Sarson ka Saag

Sarson Ka Saag aka spicy mustard greens is a winter staple in Northern India. It’s usually served with makki roti (a flatbread made with maize flour), a dollop of butter and makes a nutritious meal!

sarson ka saag served in a iron kadhai with makki roti and sliced radish and green chilies

If there’s one thing that I really like about Indian cooking, it’s how much we cook using seasonal ingredients. I think that is so important!

One should always cook and eat seasonal because the taste of these ingredients when they are in season is so much better than when they are not season. Like the sweet berries, they taste amazing in summers but not much during winters. Isn’t it?

In India, during winters there are a lot of seasonal dishes like gajar halwa, methi paratha, peanut chikki and this Sarson ka Saag!

This time of the year, the market is full of leafy greens like spinach, sarson (mustard greens), bathua (chenopodium), methi (fenugeek) etc. Since these leafy greens are in abundance, there are used in number of recipes and one of my absolute favorites is Punjabi Saron ka Saag!

As soon as December would arrive, I would be after my mom to make sarson ka saag and makki is roti. The hot saag and rotis topped with dollop of butter and served with jaggery on the side used to be such a special meal.

What Is Sarson ka Saag

Saron ka saag is a winter delicacy made in North India with fresh mustard greens and other green leafy vegetables.

Sarson = mustard greens, so it’s the key component of this saag.

Saag = creamed spiced greens.

Since mustard greens are slightly bitter on their own, this saag is usually cooked with other greens to balance the bitterness. Greens like spinach, bathua, methi etc. are commonly used.

sarson ka saag in a small clay bowl with several other bowls filled with pickle, butter, jaggery

I usually use 2:1 ratio of mustard greens to other greens. So for this recipe I used 500 grams greens, out of which it was 250 grams mustard greens and the remaining 250 grams were a mix of all other greens (spinach, turnip and collard greens in this case).

Here I do not get bathua and methi all the time, so I used a mixed bag of greens that I got from Trader Joe’s. It had spinach, turnip and collard greens along with mustard greens. It worked really well for this recipe.

Of course, if you find bathua and methi, feel free to use them along with spinach. If you don’t find anything, just mustard greens and spinach would also work.

Sarson ka saag is very lightly spiced, it’s the fresh flavor of the greens that shines through and that’s what make it so delicious!

How To Make Saron ka Saag

Making sarson ka saag is super easy, it’s only the prep work that takes time. In India, whenever we would get these leafy greens, they would be really dirty so cleaning them would take some time.

Once the greens are cleaned, they are pressure cooked along with onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, green chilies and radish until really soft. Once cooked through, you puree the greens.

Some people prefer really smooth saag while others like it to be little coarse. If you want it completely smooth, use a high speed blender. I used my immersion blender and it worked just fine.

The pureed saag is them cooked for several minutes until it thickens.

The final tadka at the end is crucial. I usually use garlic, hing, dried red chilies and onion in my tadka. You can add ingredients as per your taste. And yes, you have to use ghee for the tempering. I cannot imagine eating saag without ghee!

Sarson ka saag tastes even better the next-day, at least that’s what I think!

a thali with sarson ka saag in a bowl along with makki ki roti and several other bowls of pickle, butter, jaggery and ghee

How To Serve Sarson ka Saag

In all of north India, especially Punjab and Delhi, you would find sarson ka saag served with makki ki roti and fresh white butter.

Makki ki roti is a flatbread made with maize flour, it’s little tricky to make especially if you are not mixing in any wheat flour.

It’s smeared with ghee and enjoyed with the saag, it’s a classic match and in my opinion, should always be eaten together.

You can of course eat saag with roti, naan or rice too.

Can You Freeze Sarson ka Saag

Yes, you may, just don’t do the tadka in that case. Pressure cook the saag, puree it and then let it come to room temperature.

Once it has cooled down to room temperature, store in a freezer bag and freeze.

