I have tried to make it from memory, as my Dadima had described that it used to be made in the good old days of slow cooking on choolahs and angeethis.
Making this Saag was a true labor of love and a day long affair! When there were no fancy appliances or cookware. When the saag was cut using a special hook knife. My great grandmother, Mataji as we called her…directed the proceedings. She would trust no one else, to peel the danthals and cut the sarson as fine as only she could!
This saag was then lovingly simmered over an angeethi for hours. And in the evening when the family gathered, it was served along with Makki ki roti, ghar ka makhkhan and Gajrella!
Wash and clean 2 bunches of sarson (mustard greens) and 1 bunch spinach. You can also add some Bathua to the mix, if available. Also scrape and clean 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger and 5-6 cloves of garlic, 2 turnips (optional). Also, Remove the stems (danthals) from the mustard greens, peel the stems to remove fibre.
Next thinly slice turnip, mince garlic, julienne ginger and finely chop the stems. Also finely chop 6-8 green chillies.
Coarsely pound 1 large onion to a mulch
Wrap the greens tightly into balls and slice very thinly.
Using a sharp knife go over the greens one more time, shredding them as fine as you possibly can!
Now take some butter and grease the bottom of a clay pot. Add all the chopped/sliced ingredients along with some salt to taste. Cover with lid and place in a cold oven. Switch on oven to 350F and cook for 2 hours. Alternatively you can also put the clay pot on your stove top at medium low heat. But then remember to use a heat diffuser in between, to prevent breakage of the pot from direct heat.
Take out pot, and blend the greens using a mathne wala wooden masher (madhani). Do this mathne wala action (ghotna) till all ingredients look nicely blended and the saag looks chikna…creamy, buttery smooth!
Add 2 heaped tablespoon of makki ka atta mixed in 1/4 cup water. Mix to combine. Also add in a heaped tablespoon of butter. Cover and cook Saag in oven for another 30-40 minutes.
Take out of oven. Give a final chaunk of ghee, hing, jeera, lal mirch, just before serving. Serve hot with garma garam makki ki roti!
PS: if you do not have a clay pot, you can make this in any heavy bottomed pot. However, if you are using the oven method, make sure the pot is oven safe! 🙂