Pressure Cooker Sai Bhaji [Spinach Dal]

  • Post last modified:September 21, 2022
  • Post author:
  • Post comments:2 Comments

 This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

Sharing is caring!

Sai Bhaji, or spinach dal, is a popular dish from Sindhi, Indian cuisine. This dal is a unique blend of green leafy vegetables, and lentils. Highly nutritious, wholesome meal, easy to make in a pressure cooker. Serve this delicious, comforting Sai Bhaji with some steamed rice. This dal is vegan and gluten-free.

Here are some more leafy greens recipes for you to try – Kale Sarson Ka Saag, Palak Paneer [Spinach with Indian cottage cheese], Punjabi Sarson Ka Saag, Microgreens Methi Thepla [Fenugreek Flatbread], and Aloo Suva [Indian Fried Dill Potatoes]

 

sai bhaji

 

SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Growing up in India, I remember, my grandma used to make Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal) and Tahiri (sweet rice) on every first Sunday of the month, for the well-being of our family and friends. 

She used to make a big pot of Sai Bhaji and Tahiri and would take it to the temple as an offering to God, share among family and friends. Thus, spreading love and well wishes through this small gesture of hers. I also love to make Sai Bhaji and Tahiri on first Sunday of the month, thus keeping the tradition alive.

Sai bhaji or spinach dal, is one of the popular dish from Sindhi/Indian Cuisine. Sindhi cuisine is known for its rich and nutritional food. Sindhi Sai Bhaji or Spinach dal is a power pack of wholesome nutrients. Spinach and lentils give a nice balance of nutrients to this dish. “Sai” in Sindhi means “green” and “bhaji” means “vegetables”.

There are many variations to this recipe, depending upon the availability of the greens this dish is prepared. Today, I am sharing my version of this Sindhi Sai Bhaji.

Pic Shown: Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

 

sai bhaji

 

HOW TO MAKE SAI BHAJI ( SPINACH DAL)

Traditionally, Sai bhaji (Spinach dal) is prepared with leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, some dill leaves, and chana dal( split chickpeas lentils), some onion, garlic, and tomatoes.

Some recipes also use vegetables such as eggplant and potatoes. Traditionally, this dish is cooked as a one pot, cooking lentils and leafy vegetables together. Once the lentils and greens are cooked, it is slightly mashed to give it a nice creamy texture.  Finally, tempering is added to it.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Following ingredients are used in making of this healthy and delicious Sai Bhaji. For variations to this dish please refer to the post later for – Varitions To This Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

Leafy greens –  I have used fresh baby spinach for this recipe. You may use fresh or frozen spinach. In addition to spinach, I occasionally like to add some other greens, such as, methi leaves, dill leaves, or turnip greens. 

Lentils – I used chana dal (split chickpeas lentils) for this recipe. You can use moong dal, masoor dal, toor dal, or chana dal. A combination of dal would work great too.

Onion – I like to use yellow or red onion for this recipe. Feel free to use any variety of onion.

Ginger –  My personal favorite is organic fresh ginger. I think it is packed with flavor. You can use some ground ginger if that’s what you have.

Garlic- Again nothing beats the fresh flavor of organic garlic. A little goes a long way. I love lots of garlic in this recipe, and hence have used it for tempering the dal too. Feel free to add as much or as little to your preference.

Green chili – I have used Thai green chili or birds eye chili. For milder flavor use Serrano peppers.

Tomatoes – Simply the best – Fresh tomatoes. I do not prefer any canned or puree tomatoes for this recipe. It just doesn’t taste the same. If you do not have fresh tomatoes, simply skip them and use some fresh lemon juice just before serving.

Whole spices – I like the addition of cumin seeds, and asafetida.

Dry spices – Basic Indian spices, such as, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder

Lemon juice – For some fresh flavor and tanginess, freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste.

Ghee – I prefer ghee for tadka (tempering). For vegan use plant based oil.

PREP FOR SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Rinse and soak chana dal for 3-4 hours, or until the dal doubles in size. Once doubled in size, drain and rinse soaked chana dal. Keep it aside.

Alternatively you can soak the dal in hot water, covered for 30-45 minutes.

Wash, and chop spinach. Chop onions, tomatoes, green chili, and ginger. Mince garlic.

