A very popular spice in both the Asian and western world mustard has its own place. Slightly spicy and a little nutty this spice brings a lot of warmth and adds a character to the dish. Although unlike the western cuisine where it is mostly used as a spice, mustard is used in all forms in its whole glory in the Indian cuisine. Seeds in tadka (tempering) and pickeling, to oil cook several rich curries and greens for pakoras (fritters) and saag.
Sarson ka Saag a very popular dish from the northern state of Punjab is a beloved when it comes to comfort food. A very warm and comforting dish which by the way is also one of the healthiest for its made with greens and greens only. Although since we Indians love to spice up our food and being rich at heart, love it a little rich too. So how can a humble sarson ka saag be left alone. So we start with cooking a healthy serving of greens and then load it with an equally “healthy” serving of fresh butter which you cannot reject takes Sarson Ka Saag to a whole new level. So here’s a recipe very close to a lot of Indian hearts!
1 1/2 lbs mustard greens (sarson ka saag)
1/2 lbs spinach
1 inch ginger root (chopped)
1 cup tomato (chopped)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup onion (any variety is fine) chopped
2 thai green chili (adjust per taste)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
Wash the green thoroughly making sure there is no dirt left. Chop into smaller pieces, easy to handle. Place mustard greens, spinach, ginger, chili and salt together in a pressure cooker or a big boiling pot. Add water required to cook everything well, until done. Adjust water based on the kind of vessel you are using. In a pressure cooker you need not more than a cup of water.
Turn off the heat. Let it cool a little. Then using a hand blender or food processor blend into a loose paste or a thick puree. Paste can be a little grainy to your liking. Transfer back to the pot or pressure cooker.
Warm 1/2 cup water. Add cornmeal. Mix into water. Add to the greens. Turn up the heat to medium low and let it simmer until the saag thickens.
Meanwhile heat oil in a tadka pan or a small sautee pan. Add mustard seeds. As they sputter add garlic. Cook for a few seconds then add onion. Sautee until golden.
Transfer to the pot of simmering saag. Mix well. Simmer the saag for about 10 minutes or until it thickens to your liking.
Serve hot with corn flatbread or makki ki roti as they call it in India smothered with a boat load of ghee and a dollop of butter on the saag!