As cold waves and winter chills grip north India, there is a kind of warmth that only familiar home food can bring—the kind that has been passed down for generations with dollops of love and nostalgia. Sarson ka saag with makki ki roti, the classic combination from Punjab, are two such lip-smacking winter dishes that evoke comfort as you battle the weather.
Sarson ka saag is a thick gravy-like preparation made with green mustard leaves (sarson) and makki ki roti is a flatbread with maize flour.
Sarson ka saag
Recipe by Chef Pankaj Bhadouria
Serves 5 to 6
1 kg mustard (sarson) leaves
500 gm spinach leaves
250 gm bathua (goosefoot) leaves
10 cloves garlic
2 inch ginger
5-6 green chilies
One-fourth cup ghee
Half cup chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped garlic
3-4 whole red chilies
One-fourth cup corn meal (makki ka atta)
•Wash the saag leaves at least three times and chop them.
•Boil four cups of water, add the chopped saag leaves, and cook.
•Crush the ginger, garlic, green chilies in a pestle and mortar and add to the pan.
•Cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes until the saag leaves are tender and well cooked.
•Mash the saag occasionally. After switching off the stove, mash the leaves again. Ensure they don't become a paste. The texture should be coarse.
•Add the makki ka atta one teaspoon at a time and mix well. Add salt to taste. Put it back on flame and cook for five more minutes
•Heat ghee in a pan, add the finely chopped garlic and saute till golden. Add the chopped onions and saute till golden. Add the chopped red chilies and mix well.
•Finally add the cooked saag and mix.
•Serve with butter (optional).
Makki ki Roti
Recipe by Chef Kunal Kapur
1 small radish, peeled and grated
Salt to taste
1 cup radish leaves, finely chopped
2 cups maize flour (makki ka atta)
1 green chilli, chopped
Water as required
Ghee as required
•Add half teaspoon of salt to the grated radish and leave aside for five minutes. Squeeze out the excess water from the grated radish.
•In a bowl, add flour, a pinch of salt, grated radish, radish leaves, and green chilli. Add little water to make a dough. Divide the flour into golf-ball-sized balls.
•Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into discs. Don't worry if there are cracks on the edges. Each roti would be about 5-7 cm in diameter.
•Cook the roti on a hot girdle placed on medium flame. Once you see light brown spots on either sides. Add a little ghee on each side. Make sure the edges are well cooked. Serve warm.