Pic Shown: Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

 

sai bhaji

 

INSTANT POT SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Turn ON Instant Pot to SAUTE(more). When it displays “HOT”, add oil, cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Now add water, and deglaze the inner pot. Turn OFF SAUTE.

Next, add chana dal, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and green chili.

Add dry spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder,  and salt to taste.  

Close the Instant Pot lid, and the vent is sealed. Turn ON the Pressure cook (high) for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.

Open the Instant Pot lid, and using a Hand blender slightly mash the dal. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as per taste.

(Optional) Heat Ghee or oil in a frying pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until garlic turns light brown. Switch OFF the heat. Add red chili powder. Pour this tempering over cooked dal. Serve hot with Rice. Enjoy!!

PRESSURE COOKER SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Follow the same recipe as discussed earlier. After the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant Pot.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Now add water, and deglaze the pot.

Next, add chana dal, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and green chili.

Add dry spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder,  and salt to taste.  

Close the pressure cooker lid, and place the whistle (weights). After the first whistle, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn OFF the heat. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.

Open the pressure cooker lid, and using a Hand blender slightly mash the dal. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as per taste.

(Optional) Heat Ghee or oil in a frying pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until garlic turns light brown. Switch OFF the heat. Add red chili powder. Pour this tempering over cooked dal. Serve hot with Rice. Enjoy!!

Pic Shown: Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

 

sai bhaji

 

VARIATIONS TO THIS SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

Leafy vegetables such as methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), mustard greens, kale, turnip greens may also be used in combination with spinach. Depending upon the greens used in the recipe, the taste, texture and color of the dish will vary. Garlic greens also add a nice flavor to this dish.

Traditionally, chana dal (split chickpeas lentils) is used in this recipe. However, other lentils such as toor dal (split pigeon peas), moong dal (yellow split petite lentils), masoor dal (red lentils) or even a combination of lentils add a nice taste, texture and nutrient value to this dish.

Tempering of garlic, red chili powder add a nice aroma to this dish. Garlic and greens go well together. You may also use cumin seeds and asafoetida in addition, adds a whole lot of flavor to this dish. 

This recipe uses minimum of spices because the flavors mainly come from the fresh leafy vegetables and the lentils. You can add some garam masala – blend of whole spices, dry roasted and ground to powder, for an additional flavor.

Lemon juice is added for the tangy flavor. You can also use some dried mango powder (amchur).

Pic Shown: Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

 

sai bhaji

 

FAQ’s

CAN I USE SOME OTHER TYPES OF GREENS 

Absolutely, feel free to use greens of your choice. Spinach, fenugreek leaves, dill, kale, mustard greens can be used. Depending upon the type of the greens used the taste of the dal will vary.

CAN I USE OTHER LENTILS

Lentils of choice may be used such chana dal (used in this recipe), moong dal (yellow split petite lentils), masoor dal (red lentils), toor dal (split pegeon peas). Each lentil has its own flavor and the taste of the dal is quite dependent on the lentils used. Masoor and moong dal are mild as compared to chana dal and toor dal.

WHERE DO I BUY LENTILS

Lentils are easily available in most Asian / Indian grocery stores. Some grocery stores with International aisle, also carry lentils.

COOKING TIME WILL VARY

Depending upon the type of lentils used, the cooking time will vary. Moong dal and masoor dal cook faster as compared to toor and chana dal. Chana dal takes the longest to cook.

DO I NEED TO SOAK THE LENTILS

Soaking the lentils is not required. However, I prefer to soak lentils prior to cooking. I think it not only reduces the cooking time but also enhances the flavor of the dish.

For moong dal and masoor dal, you can skip the soaking. But for chana dal and toor dal, I highly suggest soaking the lentils.

CAN I SERVE THIS AS A SOUP 

Yes, you can. This would be perfect as a soup also. You can also add some carrots, celery to this soup.

CAN I SKIP THE TEMPERING

Yes you can. Tempering is optional, I prefer tempering as it adds a burst of flavor to this dish. I personally, like tempering with fresh garlic, as garlic and greens go very well together. However, you may also use cumin seeds for tempering.

Lemon juice adds a nice tangy and refreshing flavor to this dish.

