There is no Punjabi recipe more popular than the yummiest combination of sarson ka saag and makki ki roti. If you are looking for an authentic sarson ka saag recipe in English, then here's presenting mom made makki ki roti and saron da saag. Easy, though time-consuming, sarson ka saag pleases one and all in Punjab. Punjabi villages are the stakeholders of this authentic recipe as they grow their own mustard and spinach greens and then let the saag simmer on low heat in mud chullahas until it changes color and turns gooey and paste-like. The aroma of sarson ka saag is quite different from all other saag/greens. Punjabis are crazy for their winter special recipe of sarson ka saag and makki ki roti. I do not know what makes this combo the favorite for Punjabis, but it is a must-try for those who are unsure of the authentic taste of Punjab.
Sarson da saag and makki di roti is a quintessential Punjabi meal combo. You cannot think of Punjabi food without this amazingly delicious meal. Making sarson ka saag is a labor of love. You ought to dedicate your time to the sarson ka saag project - from chopping the leaves to washing the greens, preparing the tempering to patiently cooking the greens, tempering them with desi ghee and a dash of makki atta and letting them simmer on low heat for a good amount of time. So now you might ask why engage in such a tasking task?
Well, ask a Punjabi and they would give you the best answer. It's well worth the effort and you won't ever remorse having spent so much of time in making homemade sarson ka saag. You will forget dhaba style saag once you make it the authentic way at home. The sarson ka saag ingredients are simple too - you need to blend one part of sarsonka saag greens (mustard leaves), half part of spinach with one-fourth part of bathua or fenugreek leaves or radish leaves would suffice too. Cook the greens on a low flame until they turn tender and wilt.
Then it is time to blend the green together and the next step takes you closer to bringing the most delectable treat to the table - tempering. There are different ways Punjabis temper their favorite sarson da saag but in every home, it's a favorite. Different Punjabi homes follow different ways to make sarson ka saag. The traditional way of cooking saag is unique and doesn't have a match. But the way we make sarson da saag makes for a lip-smacking meal. The day the family welcomes sarson saag and makki di roti for the first time in winters, it is a kind of celebration.
One stand-out meal the whole family waits for to welcome winters and the abundance of greens and veggies. We all love saag, and there is hardly any Punjabi who doesn't ( exceptions are always there). When mom used to treat us with this yummiest meal of the season , we would always end up indulging in guilty eating. But that was only when the meal called for this heavenly recipe of sarson and makka. This is how my sister makes this traditional Punjabi recipe of sarson da saag te makki di roti
You have tried dal makhni, gobi aloo, matar paneer, and other parathas from Punjab, but if you are yet to try out makki di roti and sarson da saag, then you are yet to learn the real taste of Punjabi food.
Here's how mom makes this delicious combination which is almost similar to the authentic Punjabi recipe, which is cooked on chullahas.
Sarson ka saag ingredients
sarson ka saag/mustard greens 2 kg
palak /spinach greens- 1/2 kg
methi leaves/fenugreek leaves- 50 gram
bathua leaves- 50 gram (this is optional- but if you get your hands on these greens, do add. Bathua adds a hint of flavor to sarson ka saag, though many Punjabi homes do not use bathua)
garlic cloves- 30-40
ginger- a little less than garlic
water- 1/4 cup
To begin with, you will need to clean mustard greens. There's a trick to doing that. My dad here shows how to remove the waxy part from the stem so the saag becomes tender upon cooking. If you ignore this step, then the mustard stem will remain hard and not get pureed easily. That might spoil the whole taste of your saag.
Remember, making sarson ka saag is a labor of love. Similarly, for palak, do the same. Watch dad clear away the waxy part from spinach greens.
Separate bathu or bathua leaves from stem. Similarly, pluck methi leaves.
Wash all green thoroughly. My mom does this process in a big bucket. Then waters the plants with this water. Once the cleaning job is complete, let's move to the preparation process of sarson da saag recipe.
Take a huge pressure cooker. Add water to it. Next drop the saag. Now we will add garlic cloves and ginger, salt . Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles on high and then let the saag simmer for at least 40-60 minutes. We prefer cooking it for at least an hour on low flame.
When the saag is cooked, it's time to puree it with a blender. This is how your saag should look like. Mom packed it for me for my journey back home. We are still not done.
Let's temper the saag. The typical authentic sarson ka saag tempering uses ghee. Once the ghee is hot, drop in chopped garlic and grated ginger. Remember, the more the garlic, the tastier the saag becomes. You do not need to fry it a lot. Now add chopped onion and cook. No need to brown onion. We just want to remove its raw smell. That's it.
Now add tomato puree and cook the masala together. Drop in green chili as well.
Now add the saag. I have taken only a little amount of saaf from the 2 kg prepared initially. That makes 2 cups of saag. Add 2 tbsp of makki ka atta to the saag. If you do not have cornmeal flour, you may use whole wheat atta instead. Mix and then add salt (check how much is required). You may add more green chilies chopped and even red chili powder. Authentic punjabi recipes of sarson ka saag use a lot of green chilies. It smells aromatic and tastes oh so yum with the chilies.
Now let the tempered saag simmer for 5-8minutes. Enjoy with makki ki roti and sarson ka saag with a dollop of ghee or butter. Or nothing at all.
You may even pair sarson da saag with plain ajwain parathas.