Sarson Saag

Greens are a popular dish in many, if not most, cultures. In the Indian and Pakistani Punjab they are called saag and usually are made with mustard greens, sarson, or spinach, palak, and often include potatoes, saag aloo, or yoghurt cheese, saag paneer. In the Punjab, Saag is usually eaten with bread such as na’an or a Pakistani corn bread called makki ki roti however in other part of India and in the West it is often served as a side dish. For the uninitiated American, palak saag will probably be more familiar but do try sarson saag. Its slightly bitter taste, reminiscent of its relative horseradish, makes a nice foil for any of a variety of curries.


  • 1 large bunch fresh mustard greens
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 medium lime


Strip off and discard the tough stems from the mustard greens the wash the leaves well. Shake off excess water but do not over-dry. Chop or tear into small pieces. Set aside.

Put the tomato into boiling water for about 10 seconds. Cool under running cold water and remove the peel. Cut in half equatorially and squeeze out the seed. Chop the tomato flesh finely and set aside.

Chop the garlic in a food processor then add the onion and ginger paste. Pulse a few times to make a smooth puree.

Heat the oil in a large pot (I find that a wok works best) over medium-high heat. Fry the asafetida for a few seconds then add the onion mixture. Stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.

Stir in the turmeric then add the mustard greens and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the greens wilt and almost all the liquid has evaporated

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the garam masala, salt, and lime juice. Cook for a minute or so to allow the flavors to blend.


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