Serving
(click to enlarge)

Sarson Ka Saag
India - Punjab
   
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
6 Side  
***
2 hrs
Most

This purée of greens is very popular in the Punjab region of India (Northwest). It is made with countless variations of ingredients and method, but the mustard greens are invariable. The "tempering" (tarka, tadka or whatever) varies greatly, and sometimes the greens are spiced a bit more and simply garnished with butter or crumbled paneer cheese. In all cases you want to end up with a purée that's thick but still pourable. Serve with corn bread, chapatis, roti, or similar.






12
12
3
2
3
1
2
2
------
1/4
1
2
oz
oz
oz

oz
t
T
c
---
c
in
cl
Mustard Greens
"Spinach" (1)
Methi Greens (2)  
Green Chili (3)
Onion
Salt
Cornstarch
Water
-- Tempering
Butter or Ghee
Ginger Root
Garlic
Note: all weights for the greens are bunches as purchased with stems.
  1. Float wash All Greens to completely remove sand and mud. Strip leaves and tender tips from Methi. Strip stems from Greens and cut or tear into coarse pieces.
  2. Chop Chilis and Onions medium. Mix.
  3. In a kadhai, wok or other suitable pan, place Greens and Chili Mix. Mix Cornstarch, Salt and Water and pour in with the greens. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer slowly for about an hour until greens are very well cooked. Turn occasionally and check water to make sure they don't dry out.
  4. Meanwhile:   Slice GINGER thin and chop small. Slice GARLIC about 1/16th inch thick.
  5. When Greens have cooked, let them cool a bit and then run them in a food processor (in batches as needed) until very smooth.
  6. Wash the pan and pour the Greens back in. Bring up slowly to a simmer, watching that it doesn't splatter a lot. Adjust consistency as needed, it should be just pourable, not too thin nor too thick,
  7. Tempering:  Heat Butter in a small pan over moderate heat and fry Ginger and Garlic until just lightly browned.
  8. Pour Greens into a fairly shallow serving dish. Pour tempering over it and give just a few strokes of stirring to streak it into the greens.
NOTES:
  1. "Spinach:"   All recipes say "spinach", but über-expert Julie Sahni says "spinach" in India is very different from North American spinach. She suggests Swiss Chard (white stem version) as the closest substitute, and that's what I use. She says if you must use regular spinach include a small green bell pepper (chopped) to improve the flavor. If you do use regular spinach cut the weight down to about 10 ounces and use all but the largest stems.
  2. Methi Greens:   This is Fenugreek greens. Find them in markets serving Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Indian communities. For details see our Fenugreek page. Note that some recipes use Goosefoot (Lambs Quarters, Pigweed, Chenopodium album) instead of Methi (or a whole lot of it in place of the spinach). You can't buy that in North America, but it's such a common and aggressive weed here you may have plenty of it in your garden
  3. Green Chilis:   Naturally these should be green Indian "elephant trunk" chilis, but those are not always available even where I shop, so use Serranos if you need to. Two seed-in serranos makes this recipe noticeably hot - use your own best judgement.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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