Sarson Da Saag (Mustard Greens with Garlic)

Adapted from Raghavan Iyer, The Turmeric Trail: Recipes and Memories from an Indian Childhood

Notes from the Author:
Saag means greens; sarson da saag specified mustard greens, and palak da saag is spinach. This flavorful side dish often accompanies hearty whole-wheat griddle breads in Punjab, the wheat-growing capital of India.


1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger
4 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Ghee or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon hing (asafetida), optional
1 bunch fresh mustard greens, kale, chard, or 1 pound fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large tomato, finely chopped, or 1/3 cup canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masaala
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 medium lime


Finely mince the onion, ginger, and garlic on a cutting board or in a food processor.

In a wok or 3-quart saucepan, heat the ghee over medium-high heat; sizzle the hing for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the onion mixture and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.

Stir in the mustard greens and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the greens wilt and almost all the liquid leaching from the greens evaporates.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes to blend the flavors.