Sai Bhaji | Sindhi Sai Bhaji is a popular wholesome Sindhi dish made with Spinach, greens, veggies and lentils, that is delicious as well as nutritious.
Sai in Sindhi means green and bhaji is a vegetable, the name Sai Bhaji has been derived from these two words. Cooking the Sai Bhaji in a Sindhi household is a weekly affair. More so in winters when the greens are at their best.
The Sindhi community is large and we have Sindhi’s who belong to different regions. Each region has a different cooking style. We cook Sai Bhaji in all Sindhi homes, but each one has a different recipe. There are homes where they add dil and gongura leaves along with spinach and fenugreek, yet there are families which do not use any vegetables or any other leaves except spinach. The flavours change with regions, sad, that we have lost those regions in Sindh, Pakistan, but not the flavours.
What Ingredients go into Sai Bhaji | Sindhi Sai Bhaji ?
Chana Dal: I like to soak it for at least an hour before making the Sai Bhaji.
Spinach: Wash the superpower food spinach very well and chop it roughly.
Onion: Red or white onions can be used.
Mix Vegetables: I normally use carrots, potatoes, bottle gourd and cauliflower. I skip the brinjal as I am allergic to it.
Tomato: You can either chop or puree them.
Ginger / Garlic / Green Chilly: Add roughly pounded. we also need finely chopped garlic for tempering.
Spices: Sai Bhaji does not require special spices, we use basic ones like turmeric, coriander powder, red chilly powder and salt.
Spring Onion: Just one stem is enough if used.
Cauliflower: One to two florets, roughly chopped
Brinjal: A small piece, a baby one should be fine.
Fenugreek Leaves: just a handful.
Dil Leaves: 1/4 cup
Sorrel Leaves:1/4 cup
How to make Sai Bhaji | Sindhi Sai Bhaji ?
Sai Bhaji is made in different ways. Every region has their own recipe. At my mom’s house, we did not add any vegetables at all, but here in our house, we add lots of vegetables along with spinach and Chana Dal.
Here is how I make it –
Let’s get everything ready –
Firstly wash and soak the Channa Dal for at least an hour.
Clean the spinach, trim the ends and wash it very well. Now chop it roughly.
Next, peel and cut onion, bottle gourd, potato, carrot. You can cut them roughly into cubes.
You can either use chopped tomatoes or pureed ones.
Pound the ginger, garlic and green chilly.
we have everything ready. We will cook Sai Bhaji in a pressure cooker.
Let’s cook now –
Add 1 tsp oil and add onions, mix vegetables, ginger, garlic and green chilly, give it a good mix. Sauté for two minutes.
Add spinach, fenugreek leaves and cook till they wilt.
Now add channa dal, dry spices and tomatoes, cook till the moisture from the tomatoes dries up.
Add enough water so the dal gets cooked. Anywhere between 1-11/4 cups are good.
Pressure cook for one whistle, now simmer the flame and cook on slow fire for 8-10 minutes.
Once the pressure drops, open the cooker and check if done.
Mash everything with a potato masher. Do not use a blender.
Finally, temper the Sai Bhaji. Heat oil and add chopped garlic, let it turn golden, add red chilly powder and pour over the Sai Bhaji.
Why is Sai Bhaji so popular ?
Sai Bhaji is now globally popular. What is it that makes it so popular?
- Has a burst of flavors.
What should I do with left over Sai Bhaji ?
Sometimes for some or other reason we have leftovers and don’t know how to finish them. With leftover Sai Bhaji you can make new dishes. In fact, I purposely make extra so I can make –
While making the Sai Bhaji, if you do not have a particular veggie, it is perfectly all right, we really do not have to fret about it. For me, I always minus the brinjal as I am allergic to it.
I am posting Sai Bhaji under the Theme Season Special Vegetable. I picked Spinach as a Winter Green. This is an updated post and I will be posting the Bhuga Chawaran and Sindhi Aaloo Recipes in other posts.
Sindhi Bhuga Chawara
Here are some more Winter Meals –
Sai Bhaji | Sindhi Sai Bhaji
- Pressure Cooker
- Potato Masher
- 1 cup Mixed Vegetables roughly chopped in chunks
- Carrot,Bottle Gourd, Brinjal, Potato,Cauliflower
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1 Spring Onion chopped optional
- 1 tsp Ginger- Garlic roughly pounded
- 1 cup Spinach washed and chopped
- Handful Methi Leaves / 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi
- 3 -4 Tomatoes roughly chopped
- ½ cup Channa Dal washed and soaked for an hour
- 1 Green Chilly chopped
- ¼ tsp Red Chilly powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Coriander Powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 tbsp Garlic chopped
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder optional
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker .
- Add onions , spring onions and ginger garlic.
- Saute till the onion is translucent.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add spinach , kasoori methi and cook till the spinach wilts.
- Add the channa dal and chopped tomatoes .
- Cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
- Add the spices and one chopped green chilly.
- Cook till there is no moisture.
- Add about a cup of water , mix well and close the pressure cooker.
- After one whistle simmer the flame and cook for about 10 mins.
- Once the steam is released , open the cooker .
- Check the daal , it should be very soft .
- Now mash the Sai bhaji with a pav bhaji masher or a ladle.
- Heat oil , add chopped garlic . Let it turn golden, add red chilly powder and quickly pour over the Sai Bhaji.
- While making the Sai Bhaji, if you do not have a particular veggie, it is perfectly all right, we really do not have to fret about it. For me, I always minus the brinjal as I am allergic to it.
- To make a quick version, add everything in the pressure cooker at one go, and add 1/2 cup water. Follow cooking and tempering methods.