Sai Bhaji (A Classic Sindhi Dish with Spinach & Vegetables)

Sindhi Sai Bhaji

Sai means green, Bhaji means vegetables, hence a green vegetable dish.  Sai Bhaji is a classic Sindhi dish prepared with Spinach and Vegetables.  One of my best friend's, Leena, who also happens to be my childhood friend, is Sindhi.  Leena's mom is a phenomenal cook, for real!  I know you are thinking I say that about so many people, but there are a few phenomenal cooks I know and Leena's mom is one of them.  We go way back.  I grew up watching her mom make these amazing cakes; I still remember for my 9th birthday she made me this beautiful yellow butterfly cake.  I truly believe Leena's mom has influenced my love of baking.

Sindhi Sai Bhaji
I recently saw my aunty and asked her for this Sai Bhaji recipe, of course, just like any other Indian mom out there she never gave me exact measurements, it was a little of this and a little of that, I knew I'd have to wing it and come up with a recipe that worked for me.  Based on what my aunt mentioned it seems you can really add any vegetable to this dish, at the end it turns into bhaji (mashed vegetables)... so what difference does it make?

So here is what I came up with after hearing a little of this and a little of that :-) ... Sindhi Sai Bhaji... a delicious and healthy meal that goes best with rice!  My husband loved this dish!

NUTRITION: Spinach is loaded with tons of nutrients. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of Iron and Folic Acid. Spinach is also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C and Fiber. 
Carrots are LOADED with Vitamin A. Also, it is a very good source of Fiber, Vitamins C and K.


INGREDIENTS:

for Spinach Gravy
  • Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) - 1/2 cup
  • Moong Dal (Split Green Gram) - 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies - 2 (chopped)
  • Onion - 1 medium (chopped)
  • Oil - 1.5 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds - 1.5 tsp
  • Hing (Asafetida) - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Potato - 1 (bite size cubes)
  • Carrots - 2 medium (chopped)
  • Spinach - 10 oz. packet (frozen chopped) - or you can use fresh
  • Crushed Tomatoes - 3/4 cup - or you can use fresh
  • Coriander Powder - 3 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 1 to 1.5 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • Mango Powder - 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups (1 cup before sealing the pot, 1 cup after)
for tadka / tempering:
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic - 5 cloves (chopped)
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece (chopped)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Soak the chana and moong dals in cold water.  Set aside.


2. Chop the onions and green chillies.



3. Set aside the spices... turmeric powder, cumin seeds, and hing.



4. Heat a pressure cooker on medium heat, add 1.5 tbsp of oil, add the spices.  Once the seeds begin to sizzle in about 20 seconds...



5. Add the onions.  Add salt after 3 minutes.  Cook for 5 minutes total.



6. In the meantime, peel the potato and carrots.  Chop.



7. Add the potato and carrots to the pressure cooker.  Combine.  Cook for about 5 minutes.



8. In the meantime, set aside your frozen spinach.



9. Drain the water from the dals.  Set aside.



10. Measure 3/4 cup of crushed tomatoes and set aside.



11. Back to the pressure cooker... add the crushed tomatoes.



12. Add the coriander powder, salt, and 1 tsp of red chili powder.  Combine.



13. Add the dals.  Combine.



14. Add 1 cup of water and the spinach.  Combine.  



15. Submerge the spinach in the water, it is okay if you can't break it up.



16. Close the pressure cooker and allow this to cook until you hear 2 whistles.  This may take 15-20 minutes depending on your pressure cooker.



17. In the meantime, chop the garlic and ginger.  Set aside.



18. Once the steam is released from the pressure cooker, carefully open it.



19. Mix it, now you'll see the SPINACH!


20. Mash the spinach or you can use a hand blender.



21. Add garam masala.  I also added 1/2 a tsp of red chili powder here.  I like it SPICY!


22. Heat a very small pot on medium heat, add oil.



23. Once hot, add the ginger and garlic.  Cook for about 30-45 seconds.



24. Add the ginger and garlic to the spinach mix.


25. Turn on the stove on low heat, add about 1 cup of water, more or less, depends on your desired gravy consistency.


26. Add mango powder, I used 2 tsp, you may need more or less.   Combine. Turn off the stove until the spinach is heated thru.



27. Serve with rice... it is DELISH!

20 comments:

  1. This looks delicious and so easy! I will definitely make this soon as I have all the ingredients. =)

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  2. I tried this dish and it was delicious!
    Thank you so much :-)

    Cheers,
    Ajay

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  3. Hi Ajay,

    Thanks so much.. glad you enjoyed this!

    -Honey

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  4. can u replace channa and moong dal with toor dal..i don't have them here

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  5. @Anonymous - I haven't tried it, but yes, I'm sure you can replace the chana/moong dal with toor dal, although it will alter the taste slightly. Let me know how it turns out.

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  6. Had been meaning to find a nice recipe for sai-bhaji and this was just perfect! I just made it, replaced the carrots with some beans (didnt have any carrots). Thanks for the pictures along with what you need to do, thats the most useful way for someone trying it out the first time. I kept comparing the colors at every stage :)

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  7. @Piyoo - You're welcome! :-)

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  8. would there be a way to cook this w/o a pressure cooker? It looks fabulous and I want to try it. Surprisingly, I have dal and acetofedita on hand but where does one buy mango powder?

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  9. @Connonym - sorry for the late response. Honestly, i don't know, I'm sure you can make these in a regular pot, but it would take longer, maybe twice as long. Mango Powder can be found at any Indian grocery store, you can also try Whole Foods or a Spanish grocery store. Let me know.

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  10. Hi, it looks awesome! I've always wanted to make Saibhaji, is Mango powder the same as Amchur?

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  11. Also do you have a recipe for Sindhi Kadhi as well?

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  12. @Anonymous - yes, Mango Powder is Amchur.
    I do not have a recipe for Sindhi kadhi, my mom does though. I will eventually post it. I'm sure there are many versions on Google, try your luck. :)

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  13. The recipe is awesome!.. I cooked it 1st time for my inlaws they loved it!.. Thank you:D

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    Replies
    1. Ankita - That's so great.. so glad you were able to impress your in-laws. You're welcome. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Honey, thank you so much for this delicious sai bhaji recipe. My husband is a sindhi and he is always yearning for sindhi saib bhaji. I tried number of recipes given to me by my in-laws but none satisfied him. Finally my cousin in-law gave me your recipe.Walla! it hit the spot.I followed it to the point and it turned out delicious. I didn't have amchoor, I put tamarind and lemon juice instead. I also put 1/2 tsp of chana masala ( had to add my own touch ).No need for rice, just pick up a spoon and enjoy.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous, that's so nice of you to say. Yup, tamarind and lemon juice would work great as well. Lots of garlic and ginger is key! :-)

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  15. V r Sindhi. Recipe almost ok but little diff.

    cook all veg with coriander, salt, ginger, turmeric, green chilly

    make tadka of only jeera n garlic.

    don't use aamchur/mango powder

    add instead khatti bhaji otherwise more tomato

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous for your feedback. Appreciate it. :-)

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  16. Awesome recipe. So easy to follow. Even for a non-chef like me!! Thank you.

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