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An authentic recipe of a delicious and nutritious mishmash of mustard greens flavored with Indian spices.

Sarso ka Saag and Makki di Roti is by far the most celebrated couple of Indian gastronomy. Originally a Punjabi delicacy, Sarso ka Saag has now captured the imagination of culinary connoisseurs across the world. 

Honestly, I am not a fan of the greens but, Sarso ka Saag can easily convert any frigid non-vegetarian to an ardent fan of vegetarian food. Served with dollops of homemade butter and crisp Makki Rotis, with a generous helping of jaggery on the side, this one is a winner. 

So, today I bring you the authentic recipe of Sarso ka Saag borrowed from a Punjabi friend, Simran. I had this at her home for the first time and had to ask for the recipe. 


Punjab is in the northwest corner of India. The fertile land of five rivers, Punjab has always fascinated people with its food, larger-than-life living, big fat weddings, and infectious warmth. 

Punjab produces large quantities of wheat, potatoes, sugarcane, millet, barley, maize, mustard, lentils, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. Milk also is produced in abundance. Due to its strategic location, Punjab has been invaded multiple times in the past. Every invasion left an imprint on their food and culture. Thus, Punjabi cuisine today is a mélange of Indo-Mughal-Persian-Afghani culinary predilections.

Punjabi cuisine is loved universally for its sheer grandeur and bold, spunky flavors. It offers a plethora of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are finger-licking delicious. Right from the Tandoori Roti and Naan to the Butter Chicken and the Sarso ka Saag, Punjabi cuisine is now the face of Indian Cuisine in countries abroad.


Sarso means mustard, and Saag means green. Sarso ka Saag is a famous Punjabi dish in which mustard greens are cooked with other greens and typical Indian spices to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture. It is most commonly paired with Makki di Roti or flatbread made with maize flour. It tastes equally good with Butter Naan and Tandoori Roti.
Not only is this recipe palatable, but it is also very healthy. Eating seasonal produce helps us ward off diseases and improve immunity. Sarso ka Saag is one such recipe that uses seasonal produce, hence it is a good addition to your diet during cold winter months.


Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant, a cruciferous vegetable, like kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Studies have shown that loaded with antioxidants and minerals, they are also powerful cancer fighters thanks to glucosinolate, a plant chemical that has anti-cancer properties. Due to their high vitamins K and C content, they are also associated with lower cholesterol, healthy skin and hair, and improved immunity.


Mustard greens being seasonal produce, the Sarso ka Saag is primarily prepared during the winters.   

Mustard greens have a sharp peppery but slightly bitter taste that is balanced by other greens like spinach, fenugreek, radish greens, and chenopodium. All these greens add to the flavor and texture of the final dish. Having said that it is not compulsory to use all of these greens, you may use whatever is available.

Sarso ka Saag is a pretty easy recipe but, it is a little time intensive. This recipe is a labor of love, especially if you prepare it in the traditional method. While I have used a blender to blend the greens, women in India use a Madani (the Indian hand blender), and trust me it is a long and arduous process!

The texture of the Saag largely varies from one family to another. While some like their Saag a little chunky others like it smoothly blended. So, you get to decide what you prefer, the rest of the recipe remains the same.


Here is what you will need to make the iconic Punjabi Sarso ka Saag:

Leafy greens - Traditional recipe uses the 5 different greens, Mustard greens, spinach, fenugreek, chenopodium, and radish greens. As I mentioned earlier, the main ingredient is Mustard green, the rest of the greens are used to mellow down the bitterness of mustard green. So, for best results, use at least some of them, if not all.

Veggies - Tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and green chili.

Spices & Condiments - Asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, dried red chili, sugar, and salt. Cornflour for thickening.

Oil & Ghee for cooking.

Fresh cream for garnishing.


The recipe is quite simple. It is a double cooking process where the leafy greens are first cooked and then tempered. Here is how to do it:
While cooking any greens, the first and most important thing to do is wash them carefully.

How to clean the greens?

