Explore the rich flavours and nutritional benefits of North Indian cuisine with this step-by-step guide to making Saag, a hearty dish celebrating a medley of vibrant leafy greens.
Saag, a quintessential North Indian dish, showcases the rich tapestry of flavours and nutritional benefits derived from a medley of leafy greens. Bursting with vitamins and minerals, saag often features a combination of spinach, mustard greens, and other verdant delights. This step-by-step guide empowers you to recreate this hearty and aromatic dish in the comfort of your kitchen.
The process begins with the careful selection and blanching of the greens, preserving their vibrant hues and essential nutrients. The subsequent cooking unfolds a symphony of spices, aromatics, and a meticulous blend of ingredients, resulting in a savoury amalgamation that captures the essence of Indian cuisine. Topped with a delectable tempering of garlic and cumin seeds, saag is a celebration of wholesome, homely goodness. Whether paired with traditional cornmeal flatbread or rice, this saag recipe promises a culinary journey that balances authenticity with the joy of homemade mastery.
For the Saag:
500g mixed greens (spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, or any leafy greens of your choice)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, grated
2 green chilies, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilly powder (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
Water, as needed
For Tempering (Tadka):
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 dried red chilly (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Greens
Thoroughly wash the leafy greens under running water to remove any dirt or impurities.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the greens and blanch them for 2-3 minutes until they are wilted. Immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to retain their vibrant green colour.
Squeeze out excess water from the blanched greens and blend them into a coarse paste using a food processor or blender.
Step 2: Cook the Saag
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat ghee or oil over medium heat.
Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
Add finely chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped green chilies. Sauté until the onions are golden brown.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft and the oil starts to separate.
Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the blended greens to the pan. Mix everything well and let it cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
If the saag is too thick, you can add water to achieve your desired consistency.
Step 3: Tempering (Tadka)
In a small pan, heat ghee for tempering. Add cumin seeds, sliced garlic, and a dried red chili (if using). Sauté until the garlic turns golden brown.
Pour the tempering over the cooked saag and mix well. This adds a wonderful flavor to the dish.
Step 4: Serve
Taste the saag and adjust salt and spices according to your preference.
Saag is traditionally served hot with makki ki roti (cornmeal flatbread) or naan. You can also serve it with steamed rice or any Indian bread of your choice.
Garnish with a dollop of butter or cream for added richness.
Your hearty and flavorful saag is ready to be enjoyed!
Making saag at home allows you to customise the dish to your liking, and this step-by-step guide ensures a delicious and authentic result. Whether you're a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to try something new, this saag recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.