Sai Bhaji – A Sindhi Specialty


Sindhi Sai Bhaji Recipe

Greens are a staple in my home; whether used in dal or as dry sabzis. To alleviate boredom, I try to cook the greens in different ways. This week, I made Sai Bhaji, a Sindhi Specialty with the help of two of my  Sindhi colleagues; Roshni Sharma and Nikita Jhanglani. Both of them gave me very similar recipes; the only difference was that Roshni’s recipe used methi along with Palak (Spinach), Ambat Chukka (Green Sorrel, Khatta Palak) and Sua (Dill). Since I had methi at home, I used it as well. More the greens the better it is for health being my mantra. 😀

To get back to Sai Bhaji, it is a wonderfully tangy curry made that uses Palak and Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) as its mainstay with Sua, Khatta Palak and Tomatoes being used to add tanginess. It is a complete dish in itself and a wonderful accompaniment to both rotis and rice.

The trick to a good Sai Bhaji I am told is to ensure that the greens are mashed while the Chana Dal retains its shape. I sent the two ladies pics to ensure I got it right. 🙂

In my enthusiasm, I used a wee bit more Chana Dal than was necessary. However, it did not detract from the taste in anyway.

Thank you, Roshni and Nikita, for this recipe. It was indeed yum!

How to Make Sindhi Sai Bhaji

Sindhi Sai Bhaji Recipe
Sai Bhaji - A Sindhi Speciality
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Sai Bhaji is a Sindhi specialty made with loads of greens: palak, khatta palak/ambat chukka, methi, and sua. Added to this is protein in the form of Chana Dal. Healthy and tasty!
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian, Sindhi
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
  • 3 Packed Cups Finely Chopped Palak or Spinach
  • 3 Handfuls Finely Chopped Khatta Palak or Green Sorrel
  • 1 Handful Sua or Dill
  • 2 Handfuls Methi or Fenugreek Leaves
  • 2/3 Cup Chana Dal
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 2 to 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Haldi or Trumeric
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Soak the Chana Dal
  1. Wash the chana dal thoroughly.
  2. Soak in about 1 cup water for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and set aside the chana dal.
The Preparations for Sai Bhaji
  1. Chop all the leafy vegetables to small pieces.
  2. Peel and chop the onion to fine pieces.
  3. Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
  4. Slit the green chillies.
Method to make Sai Bhaji
  1. Heat a a heavy bottomed vessel or small pressure cooker.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the onion and saute till transparent.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
  5. Saute for a minute.
  6. Add tomato pieces and saute till soft.
  7. Add the salt, red chilli powder and haldi.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Add the chana dal and mix well.
  10. Add the greens and mix well.
  11. Add about 2/3 cup water.
  12. Pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
  13. Let the cooker cool completely.
  14. Using a masher, mash the Sai Bhaji such that the greens are mashed but the Chana Dal retains shape. This is the tricky bit. 🙂
  15. Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Recipe Notes

I added methi but you can omit it.

If you do not get Ambat Chukka, you could add about 1/2 tsp tamarind paste for tanginess but it does change the taste.

If you do not like too much tanginess, reduce the amount of tomato or dill.


Sai Bhaji - A Sindhi Recipe

Pulagam – A Popular Naivedyam from Andhra Pradesh

Pulagam - Andhra Festive Recipe with Rice and Moong Dal

Pulagam is a very very simple dish made in Andhra Pradesh for festivals. It is made with rice and split green gram (chilkewali moong). It is different from Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal in the sense that it has no tempering of any kind, just salt as seasoning. Also, while Katte Pongali is mashed and slightly liquidy, Pulagam has the same consistency as steamed rice.

For most festivals and poojas, it is Pulagam that we offer as naivedyam. It is typically served with Coconut Chutney or Kobbari Pachadi or Verusenaga Pachadi.

With Sankranti round the corner, I thought this would be an apt post.

Do also try the recipes for Moong Dal Khichdi Cooked in Buttermilk and Balaee, a Himachali Kala Chana Khichdi.

How to Make Pulagam

Pulagam - Andhra Festive Recipe with Rice and Moong Dal
Pulagam - A Popular Naivedyam from Andhra Pradesh
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Pulagam is a very very simple dish made in Andhra Pradesh for for festivals. It is made with rice and split green gram (chilkewali moong).
Course: Main
Cuisine: Andhra Recipes, Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
  • 1 Cup Split Green Gram or Chilkewali Moong
  • 1 Cup Rice
  • Salt to Taste
  1. Mix the rice and the moong together.
  2. Wash well.
  3. Add about 4 cups of water.
  4. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  5. Let the cooker cool.
  6. Add salt and mix with a gentle hand.
  7. Offer as naivedyam.