When you want to eat it, thaw the saag and then do the tadka before serving the saag.

Method

1- Wash and chop the greens and then add them to the pressure cooker. Then add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies.

2- Add tomatoes and white radish.

3- Then add the red chili powder and salt.

4- Add 1.5 cups water and stir.

sarson ka saag recipe step by step picture collage

5-  Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles on high heat (using a traditional stove-top pressure cooker) until everything is soft and done.If using the Instant Pot (like I did here), cook on high pressure for 5 mins and then let the pressure release naturally.

Alternatively, you can also cook everything on a stove top for 20-25 minutes until soft.

6- Open the pressure cooker/instant pot and then use an immersion blender to puree the saag. If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait for it cool down a bit and then puree using your regular blender.

7- Blend to a coarse paste. You may blend it to super fine texture using a high speed blender. I prefer it little coarse.

8- Transfer saag to another pot on stove top over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of maize flour to the saag and mix, this helps in thickening the saag.

sarson ka saag recipe step by step picture collage

9- Set heat to low and let the saag simmer for 20 to 25 minutes on low heat. It will thicken as it simmers.

10- For the final tadka, heat a small pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot add ghee to it and then add hing and chopped garlic cloves. Saute for few seconds and then add the chopped onion and dried red chilies.

11- Cook until the onions and garlic turn light golden brown. Add the coriander powder and garam masala and mix.

12- Transfer the tadka/tempering to the saag and mix.

sarson ka saag recipe step by step picture collage

Serve sarson ka saag with makki roti, sliced onion, jaggery and white butter! YUM!

sarson ka saag served in a iron kadhai with makki roti, jaggery and ghee on the side

If you’ve tried this Sarson ka Saag Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Sarson ka Saag

sarson ka saag served in a iron kadhai with makki roti and sliced radish and green chilies
Manali
Sarson ka Saag is a winter staple in Northern India. Spiced greens are pureed and then served with makki roti (flatbread made with maize flour) and dollop of butter. It makes a wonderful vegetarian nutritious meal!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 135 kcal

Ingredients
  

To Pressure Cook

  • 250 grams mustard greens
  • 250 grams mixed greens like spinach, bathua (chenopodium) I used mix of spinach, turnip and collard greens
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 2 green chilies or to taste, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 3 inch white radish (mooli) chopped, around 1/2 cup chopped radish
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1.5 cups water

2 tablespoons maize flour (makki ka atta)

    Tempering/Tadka

    • 2-3 tablespoons ghee
    • 1/4 teaspoon hing also known as asafetida
    • 3-4 large garlic cloves chopped
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 2 dried red chilies
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

    Instructions
     

    • Wash and chop the greens and then add them to the pressure cooker. Then add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies.
    • Add tomatoes and white radish. Then add the red chili powder and salt. Add 1.5 cups water and stir.
    • Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles (in a traditional stove top pressure cooker) on high heat until everything is soft and done.
      If using the Instant Pot (like I did here), cook on high pressure for 5 mins and then let the pressure release naturally. Alternatively, you can also cook everything on a stove top for 20-25 minutes until soft.
    • Open the pressure cooker/instant pot and then use an immersion blender to puree the saag. If you don't have an immersion blender, wait for it cool down a bit and then puree using your regular blender.
    • Blend to a coarse paste. You may blend it to super fine texture using a high speed blender. I prefer it little coarse.
    • Transfer saag to another pot on stove top over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of maize flour to the saag and mix, this helps in thickening the saag.
    • Set heat to low and let the saag simmer for 20 to 25 minutes on low heat. It will thicken as it simmers.
    • For the final tadka, heat a small pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot add ghee to it and then add hing and chopped garlic cloves. Saute for few seconds and then add the chopped onion and dried red chilies.
    • Cook until the onions and garlic turn light golden brown. Add the coriander powder and garam masala and mix.
    • Transfer the tadka/tempering to the saag and mix.
    • Serve sarson ka saag with makki roti, sliced onion, jaggery and white butter! 

