sarson ka saag recipe, how to make punjabi sarson ka saag recipe

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sarson ka saag recipe with step by step photos – one of the indian recipe that is a labor of love, time and patience. sarson is the hindi/punjabi word for mustard and saag means greens.

saag is a punjabi term which means greens. so the english translations is mustard greens. so you will have palak saag or bathua saag or chane ka saag and so on.

there is no shortcut method in making sarson ka saag. sorting the greens, washing them, chopping and then cooking them… blending them and again cooking them is a time intensive method.

and in today’s world of curry in a hurry, if you really want to savor the taste of an authentic sarson ka saag, then you do have to invest some time in preparing it.

the sarson ka saag recipe is very easy, it is just the preparation and the method that takes time. usually, i clean the greens one day before and keep them in the fridge in air tight containers. so half of the work is over. the next day then, it is easy to prepare the saag.

at home, we generally use 5 green leafy vegetables to make the saag. they are mustard, bathua (also known as chenopodium in english), spinach, radish and fenugreek. in the pic below all the greens can be seen except for fenugreek.

the flavor and taste in the saag, comes predominantly from mustard greens. the saag has bitter and pungent notes of the mustard which are subdued by the presence of bathua and radish.

after all the cooking and simmering what you get in the end is a creamy, green saag bursting with mellowness & flavors from all the greens. a bowl full of antioxidants and health.

winter is the time when the mustard and bathua are available in india. hence during this season, sarson ka saag is always made in the homes and hearths of north india, especially in punjab from where this traditional recipe comes from.

the sarson ka saag topped with homemade butter and served with makki di roti (flat breads from maize flour) is not only comforting but also warms up the palate as well as the body. this is a winter meal you see. so that extra topping of butter is alright. also the saag is served with an accompaniment of sliced or chopped onions and some green chilies.

i always make sarson ka saag in bulk and keep in the fridge. when i need to serve, i temper the saag and then serve it.

from what i have observed is that the taste of the saag improves in a day and as it ages. mine usually does not last for more than 4-5 days. you can also freeze the saag. before tempering, thaw the saag.

the recipe i present here is the traditional way we make saag at home. the proportion of bathua to spinach to mustard that we use is 1:1:2. eg if you are using 1 whole bunch of mustard leaves then use 1/2 bunch of bathua and spinach in approximation. or for 1 kg of mustard leaves, use 1/2 kg of bathua leaves and spinach.

the other two greens, ie. radish and fenugreek are also added by the indian method of andaz meaning estimation. fenugreek is optional though.

this sarson ka saag recipe works well for 8-9 serving portions and can be easily halved or doubled.

if you are looking for similar recipes then do check aloo palak, saag paneer, palak dal, palak paneer and bathua paratha recipe.

punjabi sarson ka saag recipe below:


4.66 from 29 votes
sarson ka saag recipe
prep time
2 hrs
cook time
2 hrs
total time
4 hrs
a winter staple in north india. comforting sarson ka saag aka mustard greens. creamy and delicious greens
course: main course
cuisine: north indian
servings: 7 -8
author: dassana amit
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
for the saag:
  • 1 bunch mustard leaves (sarson)
  • ½ bunch bathua leaves (chenopodium)
  • ½ bunch spinach leaves (palak)
  • 1 cup chopped tender radish leaves (mooli ke patte)
  • 2 to 3 inches white radish root (mooli)
  • 1 cup fenugreek leaves, chopped (methi leaves)
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 inch ginger, chopped (adrak)
  • 2 green chilies, chopped (hari mirch)
  • 7-8 garlic, chopped (lahsun)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • 1-2 pinch asafoetida or ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)
  • 2 to 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon maize flour
  • salt as required
for the tempering for 3 servings:
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon oil
  • 3 bowls of cooked saag
how to make recipe
  1. firstly clean and chop all the greens.
  2. then wash the greens well.
  3. in a pressure cooker or pan add all the ingredients listed under saag except for maize flour.
  4. cover the pressure cook and cook for 6-7 minutes or more.
  5. if cooking in a pan, then cover and let the greens cook till done. do check occasionally.
  6. pour the greens along with the stock and maize flour in a blender.
  7. blend till smooth.
  8. in another pan, pour the pureed greens.
  9. simmer for a good 25-30 minutes.
  10. in another small pan, heat oil or ghee
  11. add the chopped onions and fry them till light brown.
  12. add the prepared saag. stir and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  13. stir ocaasionally.
  14. serve sarson ka saag hot with some chopped onions, whole green chilies and a dollop of butter on the saag with makki di roti

step by step punjabi sarson ka saag recipe:

1: chop and clean all the greens.chop off the lower end of the mustard seems just a few centimeters from the base. the mustard stems can be tough. in this case you can discard the stems or keep them. if you keep them, then they have to be cooked really well so that they become soft. luckily, i had tender stems in the mustard bunch. all the greens, sorted and nicely laid on the table… all going in the fridge for the saag to be made the next day.

