SAAG (Mixed Greens) with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 10.

Leafy greens are perhaps the most nutrient–dense foods. This is a twist on a very popular dish in North India. You can mix any greens, fresh or frozen, as you like. If buying fresh greens, discard limp and yellow leaves. Remember that greens usually cook down; 1 lb. may yield less than 2 cups cooked. It can easily be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.

  • 10 oz. chopped spinach (or collard greens)
  • 10 oz. chopped broccoli rabe
  • 10 oz. mustard greens
  • 2 lbs. cut vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, red peppers, onions
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons oil (divided)



  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


1. If using fresh greens, trim and remove all fibrous material, and wash in a colander immersed in a large bowl filled with water; dirt will settle down. Remove the colander and throw away the water. Repeat until water is clear.

2. Chop or tear the leaves and boil them in about 3 cups of water and salt, on medium–high heat, for about 5 minutes until soft. Let it cool.

3. Spread the cut vegetables on a tray, sprinkle 1 tablespoon oil and roast in the oven at 500°F for about 20 minutes till slightly brown on top.

4. Add the vegetables to the cooked greens. Crush them together using a stick blender or in a food processor. Add water as needed. The mixture can be coarse or smooth, depending on what you prefer.

5. Heat the oil in a 4–quart pot on medium–high heat. Add garlic. Add ginger, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir for a minute till spices change color. Add tomato. Stir in the greens and vegetables mixture. Add the remaining seasonings.

6. Cook, stirring occasionally, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until everything is mixed and ‘Saag’ is to your taste.

PANEER (Fresh Cheese)–Making:

To make about a pound of ‘paneer’, heat 1 gallon of 2% milk in a large pot that allows enough space for milk to boil. When milk is about to boil, immediately add 4–5 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. You may optionally add 1 cup of plain yogurt too. Be careful that milk does not boil over; lower heat if needed. Simmer until the milk curdles (cheese separates from clear liquid (whey)). Use more lemon juice or vinegar as needed. Turn off the heat. When little cold, strain the cheese in a large sieve set over a bowl and lined with a thin muslin cloth or cheesecloth. Crumble the cheese or mash it to make it smooth. Let it drain for about one hour.

Note: Instead of discarding the "whey", you may use it as a substitute for water in soups, dough, or any curry.