Sunday, 18 November 2012

Saag (greens)

We refer to most mashed greens as saag, traditionally we use mustard green or chard, but you can use any greens of your choice or a mix. We would serve this with maaki thi roti (corn bread), you could serve it with fried polenta for a similar taste combination. You can just serve it as a side dish too with other daal and subji. You can also make variations adding paneer ?(indian cheese) or potatoes.

As other dishes can be cooked vegan or sathvick too.

Ingredaints (serves 4)

  • 1lb/ 500g I used broccoli tops, wash well in plenty of water.
  • 1tbsp gram flour/ fine polenta flour mixed in a few spoons of cold water.
Tarka - We cook the saag and tarka separately and then combine them.
  • 3tbsp Light olive oil or (Ghee-clarified butter if you are making this vegetarian, prefered in this recipie)
  • 1/2 Chopped onion
  • 1" fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped/ grated
  • 1 -2 fresh green chilli's chopped (the more you put in the hotter it gets)  Optional
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cumin/ Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Oragano seeds/ Ajowan seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Hand full of fresh chopped coriander


  1.  Add your washed greens to a thick based pan, and top up with 2" or 5cm boiling water from kettle (this just speeds up the cooking) cover and boil until cooked.  While these are cooking we can cook our Tarka.
  2. In a second pan add your oil/ghee, set the pan at a slow heat this is the secret to good tasting Indian cooking.  Add your cumin seeds and ajowan seeds, when they begin to crackle add your onion.
  3. Cook the onion till it is light brown and then add your ginger and chilli, stirring frequently.
  4. Continue to cook this till the ginger is brown too, if the ginger starts to stick to the pan just add a couple of tea spoons of water and stir until it comes free.
  5. Once the mix is caramel coloured, add your dry spices and salt and tomatoes, you have now made your tarka. Continue to cook this for a few more minutes until it is bubbling together nicely and the tomatoes have started breaking down.Set this aside until you have done 6.
  6. Once the greens are cooked, take a hand blender and immerse in the pan and blend until there are no large pieces of greens left, it doesn't have to be a smooth puree, if it is too hard to mash then add more water.  Once mashed add your polenta flour/ gram flour mixed in water and continue cooking on low heat. You can now add your tarka to your greens pot!
  7. Add a little greens to your tarka pan to make sure you get all the yummy spices and oil off and add back to the main pot.
  8. Cook on a slow heat for 20mins once you have added the tarka. Taste it and add more salt if you like more.
  9. Last stage is to add your coriander and serve with a dollop of butter, enjoy! 

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