Usually, there is a lot of mud and soil clinging to the roots. So, firstly chop off the roots. Now take a colander and wash the leaves a couple of times under running water.
Now, soak the greens in water in a large container for a few more minutes and let the impurities settle down. Carefully take out the greens and discard the water. Repeat if necessary.
This process may take some time so, you may do this ahead of time.
The next step is to chop the mustard greens and other leafy vegetables.
Chopping other greens is simple, roughly chop them.

How to chop Mustard greens?

If you are lucky, you might get a bunch of mustard greens with tender stems. Otherwise, they can be very hard, so you have to cook them for a very long time to make them tender. In such cases, it is best to chop off the lower end of the mustard seems just a few centimeters from the base. Discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. 
Finely chop the other vegetables like onion, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.
Transfer all the chopped veggies into a pressure cooker. Add green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric, sugar & salt. Add some water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
Let it cool down and then blend in a blender or use an immersion blender. I like to blend it coarsely but if you like, you can opt for a creamier texture by blending it for longer. 
Transfer saag to a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add cornflour mixed in a little water to thicken the saag.
For tempering, heat a mixture of oil and ghee in a pan. When hot, add the whole red chilies and cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle, add asafoetida followed by some garlic and chopped onion. Cook until the onions and garlic turn light golden brown. Add the coriander powder and garam masala. Mix this to the saag simmering in the pot. 
Serve with rotis and jaggery.


How can I make Sarso ka Saag without a pressure cooker?

You can make Sarso ka Saag in an Instant Pot, cook everything on high pressure for 5 mins and then let the pressure release naturally. When cooled down, blend and proceed as usual.
Alternatively, you can also cook everything on a stovetop for 20-25 minutes until soft and then follow the recipe.

Can diabetic, heart patients, or weight-watchers eat Sarso ka Saag?

Yes, this recipe is good for diabetics, promotes heart health, and weight loss. Mustard greens are very low in calories and fat. Its high fiber content keeps cholesterol in control.


The best way to enjoy Sarso ka Saag is to serve it with Makki di roti. Nothing beats this combination but, you can also serve it with naan, parathas, and steamed rice.


You may store leftover Sarson ka Saag in the fridge. When ready to serve, temper the Saag and then serve it. In my opinion, the taste of the saag improves the next day. You can store the Saag in a fridge for later consumption for up to 4-5 days. 
Alternatively, you can also freeze the saag. Thaw the saag for a couple of hours and temper just before serving.



Yield: 6
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 50 Mininactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
An authentic recipe of a delicious and nutritious mishmash of mustard greens flavored with Indian spices.


For the Saag
  • 2 bunch mustard greens
  • 1/4 bunch spinach
  • 1/4 bunch chenopodium
  • 1/4 bunch fenugreek
  • 1/4 bunch radish greens
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 7-8 pods of garlic pods crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2-3 cups of water
For tempering
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala


  1. Wash and chop the greens and add them to the pressure cooker.
  2. Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and green chilies.
  3. Add turmeric, red chili powder, sugar and salt. Add 2-3 cups of water and stir.
  4. Pressure cook for2-3 whistles on medium-high heat until everything is soft and done.
  5. Open the pressure cooker and let the saag cool down completely. Blend into your desired consistency using a blender.
  6. Transfer saag to a pot on stovetop over medium-low heat. Add conrnflour mixed in 1 tbsp water to the saag and mix for thickening.
  7. Set heat to low and let the saag simmer.
  8. For tempering heat oil and ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Add dried red chilies and cumin seeds.
  9. When the seeds crackle, add asafoetida and minced garlic cloves. Saute for few seconds and then add the chopped onion and cook until the onions and garlic turn light golden brown.
  10. Add the coriander powder and garam masala and mix.
  11. Transfer the tempering to the saag and mix.
  12. Garnish with fresh cream.


  • For making this vegan swap the ghee with oil and skip the fresh cream.
  • For making it gluten-free use gluten-free asafoetida.
  • Maintain a ratio of 2:1 for mustard greens to other greens.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Dinner Gluten-free green healthy Indian Lunch Nut-free punjabi Recipes seasonal Spinach Vegan Vegetarian
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