9 Summer Saag Variations For Easy Dinner Side
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Leafy greens, or saag as they are usually called, include mustard greens (sarson), fenugreek (methi), spinach (palak), and amaranth (chaulai) and more. Sure these are lesser known than kale and neem, but they are very tasty and nutritious. 

Leafy greens are, after all, widely recognized to be among nature's finest nutritional supplements. Packed with iron, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, they are essential elements of a balanced, healthful diet.

Apart from these typical obvious suspects, however, not many people are aware of the vast culinary repertoire of regional and seasonal edible greens that are grown all throughout India. For millennia rural Indians have used these native superfoods to treat common illnesses and give variation to a basic diet.

Try these lesser known saag for a hearty bhujia served for late night dinner. Keep reading!

9 Regional Saags To Try For Dinner

1. Bichu

The perennial stinging nettle, also called sisunaak saag or bichu buti, grows wild in the Indian Himalayas. The famous Tibetan yogi Milarepa exclusively ate nettle leaf soup during his weeks-long jungle retreat. This strange plant can cause rashes and an itching that lasts for a few hours after contact. It doesn't sting the palate after cooking, though. Rich in natural fibres, this incredibly nourishing plant has long been used as a natural laxative, diuretic, and allergy treatment. It benefits skin, bone, and urinary health too.

2. Haldi Patta 

It may surprise you to learn that you can cook with turmeric plant leaves. Turmeric leaves are frequently used to prepare herbal beverages along India's coasts. In Goa, turmeric leaves are used in a rice dish called patoli during the monsoon months. Smear the leaf with a mixture of water and rice flour. The leaf is folded and then put in a steamer after a delicious mixture of powdered cinnamon, jaggery, and grated coconut is spread in the middle. The smell of the leaf becomes stronger, and the plant's antibacterial and antifungal qualities permeate the stuffing when steam-cooked.

3. Lingaru

Although it is not strictly speaking a green leafy vegetable, the lingaru, or fiddlehead fern, is a popular saag in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, where it grows naturally in abundance. While most of it is eaten as a pickle in the Kullu valley, the people of Uttarakhand prepare it into a curry based on curd. These soft, half-curled fronds are also a popular snack in Assam, where they are known as dhekia xaak. It is nutrient-dense and has a subtle flavour with a unique nutritional profile, including several vitamins, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

4. Poui Saag

There's some truth to Popeye the Sailor's incredible strength's secret. The comic hero saved the world after regularly energising himself with a can of spinach before each battle. And this is true for lesser known Malabar spinach as well as the common spinach! With nutrient-dense leaves and multiple health advantages, this perennial plant—also known as pui saag in Bengali and basale soppu in Kannada—is a climber plant. These are very low-calorie, high-fibre leaves that help with digestion, lower cholesterol absorption, boost immunity, and promote cellular healing.

5. Moringa Saag

Moringa would undoubtedly be one of the superhero plants. One can eat the leaves and young fruits (pods) of this common tree along with seeds, bark, flowers and roots. Known by another name, saijan saag, the leaves are especially very nutrient-dense. They have high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as thirty percent protein and all the essential amino acids, once they are picked and dried. It has, not surprisingly, long been used in India as a traditional treatment for a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, anaemia, arthritis, liver illness, and problems affecting the skin, digestive system, and respiratory system.

6. Pitwaa

The saag is called pitwaa in Hindi, khata palanga in Oriya, tenga mora in Assamese, and mestapat in Bengali, the sorrel plant is also known as gongura in Telugu,ambadi in Marathi, pulicha keerai in Tamil, and pundi in Karnataka. This simply illustrates how common these naturally sour leaves are in India. This leafy green is a very good supply of folic acid, iron, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are vital to human health. Making the perfect recipe just requires a fresh bunch of gongura; some of the most well-liked include saag recipes include, toor dal, a spicy pickle-like condiment, and a wonderfully tart mutton curry. The temperature of the growing area determines how sour the leaves are!

7. Kulfa Saag 

Known by many names, including kulfa, ghol, or luni saag, purslane is one of those summertime leafy green vegetables that is much underestimated for both its health and flavour. It has long been suggested by Indian doctors for everything from lowering fevers to getting rid of worms and treating urinary tract infections. Actually, Mahatma Gandhi loved it and wrote about it in his journal. In addition to offering respectable levels of protein and vitamins A, B, and C, this leafy green most likely contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other commonly available vegetable source.

8. Kalmi Saag 

It is known as anne soppu in Karnataka and kalmi saag in West Bengal, water spinach grows wild, like a weed, in rice fields and along river banks. Its mix of crunchy hollow stems and long arrow-shaped leaves, together with its mild but definitely savoury flavour and high protein and nutritional content, makes it a very pleasant culinary item.

While in Karnataka, the same leaves are prepared into a sweet-sour-spicy chutney with urad dal, in Bengal, they are stir-fried with garlic, green chillies, and gramme. It's interesting to think that this robust weed helped many people survive both the Great Bengal Famine and World War II in Japanese-occupied Singapore. 

9. Aribi ka Patta

Most Indian homes are familiar with the potato-like roots of arbi or colocasia. But this herbaceous plant also has tasty big heart-shaped leaves. It was also crammed with a tonne of vital minerals. Actually, traditional recipes made using arbi ka patta (also known as saru saag or taro leaves) are found in many indigenous cuisines throughout India, particularly in Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. These leaves are coated with a besan mix, wrapped, steam-cooked, then fried to a coconut milk-based south Indian stew.

With approximately a hundred different kinds of greens—both native and exotic—available in the markets, each bursting with vitamins, minerals, fibre, iron, and antioxidants, your diet may be quite interesting to plan. Make saags for the finest dinner!