Authentic Indian Breakfast: Sarson Ka Saag

Posted on 12 January 2017

breakfast india



In rural Punjab and Haryana Sarson Ka Saag and Bajra Khichdi are popular in winters as they keep you warm throughout the day. Since both Haryana and Punjab are agricultural states, they grow the maximum amount of sarson (mustard) in the country, which is used in oils, and the leaves are used in households. Farmers usually eat these for breakfast as they keep you full for a longer time when working in fields.

Every household has their own way of making Sarson Ka Saag. Even 50 years ago this was cooked in earthen pots in earthen ovens with cow dung cakes as fuel for four hours for it to get the authentic flavour. Now this is mostly made on hobs and gas flames.



For the Saag (leaf-based dish):
0.5 kg saag (mustard leaves)
250 gms b
athua (Chenopodium)
150 gms p
alak (spinach)
50gms m
asoor dal (red lentils) (alternatively use chickpea lentils or black lentil)
1 tbsp s
1 tsp t
urmeric powder
1 cup c
hopped onions
1tbsp garlic
6- 7 g
reen chilis
1 cup ginger
1 tsp coriander powder
2 chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili powder
a pinch of black pepper
2 tbsp cow ghee (alternatively butter)

spices for the recipe


For the Bajra Khichdi
1 cup bajra grains (pearl millet)

0.5 cup m
oth ki daal (Vigna aconitifolia is a drought-resistant legume)
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cow ghee (alternatively butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup onion
1 tsp ginger
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp red chilli powder




1. Mustard leaves, bathua and spinach leaves need to be washed 3 times in fresh water. Chop them for the bulk to be smaller and take a heavy bottom vessel with water enough to immerse the leaves. Add salt and turmeric powder with red lentils to the leaves in the vessel.

Making of Sarson Ka Saag


2. Now cover the vessel with a lid. After one boil let the Saag cook on low heat for 2 hours. Keep looking for the water to evaporate completely. Lentils and leaves should be completely soft. Let it cool on room temperature for 30 minutes. To achieve a mash texture, we will need to blend the leaves and lentils with a hand blender or even a chopper.

chopped cumin seeds,  garlic and ginger

3. Take a pan and add ghee. After the ghee is hot add cumin seeds, chopped garlic and ginger. Sautee for a minute and then add chopped onion and green chili. Sautee till onions turn golden brown and then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and finally chopped tomatoes (or alternatively puree). Now add the mashed Saag to the mixture. Cook together for 5 minutes. Serve with hot chapatti.

Bajra Khichdi:

1. Soak Bajra overnight to cook the next day. Take a heavy bottom vessel and add one cup bajra and half a cup moth daal and 1 full spoon salt. Now add 7.5 cups of water. Bring to boil and now lower the heat and let it cook for one hour. Every 15 minutes, stir this mixture for it to reach a mash texture. Check if the grain is now soft, or else add another cup if water.

2. Take another pan, add ghee and cumin seeds, chopped ginger, chopped green chilli, and onions. After the onions are golden brown add red chilli powder. Finally add Bajra Khichdi to this before serving.

© All photos via Sayali Goyal

Sayali Goyal

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