Sarson ka Saag or mustard greens is a popular dish from North India enjoyed during winters. It is a highly nutritious dish made with green leafy vegetables, tempered with onion, garlic, and some Indian spices.
Make this classic Indian dish Sarson Ka Saag in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker in no time! Enjoy Sarson ka saag with some makki ki roti, and a dollop of ghee!
SARSON KA SAAG
Sarson ka Saag or mustard greens is a healthy preparation of mustard greens, and some other leafy vegetables, such as spinach, and bathua or also known as chenopodium.
Leafy vegetables are cooked and then tempered with some onion, garlic, and some Indian spices in ghee or clarified butter. This unique preparation of saag or greens is a blend of leafy vegetables easily available during winters.
As a kid, growing up in India, I remember during winters, we used to eat saag or greens a lot. Greens were available fresh and in plenty during winters, and this was one of the reasons why we used to eat greens only during the winters.
My grandma use to make this saag. She used different leafy vegetables to prepare the saag. The key ingredient of the recipe was mustard greens of course, with some other greens such as spinach, bathua (chenopodium), and sometimes she would add methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), turnip, or radish greens as well.
SARSON KA SAAG (CONTINUED)
Traditionally, saag is cooked in an open pot. Cooking greens in an open pot helps prevent greens from losing their color and also in preserving their nutritional values.
Somehow, I feel this process is quite time-consuming. Being a busy mom I need quick fixes, but at the same time, I make sure the authenticity of the dish is preserved to its core.
I find cooking saag in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, much easier than the traditional open pot method. While pressure cooking does reduce the cooking time, the risk of food being overcooked cannot be ignored.
Understanding the right technique and key things that can help cook food faster without overcooking is very important while using a pressure cooker.
Overcooked greens not only lose their vibrant color but most importantly, loses their nutritional value as well. I attempted a few times to work through this recipe to get the right color, and texture and most importantly preserve its nutritional values.
Today, I am sharing my quick and easy version of this wonderful preparation of Sarson ka Saag. Though this recipe is much loved during the winters, I can eat this any time of the year.
Pic Shown: Sarson Ka Saag
HOW TO PREPARE SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Preparing Sarson ka saag is quite easy and the only difficult part is prepping the greens. Yes, if you are using fresh greens, you will need some time to prep the greens. However, feel free to use frozen greens, the recipe works just fine. Please refer to the post later for - How To Clean And Prep Sarson (leafy greens).
Once you have done the prep work, this recipe comes together in just under 10 minutes in an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker.
INSTANT POT SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Add mustard greens - stems, leaves, chopped spinach, onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, some Indian spices, and water and cook on manual / pressure cook mode (high) for "0" minutes.
Yes, "ZERO" minutes only and this is not a typo? Followed by a quick pressure release. Quick pressure release helps preserve the green color and also prevents greens from being overcooked. Thus preserving its nutritional values to their best.
Once the greens are pressure cooked, using an immersion or handheld blender, blend the saag until desired consistency. I like some texture in the saag, therefore I pulse the saag a few times, till I get the desired consistency. You can puree the saag.
Turn on the sauté mode, add some maize flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Maize flour gives a nice creamy texture to the saag.
On a stovetop, prepare some tempering with some onion, garlic, and red chili powder in ghee and add it to the saag.
Enjoy this winter special greens Sarson ka Saag with the classic combination of makki ki roti (flatbread prepared with maize flour) or with some Indian bread such as roti, paratha, or Jowar Bhakri / Sorghum flour flatbread. I also like to serve some Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) as a side dish.
Pic Shown: Sarson Ka Saag
TIPS FOR BEST SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Use mustard greens stems and leaves. Discard the woody ends, and finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Both stems and leaves add a ton of flavor and texture to this dish.
As stems take longer to cook, chopping them fine assures that both stems and leaves cook at the same time.
Pressure cook the greens for no more than a minute, followed by a quick pressure release. Greens do not take long to cook under the pressure. Cooking longer would result in an overcooked green.
Do a quick pressure release to prevent greens from overcooking. This technique helps preserve the green color.
Maize flour gives saag a nice creamy consistency and also helps bind the saag. Do not skip adding the flour. You can also use bajra(millet) flour or jowar (sorghum) flour to get a creamy consistency.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Sarson ka Saag is a dish mainly prepared using sarson or mustard greens, and with some combination of other greens as well, depending upon the availability of the greens.
Greens of choice such as spinach, methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), turnip greens, bathua (chenopodium), collard greens, and radish may also be used in combination with mustard greens.
The key thing to remember is that the main flavor comes from mustard greens in this recipe. Since mustard greens have a very pungent and slightly bitter flavor, to compensate for this bitterness other greens are used in combination.
Many times it is difficult to find all the greens, but mustard greens and spinach are easily available where I live all year round. Therefore, I like to use the combination of these two greens to make Sarson Da Saag.
