5 July 2007

Makki di roti and sarson da saag

Lush yellow mustard fields, girls dressed in brightly coloured salwar kameezes singing "Ghar aaja pardesi tera des bulaye….." a scene straight from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. The very mention of Punjab can conjure up the rich flavours of its renowned cuisine and the first thing that springs to your mind is makki di roti and sarson da saag. Typically prepared in winter when mustard leaves are abundantly available sarson da saag is a gravy prepared out of mustard leaves. Makki di roti is an Indian bread made from maize flour. I was quite newly married when I was introduced to this seasonal speciality. My inlaws and husband's grandma, who is affectionately called Pabiji were visiting us here. Apart from the gifts, pickles and sweets, they brought with them huge white radishes, spinach, mustard leaves, maize flour etc. "We thought you don't get any Indian things here," they said when we jokingly remarked that they had carried a grocer's shop with them! I was totally bowled over by Pabiji's zeal and affection, (she's way past 80) as she sat cross legged on the floor grating the radishes and kneading the dough as my mother in law prepared the saag. Needless to say the lunch was divine!

For Sarson ka saag you need:
3 bunches sarson/mustard leaves
1 bunch palak/spinach
1 bunch bathua/ Chenopodium album, (a small leafed winter green supposed to have medicinal properties, usually used in making parathas in North India)
4 onions chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
3 green chillies minced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp wheat flour
2 tbsp pure ghee
Salt and red chilli powder to taste

Remove stems and wash the mustard leaves, spinach and bathua well. Chop finely and pressure cook them on slow flame for half an hour. Cool and grind coarsely.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onion till golden brown. Add garlic, green chillies and stir fry. Add the tomato and cook till tender. Add the coarse sarson mixture, salt and cook for about 20 minutes. Add wheat flour diluted in 2 tbsp water and for for a minute or two. Temper with red chilli powder and ghee and serve hot.
Here I do not get mustard leaves or bathua, so I use spinach and follow the same method to cook the saag. Tastes great!

For makki di roti you need :
2 ½ cups maize flour
1 cup grated radish
1 cup methi/fenugreek leaves
3 tbsp coriander leaves
2 green chillies
salt to taste

Chop the fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves and green chillies finely. In a bowl add all the ingredients and mix well. Knead into a dough adding just sufficient water. Now take a small lump of the dough, roll into a ball and flatten between the palms to make thick small rotis. Roast on both sides on a hot tava, applying ghee on both sides. This takes time to cook, so keep the flame medium/slow. Serve hot, smearing white butter/makhan on the roti with sarson da saag, dahi/curds and pickle.

This is my entry to RCI – Punjabi guest hosted by Richa of As Dear As Salt. RCI is the brainchild of LakshmiK of Veggie Cuisine.

Updates :

1. You may also add suva/dill to the saag - it imparts a great flavour.

2. Ready to eat, canned sarson ka saag ( I forget the brand) is also available in the market. For those who have never tasted sarson ka saag, this is a good option.

3. Other ways to make rotis: press the ball on a flat surface and flatten to make a roti OR roll the ball between two plastic sheets to form a roti.

4. If any of you know what bathua is called in any other language, please let me know too. :)


Asha said...

OH NO!!! I am saying anything more!!!;D
Looks great and a fabulous entry for RCI Punjab!:))

DEEPA said...

Nice Entry ....Makki di roti ...perfect punjabhi recipe ...thks for sharing

bee said...

beautifully done. thanks for the recipes.

marriedtoadesi.com said...


I have read about this combination on a few blogs. Looks like this is a classic! I must try to see how good it tastes. I am sure it is absolute comfort food.


Richa said...

wah bhai wah!
such a beautifully presented classic dish, loved it!
thanks for this splendid entry!!

Saju said...

your maki di roti looks absolutely delish! Saag looks good too, great entry

sra said...

I've eaten this dish just twice, I think. Am trying to find out what exactly bathua is in Telugu/Tamil.

Gini said...

I have always wanted to try these dishes. Now that I have an authentic recipe, I am going to make these.
Hope you are going to share more recipes from your visitors.

Mishmash ! said...

Never tasted it , so cant imagine the taste...is it difficult to roll the rotis?


Suganya said...

Roti is perfectly sized. Lovely!

Mallugirl said...

hmm.. so u have a mixed heritage.. cute!! nice to see an authentic saag recipe. my mom loves the bathua ki roti. we sometimes add a bit of dill leaves too to the saag.

Roopa said...

wow yum looks great! excellent entry for RCI!

archana said...

This recipe is very authentic.Just the way it is prepared in Punjab :)Even I use bathua with sarson. I liked the addition of radish and methi in roti.I will try this combo in winters.
The view from your house is beautiful :)

Jyothsna said...

Asha, Deepa, Bee - Thankyou ladies!

Kanchana - Thanks for noticing the view!! Do try this recipe, it's easy!

Richa - Thanks for hosting!

Saju, Gini - Thanks, and do try!

Sra - I have no clue what bathua is in any language!!

Shn - You get ready to eat sarson ka saag, its great. Try the recipe with spinach alone, you may like it. As for the rotis, I've made an update.

Suganya, Roopa - Thanks!

Mallugirl - :) My kids will have mixed heritage, me, I'm malu thru n thru!! Thanks for pointing out the dill, I've added an update.

Archana - Thanks for noticing the view! Your recipes are quite authentic too :)

Sia said...

yup...makki di roti and sarson kka saag ROCKS. very simple yet heartsome meal. u r true abt adding dill to saag.

prabhu.nandu said...

thanks for the recipe!

Prema Sundar said...

I have never tasted mustard leaves Jo.. When I googled for punjabi cuisine for the RCI , I found Sarson da saag and Makki di roti in many websites.. I was thinking to do that sometime and now after reading ur recipe I want to try it out soon. Thanks for sharing a very authentic recipe.

Sia said...

i have mailed u jyo

Sig said...

Hey Jyo... looks great... I am sooo ignorant when it comes to punjabi cuisine... the dish names are sooo musical... :) thanks for the authentic recipe.. :)

Sharmi said...

lovely and perfect entry!!

Bharathy said...

Love the authentic and homely recipe choice!!Thanx for sharing,Girl..!!

USHA said...

HI Jyothsna,

Thanks for visiting my blog and dropping your valuable coomment over there...HmmmWhat a authenic spreadover here..

Everything was compeltely new to me,,but it was interesting to know about new recipes andPunjabi style too.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This sounds delish!.....Great work... Love all ur recipes....

Jyothsna said...

Sia, Nandu, Prema, Sharmi, Bharathy, Usha, Sukanya - Thankyou to all of you!

Sig - I'm as ignorant about fish curries...:)

Hema said...

What a classic combo!! Great job!

Linda said...

This is a dish I haven't attempted yet -- it looks delicious :)

Jyothsna said...

Hema, Linda - Thankyou!:)

rahin said...

hi , nice blog, nothing screams punjab as sarson da saag n makki di roti ....gud recipe..

Sandeepa said...

Ekdum balle balle entry... :)
Have never had authentic sarson di saag, shalll try once I bring mustard greens home

Jyothsna said...

Rahin - Welcome here!

Sandeepa - I'm ekdum happy to see you here :)

Padma said...

Mujhe wow chahiye...i never tried sarson ka saag at home, kinda scared of failure in taste...your recipes calmed my worries...have to try soon
thanks yaar

Jyothsna said...

Padma -Try it :)

Anonymous said...

Bathua is called "Chandan Batwa" in either Maharastrian or Gujarati, not sure which... have always heard my mother refer to it as that.

Jyothsna said...

Thanks Anon!