HOW TO SERVE SAI BHAJI (PALAK DAL)

Sai bhaji is best served with rice (chawal), fried potatoes or tariyal vangan (fried eggplant), crispy rice papad, known as kheeche or khichiya, fried or roasted papad, and some salad.

Basmati rice is my favorite to enjoy this sai bhaji. But, I also like it with Green garlic rice or Bhuga chawal (brown onion rice) or Tairi (sweet rice).

Pic Shown: Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

 

sai bhaji

TRIED THIS RECIPE?

Hope you enjoy this Sindhi Sai Bhaji!! If you give this recipe a try, please rate the recipe by clicking the stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Leave a comment and share your experience. Thank you ❤️ 

You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for all the latest on my blog!! Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for easy and delicious video recipes. Happy Cooking!!

RELATED POSTS

How to make ghee

Tahiri | Tairi [Sindhi Sweet Rice]

Tariyal Vangan [Sindhi Fried Eggplant]

Sindhi Methi Aloo [Fenugreek Potato Stir Fry]

Sindhi Tomato Kadhi [Vegan Vegetable Kadhi] 

Aloo Suva [Indian Fried Dill Potatoes] 

sai bhaji

Sai Bhaji (Spinach Dal)

Jyoti Behrani
Sai Bhaji or spinach dal, is a unique blend of green leafy vegetables, and lentils. Highly nutritious, and easy to make in a pressure cooker.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Sindhi
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz fresh or frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 green chili, chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch asafetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder, adjust to taste
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, adjust to taste

For Tempering

Instructions
 

PREP FOR SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

  • Rinse and soak chana dal for 3-4 hours, or until the dal doubles in size. Once doubled in size, drain and rinse soaked chana dal. Keep it aside.
  • Alternatively you can soak the dal in hot water, covered for 30-45 minutes.
  • Wash, and chop spinach. Chop onions, tomatoes, green chili, and ginger. Mince garlic.

INSTANT POT SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

  • Turn ON Instant Pot to SAUTE(more). When it displays "HOT", add oil, cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  • Now add water, and deglaze the inner pot. Turn OFF SAUTE.
  • Next, add chana dal, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and green chili.
  • Add dry spices - turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder,  and salt to taste.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid, and the vent is sealed. Turn ON the Pressure cook (high) for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid, and using a Hand blender slightly mash the dal. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as per taste.
  • (Optional) Heat Ghee or oil in a frying pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until garlic turns light brown. Switch OFF the heat. Add red chili powder. Pour this tempering over cooked dal.
  • Sai bhaji is best served with rice (chawal), fried potatoes or tariyal vangan (fried eggplant), crispy rice papad, known as kheeche or khichiya, fried or roasted papad, and some salad.

PRESSURE COOKER SAI BHAJI (SPINACH DAL)

  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  • Now add water, and deglaze the pot.
  • Next, add chana dal, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and green chili.
  • Add dry spices - turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder,  and salt to taste.
  • Close the pressure cooker lid, and place the whistle (weights). After the first whistle, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn OFF the heat. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.
  • Open the pressure cooker lid, and using a Hand blender slightly mash the dal. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as per taste.
  • (Optional) Heat Ghee or oil in a frying pan. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until garlic turns light brown. Switch OFF the heat. Add red chili powder. Pour this tempering over cooked dal.
  • Sai bhaji is best served with rice (chawal), fried potatoes or tariyal vangan (fried eggplant), crispy rice papad, known as kheeche or khichiya, fried or roasted papad, and some salad.

Notes

Please refer to the post for the following:
  1. Tips For Delicious Sai Bhaji [Spinach Dal]
  2. FAQ's

Disclaimer

Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

Keyword khatta bhaji, sai bhaji, sai bhaji bhuga chawal, sai bhaji in english, sai bhaji instant pot, simple sai bhaji recipes, spinach dal, spinach dal instant pot, spinach dal rice, spinach dal tadka
Tried this recipe?Mention @livingsmartandhealthy or tag #livingsmartandhealthy
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!Check out Living Smart And Healthy!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Usha

    Made Instant Pot Sai Bhaji. Great results! Thanks a lot!

    1. Jyoti Behrani

      Awesome! I am so glad you liked my recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating