Sarson ka Saag (Slow Cooker)

Authentic Saag recipe made in a slow cooker! Buttery, Rich, Delicious & Paleo! myheartbeets.com

This slow cooker saag recipe is incredible. It’s so rich, buttery and delicious that you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables. Seriously. It’s THAT good. This recipe is the real deal. It’s how this popular Indian dish should be made. This isn’t just any saag, it’s Sarson ka Saag.

A little background on this dish – Saag just means pureed greens, so when you order this dish in a restaurant, chances are that it’s slightly different at each place. Some will add kale, broccoli, even brussels sprouts to their saag (I’ve even made saag using foraged ramps also known as wild leeks). Many make “Palak Saag” which is saag made with spinach. My favorite saag is authentic Punjabi saag or “Sarson ka Saag” which translates to “saag made with mustard greens.” This Punjabi saag is typically made with mustard greens, some spinach and lots and lots of ghee. There’s no negotiating on the ghee. It’s essential.

This Saag recipe is right up there in awesomeness with my Paleo Butter Chicken. The best part about this traditional recipe is that I didn’t have to “make it Paleo.” It’s Paleo by default.

What I love about this Sarson ka Saag is that it’s so thick and luxurious. Some of you may be wondering if you can make this saag using just spinach – don’t do it. Using spinach alone will make for a thinner saag. The mustard greens thicken it up and make for much better texture. I use an equal portion of mustard greens and spinach but you can add more mustard greens if you prefer.

Saag is traditionally eaten with Makki ki Roti aka a flatbread made with corn. I like eating this saag with my Spicy Indian Flatbread but you can also use my Paleo Naan or Paleo Roti recipes.

Authentic Saag recipe made in a slow cooker! Buttery, Rich, Delicious & Paleo! myheartbeets.com

Crispy Indian Flatbread + Soft, Buttery Saag

Once the saag is ready, you can mix in paneer, meat or potatoes at the end if you’d like. Just don’t forget to serve it with a dollop of ghee on top!

Sarson ka Saag (Slow Cooker)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb (16 oz) fresh baby spinach (large container), rinsed
  • 1 lb (16 oz) chopped mustard leaves (stem removed), rinsed
  • 3 tbs Grassfed Organic Ghee, divided
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons or 7 large cloves garlic, minced (I used my garlic press)
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, minced (remove seeds/rib if you don't like it spicy!)
  • 2 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder (or a little less if using cayenne)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
add later:
Instructions
  1. Add 2 tbs ghee, onions, ginger, garlic, serrano pepper, spices to your crock pot. Set on high for 1 hour.
  2. While that’s cooking, grab a very large pot. Add the mustard and spinach leaves to the large pot - then fill with water (do not put lid on pot!*).
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain leaves and let them cool.
  4. Once cool, place leaves in a blender and blend to your desired consistency (add a little water as needed to help you blend).
  5. Place the blended leaves into your crock pot, reduce heat to low, put lid on and cook for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours, add 1 tbs ghee, garam masala and pinch of kasoori/fenugreek leaves. Mix well and let this cook for another hour on low.
  7. Serve this saag with a heaping spoonful of ghee on top!
Notes
The reason you don’t want to place a cover on the pot while boiling the greens is because doing so will cause the pretty green color to fade.

Comments

    • says

      Hi Michele, I’m not sure if you saw my note in the blog post about using just spinach – it will likely be much thinner if you don’t use mustard greens. Let me know how it turns out!

  1. megan says

    Hi Ashley!
    Cave Girl Eats posted a link to your butter chicken recipe (looks amazing!) and now I think I’m obsessed with your blog. I’m making a list of recipes to try right now!
    This looks wonderful, but on step 3, I think there is a typo. Did you mean to say cook or cool?

    Love the blog!

    • says

      Hi Megan, thanks so much for the awesome comment – so glad you love my blog! And, a big thanks for catching my typo :) Definitely let me know what you think of any recipes that you try!

  2. Alexis says

    I have an enormous bag of baby kale in my fridge, but I can’t find any mustard greens right now… Any thoughts on subbing baby kale for the mustard greens?

      • says

        It was awesome!

        I used lacinato kale (dinosaur kale) for the mustard greens. I will try to find mustard greens to see how the flavor changes. I just used what I had on hand. Left out the serrano peppers too since my two-year-old was eating it too.

        Totally making this dish weekly. It is easy, nutritious, and delicious. I actually liked the spaced out steps since I have two little ones. I also didn’t have to worry about it burning.

  3. Patty says

    I just love this recipe. I got mustard greens from my CSA and I didn’t have any spinach so I used beet greens and turnip greens with the mustard greens. It turned out great!

  4. Amy Pinto says

    I had a ton of fresh spinach (by fresh I mean picked that day from the farm down the road) so I knew I wanted to make something special out of it. I didn’t have mustard greens so I used collard greens. Not sure if the flavor came out how it’s “supposed” to, but it sure is tasty!! The texture seems good, not thin at all. My slow cooker is on the fritz too, so I cooked on low in a large cast iron crock pot and it worked too. Had it with dinner last night and again for breakfast with scrambled egg and your naan!!

    • says

      Amy, that’s awesome! I’m so glad you used your super fresh spinach for this saag recipe! I love the idea of adding collards – I bet they helped thicken the dish. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out :)

  5. joanna says

    i’m making this right now and the house smells amazing!! my sister- who never eats anything remotely paleo- commented on the how good it smelled when she got home. i was shocked at how much 2 lbs of greens cooks down!! after i blended it in my vitamix, it only filled half the blender. i had to use dandelion greens because i went to 3 stores for mustard greens and the produce guys didn’t even know what they were haha i’m hoping the dandelion greens work though. will comment back after i tried it!

    • joanna says

      well, it’s officially awesome. the dandelion greens worked perfectly. it is so flavorful, thick, and creamy!!! i’ve never had saag before so i can’t compare it to others, but i can’t believe how there isn’t cream in here- just a few tbsp of butter. it’s still super luxurious!

  6. April says

    This is a fabulous recipe! The first time I made it, I used mustard greens and cayann but my family does not like any degree of spice. I loved it so much that I tried again. This time I used whatever greens i had ( turnip greens, radish greens, dandelion greens) and no cayann. Everyone was happy. This is a fabulous recipe! Thank you!!!

  7. Keithjw says

    For this dish, I found that a good mix for the greens (to provide the saag with a nice rich flavor and texture) turned out to be:

    50% spinach
    50% beet greens, curly kale, bok choy

    The Russian kale also works nicely. The bok choy really adds a nice flavor. With these greens, the texture came out very, very thick.

    In addition I added a tbs or so of a homemade roasted red curry paste (made with roasted garlic, peppers, ginger, roasted ground spices, and a little sundried tomato). You can also use lemon grass if you have it on hand.

  8. Ashley says

    This is delish! I’ve used several types of greens and it always turns out well. Ashley, if you come out with a cookbook I’ll buy it! I really love all of your dishes! I make them all the time now.

  9. pam says

    This recipe was AWSOME! This is my first time making Indian food and it was complete success. We made the saag, but cooked it an hour less than stated (we were really hungry). We also made the naan in smaller rounds and filled them with saag and a bit of butter, then folded them over. It made excellent finger food that my kids loved! Yummy!

  10. Lisa says

    So I plan to review everything I make of yours, it’s ALL THAT GOOD! Hope you don’t mind :) LOL.
    This past Tuesday was my second time making this delicious Saag. I am a holistic health coach and have been following a gluten free/Paleo lifestyle for two years now, and I am seriously never disappointed when I make your recipes! Neither is my husband! As Indian food lovers, this Saag beats the Saag Paneer we get at our local Indian restaurant that we LOVE!!! So kudos to you :) I follow the recipe exactly, always using two full Serrano peppers and love the level of heat. Of course, we make Naan to go with it. This is a winner! As is your butter chicken, but I will review that one separately. So grateful to have been introduced to your blog Ashley!

    • says

      Lisa, I appreciate that A LOT, thank you!! I’m so happy to hear that you like my recipes so much :) Your comments (this and the carrot cake) definitely made my morning and hopefully they’ll encourage other readers to try out my recipes!

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