I normally take a 3:2 ratio for mustard greens and spinach. Sometimes, I also add some turnip greens and some radish, in addition to spinach. It gives this dish a nice flavor.
HOW TO CLEAN AND PREP SARSON (MUSTARD GREENS)
It is very important to clean the greens thoroughly before use. I prefer to soak the greens completely in cold water for 10 minutes, and let all the grit/dirt settle to the bottom. After 10 minutes, remove the greens, and discard all the water.
Repeat this process at least 3-4 times or until you no longer see grit/dirt coming to off. Let the excess water strain through the colander, for around 5-10 minutes. Chop the stems finely and leaves roughly.
Blend of different leafy vegetables such as spinach, methi (fenugreek) leaves, turnip greens, radish, and bathua(chenopodium), may also be added in combination with mustard greens.
WHY ADD MUSTARD GREENS STEMS
Mustard greens stems are quite thick, and some discard the stems and use only leaves. I think stems have so much flavor and add great texture to this recipe. I chop the stems finely and leaves roughly.
WHY CHOP MUSTARD GREEN STEMS FINELY
Many of you might think why chop stems finely, the reason behind chopping the stems finely is that we will be pressure cooking all together (stems+leaves).
Stems take longer to cook than leaves. If stems are chopped into big chunks they may not get cooked in the same amount of time as the leaves, resulting in under-cooked greens. Finely chopping stems assures that both stems and leaves get cooked at the same time.
Pic Shown: Sarson Ka Saag
WHY PRESSURE COOK FOR "ZERO" MINUTES ONLY
Zero minutes is all you need to cook the greens in a pressure cooker. Cooking longer would result in an overcooked green.
WHY QUICK RELEASE PRESSURE
To prevent greens from losing their color, quick release pressure is important. This technique helps preserve the green color.
WHY USE MAIZE FLOUR
Maize flour gives saag a nice creamy consistency. You can also use bajra(millet) flour or jowar (sorghum) flour to get a creamy consistency.
HOW TO SERVE SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Traditionally Sarson Da Saag is served with a dollop of butter, accompanied by some make di roti (flatbread prepared with maize flour), some onion sliced, piece of jaggery, and a glass of buttermilk.
I also like to serve saag with some Jowar Bhakri / Sorghum flour flatbread, tandoori roti, paratha, or naan. I like to serve some Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) as a side dish.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE SARSON KA SAAG (MUSTARD GREENS)
Saag stays fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Re-heat the saag and serve.
You can freeze saag too. If planning to freeze the saag skip the tempering. Let the saag cool completely, divide it into freezer-safe containers and freeze it.
This will stay good for 2-3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Prepare the tempering, add saag, and heat it through. Serve hot.
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Sindhi Methi Aloo [Fenugreek Potato Stir fry]
Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens) - Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
To be pressure cooked:
- 1 bunch mustard greens, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped (around 12 oz)
- 1 bunch spinach, chopped (around 8 oz)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (around ½ cup)
- 1 inch ginger, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 green chili, chopped (as per taste)
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon maize flour/ makki ka atta
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instant Pot Sarson Ka Saag
- Turn on Instant Pot. In the inner pot of IP, add chopped mustard greens - stems, mustard greens - leaves, chopped spinach, onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste, and water. Close the Instant Pot.
- Turn on Instant Pot to manual / pressure cook mode (high) for "0" minutes, vent sealed.Note: "zero" minutes is not a typo.
- When Instant Pot beeps, quickly release pressure. Open the IP lid.
- (Optional) Using a hand blender or immersion blender, pulse the greens few times, until desired consistency. You can puree the greens as well.
- Turn on saute mode (high), add maize flour, mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Prepare the tempering on a stove top. On a medium-high heat, in a sauce pan, add oil+ghee. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds, asafoetida, garlic, onion. Saute until light brown in color, around 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add red chili powder, pour this tempering over greens.
- Add garam masala, some lemon juice. Mix well. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Sarson ka saag (mustard greens) is ready to be served. Enjoy Sarson ka saag with some makki ki roti, and a dollop of ghee!
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Sarson Ka Saag
- In a pressure cooker, add chopped mustard greens - stems, mustard greens - leaves, chopped spinach, onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste, and water. Close the pressure cooker with the weights on.
- After the first whistle, turn OFF the heat. Manually release the pressure and open the pressure cooker. Follow the rest of the recipe as Instant Pot.
- How To Clean And Prep Sarson (Mustard Greens)
- Tips For Best Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Garam masala is optional, but it adds a nice flavor to the saag.
- Lemon Juice adds refreshing flavor to this dish.
- Can I use Frozen Greens - Yes, you can use frozen greens. Add a couple of minutes of extra cooking time for frozen greens. Alternatively, you could thaw the greens first and then use the recipe, works just fine.
- Traditionally, Sarson ka saag or mustard greens is served with Makki di roti, but it goes well with any Indian bread - roti, paratha, naan Jowar Bhakri / Sorghum flour flatbread. I also like to serve some Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) as a side dish.
Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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