2: washing the greens. this is the tough part. you have to really wash the greens, especially the mustard greens well to get rid of the mud or soil clinging to the stems. i did this task in batches.

3: the washed greens go in the pressure cooker.

4: adding our other veggies – radish, onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.

5: now adding some spice & salt – green chilies, red chili powder, asafoetida & salt. the saag is midly spiced and yet tastes so good.

6: pour water.

7: cover and pressure cook for 6-7 minutes or more till the greens become soft. you can also cook in a pan. cover and let the greens cook till they become soft.

8: now let the pressure settle in the cooker. open the lid… you see the greens, onions, tomatoes et all… all cooked well. let the green mixture warm or cool down.

9: then in a blender take some of the greens.

10: add maize flour. the maize flour helps in making the saag smooth as well as thickening it and does imparts its flavor to the saag.

11: blend till smooth. i usually make a smooth puree. some folks like a coarse texture. so you decide how you want your saag. i blended in batches. you can also use a hand blender for the same and blend in the cooker itself. if doing this then chop the greens before you pressure cook them. it is easier to blend with a hand blender then. the traditional way is to use a madani (the indian hand blender) to blend the greens.

12:  now pour the greens puree in a pan. i used the pressure cooker as while simmering the saag, it bubbles and splutters. so be careful and use a deep pan.

13: simmer and simmer for a good 25-30 minutes. stir occasionally so that the saag does not stick to the bottom of the pan. check the seasoning and add more salt if required. once cooled, the saag can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

14: so now after this comes the final touch… the saag is not ready to be served yet. we have to temper the saag. we always temper the saag with onions, but you can temper with some ginger, green chilies and tomatoes too along with the onions. heat oil or ghee and add chopped onions. the amount of oil/ghee and onions to be added depends on the portions of saag you will be serving. so for 3 servings, 1 to 2 tbsp oil with 1 medium sized onion is alright.

15: lightly brown the onions.

16: add the cooked sarson ka saag. simmer.

17:  serve the hot sarson ka saag saag straight away with makki di roti. the best is to serve with makki di roti. nothing beats this combination. but you can also serve sarson ka saag with parathas and steamed rice.

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This post was last modified on January 5, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Categories Curry RecipesNorth Indian RecipesPopular Indian RecipesPunjabi RecipesVegan Recipes

View Comments (121)

    • instead of maize flour you can also use gram flour or besan. maize flour helps in thickening the saag and also tones down the bitter pungent taste of the mustard leaves. its better to add the flour.

  • I love your website!! your presentation n photographs are so good, a newbie like me can feel the clarity and the possibility of all that effort coming out right.

  • She is awesome. I failed in making modaks following her recipe during ganesh chaturthi. but that was my fault. whenever i need a veg recipe i look up her blog. so thank you very much. i would like to know the use of traditional cookware in making food.i mean the better way of storing foods to cooking them in vessels pots etc..

    • thanks uma. i don't know how i missed your comment for so long. there a lot of traditional cookwares available in south india like kerala, karanataka etc. though i use modern cookware, i also have clay and stone pots for cooking. again even iron kadhai is good as when you cook in it, some iron gets into the food. for storing after the bharni used for pickles, salt etc, next best is glass. steel jars are also good for storing.

  • I was looking for authentic punjabi Sarson ka saag and I got it. Today I made Sarson ka Saag. It's become yummy and tasty. My mother and sisters also like this very much. Thank you Dassana Amit. For tempering I used dry red chilly also.

  • Hi Dassana,

    I first came upon your website searching for the saag recipe. Now any recipes i need i first search yours. In fact your website is permanently open on my laptop!! The saag came out really well and was very useful for me as a long term option :) (what with cooking with a 7 month baby in my hands). How long can the saag be safe for storage in the fridge?


    • hi lavanya
      thanks for this positive feedback.
      you can safely use saag for 3-4 days, if kept in fridge.
      after 4th day, just taste the saag whether it is good or not.
      i have heard many people freeze the saag and use it for a longer period... but personally i have never tried this method.
      last time, my saag which was kept in the fridge got slightly spoiled on 5th or 6th day.
      i hope it helps.

  • Sari umar sanu Sarso da sag yad rahega.
    Mai Kiran Kapoor de nal khaya si.
    I am fond of Sarso da sag since I had it with our relative as mentioned above, now we too make the same at home,we live in Vadodara Gujarat here sarso seeds are of bitter "Rai" kindly tell me if to drain out the water after boiling the sarso leaves as water is bitter ? Plz.tell us or give a tip on this as we drain out the water after boiling the Sarso,palak& bhatua leaves.are doing correct ?

    • virendra, when i make saron ka saag then the mustard leaves are not bitter here. so i checked with my mil. she says her mil used to remove the water as the sarson used to be bitter. but then you lose nutrients. my mil suggest to reduce the quantity of sarson and increase the quantity of palak and bathua and with this method she does not throw the water and sarson ka saag is not bitter.

  • We enjoy Indian food and I often go to your website whe looking for a special recipe. Your instructions are clear and we have never been disappointed with the results.

    I have a question you may be able to answer. I have tried to find my answer by cruising the internet with no results.

    I sent my husband out to our local Middle Eastern food for pita bread. He came home with this lovely, paper thin bread called sag. The sheets of bread were rectangles about 12inches by 8inches folded as one would fold a sheet of paper.

    It may not be Indian, but I can find no information on how to use it. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • thanks evelyn. the bread is actually saj. it is a middle eastern bread. they are cooked like the way we cook roomali roti (thin handkerchief like round breads) in india. if you type saj bread on google, you will get its recipe.

  • Hi Dassana Thanks for the lovely recipe. the pics look really good.
    This recipe looks very delicious and authentic
    Just wanted to ask can i boil the greens and vegies and keep it in fridge for a couple of days and then grind and cook it on the day we want to eat? Also one of my north indian friend once suggested to add brocolli as well in the vegies? what do u thonk?

    Thanks heaps for always replying. Really appreciate it!

  • U can make it directly by steaming sarsoon tomatoes green chillies then tempering mustard oil garlic making it dry it also tastes good

  • hi iam a south indian recently settled in delhi. i always wanted to make this saag recipe but reluctant because i. keep up the good work. dont know the proper method. then i saw your post,tried it. wow it came out excellent.thanks for the step by step recipe

  • I like your recipe. I did without onion and garlic it was good. I am non eater of onion and garlic. If you find any recipe without onion and garlic please let me know

  • Thank u so much Dassana for sharing such lovely recipe of sarson ka saag....this is the first ever best recipe of saag on Google...I really appreciate ur hard work of preparing and clicking pics....well done.

  • It was really very yummy!!!!!
    tried your many recipies .... All are awesome!!!!
    Please let me know the recipe for BAJRA ki Khichadi.....

  • Being a novice, i had never thought i'd be able to cook saag ever in my life...that too so yummy.
    Your recipies are simply the best and so easy to follow.

    Thanks for this one...it was a treat and everyone loved it.

  • thanks for the recipe. You are definitely correct in that it takes a long time to prepare this dish. I enjoyed making it and eating it with a lot of help from my husband . I followed your recipe almost to the extreme. the only difference was i cooked it in a saucepan rather than a pressure cooker - i have never used a pressure cooker. I had bought all the different bhajis yesterday when i went shopping without even thinking what i was going to do with them. i ate the saag with makki ki rotis - your recipe too. will definitely look out for more delicious recipes from you.

    • welcome mina. glad to know this. you can make in a sauce pan also. i use pressure cooker as it is faster to cook and save gas. makki do roti with sarson da saag is an awesome combination.

  • Thanks for the awesome recipe. This dish is sooo easy to make in a pressure cooker. And it came out yummy. I received compliments from all. Thanks for your step by step instructions which ensured that I did not goof up anywhere!

  • I have always heard about this recipe, but never tried it. I want to prepare this recipe.

    But can I make this recipe by using only sarson leaves & palak.

    If yes then can you give me the measurement by cups (i.e sarson leaves & palak leaves chopped & measured in cups)

    • shalini, for 2 cups of mustard use one cup of spinach. the ratio is 2:1 for mustard and spinach respectively. you can increase or decrease the ratio proportionately.

  • Hi... From the second i saw this recipe i like to try it... I searched in all stores and got all the greens except bathua leaves, can this be done without that or its compulsory?

  • Hi I have been cooking punjabi food for the past 18 years including sarson ka saag but I really liked your receipe it is similar to my receipe but with a twist you added the seasoning and tadka material while boiling that is sure to enhance the taste

    • thanks shamli for your positive feedback. tadka added to any dish towards the end enhances the taste. felt good to read a positive comment from a seasoned punjabi cook.

  • This was so good, my mom actually cried and said she was proud of me. Although I am of Indian decent, I barely ever cooked Indian food until I found your blog. My grandma said thank god for the internet that my granddaughter is finally learning to cook sabzi. - Ha ha, Thanks! Love this recipe and your website.

    • welcome sabrina. thats so nice to hear. glad to read the response of your mother and grand ma. do try some more recipes.

  • thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe. I make this every winter, i suggest try adding sua (dil leaves) to it in the half proportion of spinach. It gives a wonderful flavour to saag. I learned this from my grandmother. Thought of sharing with you.


  • Awesome recipe. First time tried it and turned out to be great. Avid follower of your blog. Love the detailing, accompanying pictures and simple recipes. Keep it up pls!

  • Hello there! Thank you so much for this recipe. :)
    I made sarson ka saag using your recipe, yesterday, and it turned out delicious!

  • Hi dear...
    This saag was awesome... I follow this site always. These recipes are superb... Great going good luck and thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Hi dear,
    Thank u for all the amazing recipes.I always follow your recipes whenever I want to cook an Indian dish that I have not tried ever before and everyone simply loves them.??I really appreciate all the hard work u put in and make sure that u cover even the minutest details.Thank u for making me into a master chef?.

  • Just ate saag today and we are walking around in the house like morons because everyone over ate and can't go to bed with a tummy that's ready to burst??and it's almost midnight.Thanks a ton dear,god bless u.

    • i can relate to you simone. thanks for your kind wishes. you can have a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) dissolved in some warm water or some fennel seeds or cumin seeds, to be chewed directly.

  • Love the detailed instructions. I just moved to the US and have just started cooking for the first time in 30 years. Your blog is a big help and thank you for that. I have a couple of quick questions regarding this recipe:
    1. Can I just use spinach instead of the other greens you have mentioned? It's hard to find most of the mentioned greens here.
    2. Is there a substitute for maize flour I can use? Like besan or maida or wheat flour? I don't use maize flour for anything else so I don't know I should buy entire bag (only 1 kg bags available) of maize flour.

    • thanks chan.
      1. if you use spinach only, then it will be palak saag. you can use spinach only, but then scale down the recipe to half or one fourth.
      2. you can use besan or rice flour. i have used besan and rice flour in thickening gravies. never tried whole wheat flour. if you want, you can even lightly roast the besan and then add.

  • Thank u so much dear for sharing this finger licking recipe..... I could not believe that I have made this n that's also in my first attempt.... My family loved it....Always follow ur site... The way u explain the cooking method is just great.... Thnx again

  • Can you find Chenopodium in America (I live in Tennessee). if so what should I look for in the supermarket or Farmer's market. If it is not available what is a good substitute?

  • Hi

    I have been following your blog for some time now and have used a few recipes. They are all so appropriately written and explained! Love the details :)

    Quick question - can I make this saag without spinach and bathua?

  • Dear Dassana, Made this recipe today and it turned out delicious. I had been wanting to make it since such a long time. I don't know how I forgot to check your site. It turned out so yum I will be making this again and again.

    • Thanks Lopamudra. Glad to know that you liked the sarson ka saag. its taste awesome with makki di roti and specially when you eat it in winters.

  • Hi Dasanna,

    I love all your recipes. Do you have any ideas for cooking veggies like broccoli, kale, Swiss chard using Indian spices?


    • thanks deepa. i have only cooked kale and broccoli. never used swiss chard as we do not get it here. kale can be used similar to spinach or drumstick leaves in recipes. so any recipe that you make with spinach or drumstick leaves, you can make the same with kale. for broccoli use it like cauliflower. i always blanch broccoli and use. you can make patties, stir fry, parathas, sabzis easily with broccoli.

    • they are not the same thing. maize flour is makki ka atta whereas corn daliya is coarsely ground corn. but you can grind some daliya in a small mixer and grinder and add the ground flour to the saag.

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