, brush with ghee,serve warm makki roti and saag.
Store the curry in refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also knead the dough and keep it in an air tight container for 4-5 days.
Always heat the left overs before you serve.
Looking for more iron-rich greens? Indian recipes are full of greens. Try these below.
- Saag paneer/Palak paneer
- Gujarati Undhiyu
- Sindhi style Sata bhajiyun
- Sindhi sai bhaji/dal palak
- Vegan palak soup
sarso ka saag makki ki roti recipe
Ingredients for sarso da saag recipe
- 4 cup boiled sarso/mustard leaves
- 1 cup boiled palak/spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 2 tbsp. makai ka atta/maize flour optional
Tempering ingredients for punjabi saag recipe
- 1 cup tamatar/tomatoes
- 1 large pyaz/onion
- 1 tablespoon adrak/ginger
- 2 cloves lassan/garlic chopped
- 1 large hari mirchi/green chillies
- 2 tablespoon ghee/ mustard oil if vegan
- salt as per taste
For Makke ki roti
- 2 cups makai ka atta/maize flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- water for kneading
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add mustard and spinach leaves.
- Now,add maize flour and mix well.
- Cook for 15 mins. Keep it aside.
- In another pan,heat oil or ghee for tempering.Add chopped onion,ginger,garlic,green chillies cook until the onion turns pink.
- Add chopped tomatoes to this along with salt.Cook till tomatoes soften.
- Add the boiled/blanched spinach and sarson
- Mix well and let it cook in the open pan.Once it has soften,mash it with a hand masher or hand blender
- Optionally, you may choose to add 2 tablespoon makai flour (unrefined corn flour) , this will help to thicken the mix.
- Serve hot with makke ki roti, mango pickle,buttermilk.
For Makke ki roti
- Take makki flour, add warm water to it.Knead into a smooth dough, if the dough is not smooth then the roti will break while rolling out.
- Roll out the roti on a grease / baking paper.Heat a griddle / tava , start cooking the roti
- Flip it once cooked from one side.Cook the roti on the gas flame directly, you may cook on the tava if you do not have gas cooktop
- Once cooked, brush with ghee,serve warm makki roti and saag.
Or, you can pressure cook them with 2 cups of water for 1 whistle. You can mix little aata/wheat flour if makke ki roti, this will make it little easier to cook.
Makki flour in english is called cornflour . This cornflour is different is the coursely ground flour and not the fine white cornflour that we use to thicken the gravy.
Makki flour is also know as maize flour in english.
You can microwave it for 30 seconds or heat it in a preheated air fryer for 1 minute. One can also heat it on a tava / griddle until it is hot. You may put some butter on it once done, if vegetarian.
It is rich in vitamins A, C B Complex and K.It is rich in fibre as well.
Store it in a cool dry place.
Once your saag is ready, let it cool to room temperature. Freeze it in an air tight jar. Temper it fresh whenever you are ready to eat.
Add more spinach if you do not want your saag to taste too bitter.
Rinse them well and store them in a ziplock after wrapping them in a paper or tea towel.