Saag is a recipe with unique blend of greens. Traditionally made in North India in winter when greens are abundant and vegetables are scarce. Many types of greens are steamed, then tampered with oil and spices. Steaming greens preserves most of the nutrients. Usually made with Mustard greens, spinach, methi, dill (fennel), cilantro mint, pea leaves etc. There is no end to how many greens you can combine to make saag. Use caution using strong flavored greens as fennel, mint. Use little. They have strong flavor, your dish will be overwhelmed if large quantity is used. In winters I find all these greens together in local market. Traditional saag green may or may not be available. Other greens work as well. Do not postpone your saag making just because few varieties are not available. Here is a version of saag made of Mustard greens, spinach, kale, fennel, fenugreek and Cilantro. An All natural, healthy and tasty way of consuming greens.
Benefits of greens:
Adding lots of greens to your diet has many benefits. Greens build enzymes. Enzymes give our bodies with beneficial effects ranging from the microscopic, molecular level such as skin. Greens provide UV protection at a cellular level through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. High fiber content in plants provide substrates for gut microbes to digest and create byproduct that effect
Steamed mustard greens have cholesterol-lowering ability. They stand next to steamed collard greens and steamed kale. Vitamin K plays a key role in helping blood clot. Researchers found inadequate K can lead to cardiovascular disease, bone fragility, and arterial and kidney calcification. A cup of leafy greens has the daily requirement of K, while kale providing more than six times, dandelion greens five times.
Glucose imbalances can be regulated by adding greens into your plate. Magnesium, ALA omega-3 fatty acid, and polyphenols found in greens are considered crucial in managing glycemic load and insulin sensitivity.
I buy fresh mustard greens and kale in local market. I wash and dry on a large beach towel. When ready to cook, cut discard large stems and steam.
- For Saag
- 1 cup - Mustard Greens
- ½ cup - Kale
- ½ cup - spinach
- ½ cup - fenugreek (methi) leaves
- ¼ cup - fennel leaves
- ¼ cup - Cilantro
- 5 - Green chillies
- For Tadka
- 2 Tbsp - Oil of your choice
- 7-8 red chillies
- ½ tsp - Cumin
- ½ Onion
- 1 tsp - Ginger garlic paste
- Place ¼ cup of water, all greens and salt in pressure cooker or thick bottom pan.
- Cook for 2 whistles in pressure cooker. If cooking in pan, close the lid and cook for 30 minutes on medium high heat.
- Once cooked, mix thoroughly so that cooked greens are mashed. If you prefer, you can lightly pulse with hand blender. If you don't have hand blender, you can use regular blender. Make sure to not grind to paste. Couple of pulses are enough.
- Now prepare tadka (tampering).
- Pour oil in a small pan.
- When heated, add red chillies. When they are fried to dark red, add cumin. When they splutter, add onion and ginger garlic paste.
- Fry for 2 mins till onions are soft.
- Pour tadka in saag. Mix. I pour hot oil tadka then deglaze with saag.
- Serve hot with roti or paratha.