Republic Day 2023: Prepare Desi Saag Paneer By Chef Vikram
Image Credit: Creamy desi saag paneer, Art of Dum

Come Republic Day, we see an array of sweet and savoury dishes reflecting the tri-colour hues of our national flag. Is it a fad or an intended intervention of colour play to evoke emotion- we leave that question for much in-depth discussion. To simplify the answer, Vikram Simha, Head Chef of Art Of Dum, articulates that the colouring in food must be natural. "If prepared in three different hues, they must work in unison." There is more beyond just the tint of the food. According to Chef Vikram, who has 30 years of experience in the culinary industry, any festive food for occasions such as Republic Day or Independence Day in India must also consider the current season's produce and ingredients that are by large local.

He chose to share the recipe of Saag Paneer and recommends to pair it with missi roti or makki ki roti. "As I said earlier, paneer is white, saag is green, and the missi roti is reddish brown, though not in complete unison. It is, to a great extent, representative of our tricolour." He justifies that the leafy greens chosen for the recipe are seasonal. Most of these saags are used widely across North India and available only for a month (ideally January). We all know Indians' unbiased love for 'Sarson Ka saag with Makki ki roti. "I choose Saag Paneer as it is far more acceptable across India and even in South India. Missi roti is made with gram flour and goes well with Saag too. Gram-flour breads are also a staple pan India. Thus, they are symbols of solidarity,"

As an industry veteran, he observes that India's local and hyper-local dishes are gaining popularity in every state. State Cuisines are divided based on regions and are being made authentically. Earlier sweets and savouries which could be preserved were available all over India. They had a very local flavour. With social media and the advent of food preservation technology, local food can reach most parts of the country. Many Indian states are promoting sightseeing and culture and endorsing their cuisine with equal importance. Food tourism and food walks are prevalent nowadays, and they are going to grow.

Saag Paneer

Creamy saag paneer with roti, Image Source: Art of Dum, Hyderabad


  • Fresh mustard leaves 100 gms  
  • Fresh spinach leaves 25 gms
  • Fresh bathua leaves (lambs 
  • quarter) 25 gms      
  • Green chillies 2 nos       
  • Paneer cubes (6 nos) 60 gms     
  • Chopped garlic 25 gms
  • Chopped ginger 15 gms
  • Dry red chilli 02 nos
  • Chopped onions 50 gms 
  • Diced tomato 20 gms 
  • Red chilli powder 80 gms             
  • Salt to taste      
  • Turmeric powder 10 gms            
  • Butter 20 gms   
  • Ghee 15 gms    
  • Refined oil 25 gms


  • Pluck the leaves from the vegetables and discard the stems. Wash thoroughly, add green chillies and boil.  
  • Strain the water from the boiled leafy vegetables and give it a quick blitz in a grinder just to break down the leaves.   
  •  Set a pan on the heat, add oil and saute dry chilli, garlic and ginger. Once browned, add onions and cook till done. 
  • Add the processed vegetables and paneer.         
  • Cook for 10 - 15 minutes; add the spices and cook until water is lost.             
  • Add tomatoes and cook and adjust the seasoning.  
  • Finish with a dollop of butter and ghee. 

Serve it with makki ki roti and relish!