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