    Video

    Notes

    Make it Vegan: use oil in place of ghee.
    Make it gluten-free: make sure the hing (asafetida) that you use is gluten-free. Rest of the recipe is gluten-free as it is.
    Use a ratio of 2:1 for mustard greens to other greens. 
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 731mgPotassium: 705mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 8020IUVitamin C: 71.1mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 2.8mg
    Keyword sarson ka saag
    Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

    32 thoughts on “Sarson ka Saag

    1. 5 stars
      This looks great and I will prepare it tomorrow. For the hing, I have both, the natural resin and the powdered which, of course, is mixed with other things to keep it powdery. Which should I use in this recipe? it calls for 1/4 teaspoon.

    2. 5 stars
      I’m so excited to try this! I saw some beautiful Mustard Greens at the store & bought them on a whim. Checked your site for a recipe and now I just have 2 questions…
      1) Can I substitute your frozen tomato onion masala in this? If so, how much would the recipe call for?
      2) Can I use cornmeal for maize flour or would besan work?
      Thanks Manali!

      1. Hi Jules!
        1) around 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the frozen masala should be good!
        2) yes you can substitute besan, should be okay…I would just pan fry besan for 5 minutes on medium heat to get rid of that raw smell and then add to the saag once it’s cooked.

        hope this helps! and you enjoy the saag 🙂

    3. I used mustard greens, collard greens, and spinach but it smelled awful after steaming. The dish tastes good but does not smell very good. Is that normal?

    4. 5 stars
      Excellent recipe – used mustard greens, collard, turnip greens and spinach – followed everything as mentioned and came out excellent and yummy. This recipe is for keeps and will be used over and over. Thanks

    5. 5 stars
      This is the real deal! As a non-Indian preparing this dish, I have made saag a few times following other recipes and it just hasn’t come out like what I eat in a restaurant. This one is so easy and tastes great, especially when adding some toasted paneer. I think it must be the extra finishing steps. I have made it three times now with various mixed greens including: broccoli and cauliflower leaves, Malabar spinach (basella), winter purslane, chard, kale, radish leaves, fresh cilantro, celeriac leaves, endive, cress, turnip greens, and lettuce that’s gone a little bitter. It’s a great dish for me to use up all kinds of mixed greens from my garden and other local gardens. I have made it both with and without the hing and it’s still great. I love to make some dal and this and sometimes have a third dish and then we can have an Indian dinner treat! Thanks for the great recipe.

    6. 5 stars
      This recipe turned out well for me, it is also well presented for experimentation and adjusting to convenience. Thanks!

    7. 5 stars
      I took a few shortcuts because I was too hungry and lazy (didn’t cook the saag again after blending it and didn’t do the tempering, just added the ingredients to the saag at the end) and it still turned out really delicious.

    8. Hi Manali,

      Sounds like an awesome recipe, would love to try, never ever made this earlier.

      Would I get the mustard greens in Traders Joes alongwith the other greens, if not, where can I find mustard greens?

      Thank you again for all the efforts u take, love your site and all the details you put in.

      1. sometimes I find a mix of greens at Trader Joe’s which has mustard greens, spinach, turnip. If you are able to find that, use that. Else I find mustard greens at Indian grocery stores, also check walmart.

    9. We grew the mustard greens and the rest was mostly swiss chard that we also grew. After a super wet June we were excited to make this using all the greens in our garden. Can’t wait for them to grow back and do this all again in a week! YUM!

    10. 5 stars
      I have made this twice now since I finally found bathua being sold at my local Indian store. This recipe is spot on. Reminds me of the saag my grandmother used to make. It used to be a major production in those days without an electric hand blender. 5 stars for the authentic taste. The hardest part is washing the greens but ofc course, that’s very important. Thanks for a great recipe!

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