Sindhi style spinach dish, known as sai bhaji (sai=green) is one of the most popular dish amongst Sindhis and non-sindhis as well. Saibhaji generally consisits of Spinach, sorrel leaves, dill leaves, fenugreek leaves and some assorted vegetables along with handful of soaked Bengal gram. All of us are aware of the health quotient of spinach but the Amaranth leaves are less popular, though equally nutritious in comparison to spinach. This simple ‘green dish’ is loaded with vitamin A, calcium, Niacin, Iron etc. Talking about Amaranth leaves, well, these are one of the best sources of calcium, and must be included in our daily diet, specially of those children who are lactose intolerant and the people who are vegan, and hence cannot consume milk and milk products.
|Sindhi Saibhaji With Amaranth Leaves||
- Spinach ½ Bunch (Approximately 150 gm)
- Red Amaranth leaves (Laal Maat) ½ bunch or 100 gm
- Khatta (chuuka, khatti paalak) few leaves (If available )
- Dill leaves or Sua… few (depending on your taste)
- Fresh Fenugreek leaves (A handful). If unavailable, use 1 tsp of kasuri methi instead!
- Tomatoes 2 (Or 3 medium sized, if Khatta paalak is unavailable)
- Brinjal (Egg Plant) 1 Small
- Okra (bhindi)1, 1 small potato (either or both)
- Arbi (kachaloo) ½ (optional)
- Onions 2
- Soaked Channa Dal (Bengal Gram Dal) ½ cup
- Soaked Moong dal chilka (Khichdi ki dal) ¼ th cup or less
- Green Chillies 2-3
- Ginger a bit
- Coriander powder 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder ¼ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil 1-2 tbsp
- Pick the leaves of all leafy greens and cut off the stems. Soak in plenty of water for few minutes so that the dirt and grit settle down. Drain the leaves on colander and repeat the rinsing if needed. Drain again and chop roughly.
- Peel and dice Arbi, onions and potatoes.Chop brinjal and Okra too. Keep all the veggies soaked in water to avoid oxidation.Except onion you can skip any other vegetable if its not in the stock at home. The slimy vegetables imparts a bit of smoother, mushy texture to the final dish. You can skip okra and arbi or you can also add up other vegetables like carrot, french beans etc.These chopped assorted vegetables are known as Vakhar in Sindhi.
- Heat oil in pressure cooker, add Vakhar (the chopped veggies in bowl, after draining) and saute it till tender.
- Add chopped greens, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, all dry spices, salt,soaked lentils and mix well.
- Add little water and close the lid.Wait for at least 7-8 whistles, or alternatively, when the pressure builds in cooker, lower the flame to minimum and let it cook for 8-9 minutes under pressure.Make sure you have added some water, to avoid charring of the vegetable mixture.Later on,when pressure subsides, mash it well with wooden whisker, and adjust its consistency to a semi dry one
- Many also prefer a Garlic Tadka (Tempering). But in our family, Saibhaji is eaten without tempering.
- It could be served with almost everything, ranging from plain steamed rice, to bhugha chaanwaran, Varyun waara chaanwaran, veg biryani, Koki or Doda.