Conquer Your Fear of Mustard Greens with Rich Punjabi Saag Recipe

I have never been a huge fan of mustard greens. I like a spicy green, but I can find mustard’s spice a bit distracting and so I rarely grow them. But my generous plot neighbor, Ahmed, a native of Bangladesh, grows them in abundance and shared them with me. Rather than refuse his generosity, I decided to give them another try, this time using the Indian flavors I love so much. Spinach saag is one of our regular favorite Indian take-out dishes and lo, it turns out you can make saag from a variety of greens, including mustard. The spinach in the recipe cuts the mustard, if you will, and the warm Indian spices sweeten the distinctive bitterness of the mustard greens, and of course, the ghee just makes the whole dish unctuous and satisfying.


Sarson Ka Saag Recipe

1 large bunch mustard greens
1 small bunch spinach
1 medium hot pepper
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 large onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (also called hing)*
Juice of 1/2 lime


  1. Wash greens and spinach well and drain. Chop fine.
  2. Add greens and hot pepper to a sauté pan with 2/3 cup water and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove greens mix and liquid from pan (you can leave them minced or blend to a rough paste to make a creamier texture).
  3. Heat ghee in pan over medium heat. Toss in onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
  4. Add greens and remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for about 7-10 minutes until most liquid evaporates and butter begins to separate from the vegetables.
  5. Serve with greek style yogurt with mint.

*Note re asafoetida: Take care to use sparingly. A bit too much can overpower the flavor and detract from the buttery rich flavor.

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