Sai Bhaaji (Pakistani Slow-Cooked Sindhi-Style Greens)

BY : PUBLISHED : May 14th, 2013 UPDATED: October 25th, 2021

I know what you’re thinking. You’re looking at that list of ingredients (17), at how many bunches of greens are in there (2 1/2), and at the “Ready In” time (2 hours and 15 minutes). You’re also probably not sure what “Sindhi” means, or at least I wasn’t until I found the recipe this one’s based off of in Saveur magazine. (It’s one of the four provinces of Pakistan, on the northwestern Indian border.) You might even be a little concerned about the spiciness level, what with the whole serrano chile and three chiles de arbol. And you might be wondering if this is worth making, what with the time involved, lengthy list of ingredients, and other totally reasonable concerns.

This is absolutely worth making.

After all, most of the ingredients are likely ones you have on hand, and nothing’s uncommon. There’s some time involved, but it’s pretty much unattended, so you can take care of other things while this simmers on the stove. And while it looks like it might be kinda spicy, all those greens soak up all that heat, so while you get a little tingling heat it’s nothing that’ll blow your mouth out.

But mostly, this is just delicious, and this recipe makes a TON, so you’ll have leftovers for days. Serve it as a totally satisfying main dish with rice, serve it as a side, spread it on a pita and bake for a quick mini-pizza, toss it with pasta, puree it with chickpeas for a Pakistani-style hummus, and whatever else you can think of. Go to town. This is just awesome stuff, versatile and healthy and satisfying, and two hours spent on it will be more than worth your while.

Sai Bhaaji (Pakistani Slow-Cooked Sindhi-Style Greens)

Stefan
But mostly, this is just delicious, and this recipe makes a TON, so you’ll have leftovers for days. Serve it as a totally satisfying main dish with rice, serve it as a side, spread it on a pita and bake for a quick mini-pizza, toss it with pasta, puree it with chickpeas for a Pakistani-style hummus, and whatever else you can think of. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 203 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed
  • 1 2' piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 bunches of greens (I used one bunch of regular kale and one bunch of lacinato kale, but use whatever looks good to you), stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of split peas
  • 4 Tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 3 dried chiles de arbol (or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 large large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric (or curry powder)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4' cubes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2' cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Put the garlic, serrano, ginger, and 3 tablespoons of water into a blender and puree until smooth. Put the greens, spinach, and dal into a large pot, and add 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, the reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the pot you boiled the greens in, then add oil and put over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and chiles de arbol, and cook until the seeds start to pop and the chiles get a shade darker. Add the garlic/serrano/ginger puree, and cook for a 2 minutes. (You might get some splattering when you add it, so be careful.)
  • Add the onion and carrot, and cook 8 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until beginning to caramelize, around 5 minutes. Add the reserved greens/spinach/dal mixture, the remaining ingredients, and 1 cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook 35 minutes. Uncover and gently mash with a potato masher - you don't want a smooth, undifferentiated paste, but the mashing helps meld the flavors a little. Season to taste with salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 656mgPotassium: 839mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 14440IUVitamin C: 75mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chile, entree, gf, gluten free, glutenfree, greens, indian, kale, potato, sai bhaaji, side, sindhi, spicy, spinach, split pea, sweet potato, tomatoes
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