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
- 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
- Wash the chana dal thoroughly.
- Soak in about 1 cup water for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water and set aside the chana dal.
- Chop all the leafy vegetables to small pieces.
- Peel and chop the onion to fine pieces.
- Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
- Slit the green chillies.
- Heat a a heavy bottomed vessel or small pressure cooker.
- Add the oil.
- Add the onion and saute till transparent.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
- Saute for a minute.
- Add tomato pieces and saute till soft.
- Add the salt, red chilli powder and haldi.
- Mix well.
- Add the chana dal and mix well.
- Add the greens and mix well.
- Add about 2/3 cup water.
- Pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
- Let the cooker cool completely.
- Using a masher, mash the Sai Bhaji such that the greens are mashed but the Chana Dal retains shape. This is the tricky bit. 🙂
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.
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.