A totally green vegetable with a mix of 3-4 variety of greens. Mustard greens or Sarson ka Saag is a very unique delicacy that is particularly enjoyed in northern part of India. I was introduced to this in USA and fell in love with it. This is a typical winter vegetable and brings you warmth and energy, just by the colors associated with it, as well as the high nutrient content according to world’s healthiest food organization (www.whfoods.org). Their flavor has a slight bitterness to it , that matches well with the sweet corn bread. Spinach leaves add to the already high folate content. The third green leaf vegetable is Kasuri Methi (Fenugreeek) leaves which provides richness in taste. Traditionally this vegetable dish also has Khatta bhaaji, another different kind of leaf vegetable, which I have not been able to locate.
While cooking, I just kept admiring the rich green color of all the leaf vegetables and it just seemed to be the perfect dish for a polar winter evening, and chase the cold away with this high iron content vegetable.
Making flat corn bread by hand is an art, that is highly visually appealing and almost therapeutic to me. The reason why it is rolled by hand, is as the sweet corn flour is just too fine, to be rolled with a rolling pin.
I would like to credit Daljit Kaur of Princeton,NJ, for introducing me to the traditional contents of this winter gem, which has been modified by me. Could not think of better meal than this, to enjoy on a Polar Vortex evening with a feel temperature of 3 degrees F or -16 celsius.. Only thing missing in this super delicious dish was the home made butter, but the combination of corn flat bread and the mustard greens still just melted in the mouth!!
Recipe for 4 people
Cooking Time: 50 min
Preparation Time: 20 mim
For Sarson ka Saag
- 2 large bunches of Mustard Greens or Sarson ka saag
- 2 large bunches of Spinach leaves
- 1 medium size white onion or 1 1/2 cup diced onion
- 9-10 hot green chillies finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cubic inch of ginger finely mashed
- 1 tbsp dried Kasuri methi
- 1 tsp garam maasla
- 2 tbsp tomato paste/puree
- Salt to taste
- Butter for garnish
- 2 cups of water
For Makki ki Roti
- 2 cups Sweet corn flour
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- Ghee(Clarified Butter)/ Oil for seasoning
- Wheat/All purpose flour for rolling the dough.
For Sarson kaa saag
- Chop the mustard greens and spinach and keep them separate.
- Wash each one of them in plenty of water.
- Put 1 gallon of water to boil.
- When it starts to boil add 1 tbsp salt
- Add 1 bunch of spinach and cook for 5 min.
- Using a strainer, remove the spinach into a different container.
- Cook the second bunch of spinach.
- Cook each bunch of mustard green in the above manner, for 7 min. each.
- Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a broad pan.
- Add couple of pinches of asofoetida.
- Add the chilli/ginger paste to it and saute for on slow flame for 3-4 min.
- Add the diced onions and saute for 8-10 min on medium flame,until golden brown
- Add the cooked mustard greens and spinach and salt to onions.
- Add water and cook on high flame for 10 min, stirring in between.
- Using a hand blender, grind the mustard for 2 minutes into a thick paste.
- Add tomato puree, and cook for 10 min, till excess water evaporates.
- Add kasuri methi and garam masala, stir for couple of minutes and remove from flame.
- Garnish it with butter and serve.
For Makki ki Roti
- Add 1/2 tbsp salt to sweet corn flour and whisk the flour.
- Using lukewarm water, knead the flour into a soft dough.
- Make 10 equal balls.
- Roll one ball into wheat/all purpose flour.
- On a flat surface, using the palm of yours hands make a flat round circle.
- Heat a griddle/tawa.
- Cook on medium flame till brown spots appear.
- Serve with Sarson ka saag.
Eating fresh mustard greens in winter is the key to enjoying this.
Simultaneously you can cook spinach and mustard greens on separate burners, to speed up the process.
Alternatively, after onions are sauted, you can put everything is pressure cooker and cook it faster
Jain Variation– No onions to be included in the recipe.
Blending just right so texture is not lost. You want to feel some onions, some stems and some leaf when you eat.
For bread, kneading it to soft dough, where you can see soft imprint of fingerprints. Kneading the dough, just before you make breads would be ideal.
If at home, it tastes so amazing, I cannot wait to try it in the land of Punjab, India. Its different than Palak Paneer, more richer, denser, and more earthy taste, with its mild bitterness that is topped with the yummy butter. Corn bread is soft and sweet, and a hot flat bread with this multi green leaf vegetable just melts in your mouth.