Sai Bhaji holds is a beautiful dish that fills the house with its delicious aroma. The combination of tender vegetables, hearty lentils, and fragrant spices leaves you comforted and satisfied. Each bite is a warm hug, and the flavors transport you to a place of pure love and joy. Sai Bhaji is a traditional Sindhi dish made of lentils, vegetables, and spices. This healthy meal is ideal for those who love to enjoy food with minimum spices. Try this version of the Sindhi Sai Bhaji recipe today and relish the flavors of the Indus River region of Indian cuisine!
Sai bhaji is a traditional dish from Sindhi cuisine that combines a combination of lentils, such as chana dal and moong dal, with green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves, and dill leaves. The typical recipe includes cooking in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot on a medium flame, with minimum spices like cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. It pairs well with bhuga chawal (steamed rice) or roti (flat bread) with a squeeze of lemon juice and a few green chilies.
Some variations of the recipe also include additional ingredients like chopped vegetables, green garlic, and raw mango. The dish is popular for its rich flavor and is a staple in Sindhi households, often with crispy rice papad or onion pulao. This sai bhaji recipe is easy to follow, with step-by-step photos, and is a phenomenal dish for anyone looking to try traditional Sindhi food.
History of Sai Bhaji
Sai bhaji finds its origin in the Sindhi cuisine, which is from the region near the Indus River in India. The dish is centuries old and has since become a staple in Sindhi households. It is famous for its healthy and nutritious ingredients and its combination of lentils, spinach leaves and other green leafy vegetables, making it a popular choice for those looking for healthy meals. It is also a traditional dish, often served as a pot meal with bhuga chawal (steamed rice) or other flatbreads like pav bhaji.
Ingredients For Sai Bhaji Recipe
Bengal gram or chana dal is one of the major ingredients, it contributes to the protein content and thickens the sai bhaji.
We are using traditional ingredients like potatoes, brinjal, bottle gourd, spinach, dill and fenugreek leaves for this recipe but you can add your choice of vegetables for variation. They add texture and flavor to the dish.
Onions, tomatoes, ginger and green chilies contribute to that characteristic aroma of this sai bhaji recipe.
Cumin seeds, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder add flavor and heat to the dish.
Indian cooking relies heavily on salt for that umami taste.
Oil provides the base for cooking and provides richness to the dish.
Oil or ghee and garlic cloves add an extra layer of flavor and aroma to the dish.
Step By Step Instructions For Sai Bhaji Recipe
Wash and soak the lentils for 20 mins.
Then start cutting your vegetables. Do not finely chop potatoes or the bottle gourd as they will eventually get tender in the pressure cooker.
Cut and add the brinjal to the bowl of water too.
Chop all the vegetables and add them to a bowl of water so that they don’t lose their color.
Also chop the leafy greens.
Then heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
Add cumin seeds to the heated oil and let them brown.
Then add chopped onion and cook until translucent.
Once the cumin is fragrant, toss in chopped ginger and green chilies and cook for a minute.
Mix in the powder spices (turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder) and salt and cook until fragrant.
Combine all the chopped vegetables (potatoes, brinjal, bottle gourd, and tomatoes) and add them to the pressure cooker.
Then add the soaked Bengal gram/ chana dal.
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Now fold in the chopped green leafy vegetables (spinach, dill, and fenugreek leaves).
Cook them until they wilt and then pour 1 cup of water.
Cover the lid and cook for 3 whistles or until done.
After 3 whistles, let the cooker cool down then open the lid slightly and mash the sai bhaji with a masher or hand mixer.
For tempering, heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a small pan, introduce crushed garlic and cook until golden brown.
Pour the tempering over the sai bhaji.
Serve hot with rice or chapati. Enjoy!
Sai Bhaji is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty dish that is perfect for a wholesome meal. To enjoy it to the fullest, there are several serving suggestions to consider. Firstly, spoon the sai bhaji into a serving dish and pair it with steaming hot rice for a complete meal. Another option is to serve this sai bhaji recipe with idlis or warm, soft chapati, which is a traditional Indian staple. You can also serve it as a side to puri bhaji.
To enhance the flavor and aroma, consider garnishing the sai bhaji with a drizzle of ghee and a sprinkle of coriander leaves. Additionally, offering lemon wedges and pickles on the side will add tang and zing to the dish. To balance out the flavors, pair the sai bhaji with a side of raita or yogurt, which will provide a delicious contrast in flavor and texture. For a crispy crunch, serve the sai bhaji with a side of parippu vada, papad or papadum. For a fresh twist, consider serving it with a side of fresh, crisp salad. To complete the meal, enjoy the sai bhaji with other side dishes like poriyal or dal fry and with a hot cup of masala chai, which will provide comfort and a traditional Indian touch.
Storing sai bhaji is a simple process that ensures the dish remains fresh and delicious for several days. To store sai bhaji, start by allowing it to cool completely to room temperature. Then, transfer the dish to an airtight container and make sure to seal it securely to prevent any air or moisture from entering. Label the container with the date of preparation and storage, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to reheat, transfer the sai bhaji to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can also reheat the sai bhaji in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. It is important to note that sai bhaji is best when it is hot and fresh, immediately after reheating.
The main ingredients in sai bhaji are spinach and chana dal, also known as Bengal gram.
Yes, you can make sai bhaji in a pressure cooker. This method of cooking helps to soften the lentils and vegetables quickly, making the dish more flavorful and delicious.
No, a hand blender is not necessary to make sai bhaji. You can also use a masher or the back of a wooden spoon to mash the dish to your desired consistency.
Cumin seeds play an important role in sai bhaji, adding a warm and earthy flavor to the dish. They are usually added in the beginning of the cooking process and are the first spices to be added to the oil.
Fenugreek leaves are a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and are known for their unique flavor and aroma. In sai bhaji, they add a slightly bitter and nutty flavor to the dish and are used to balance out the flavors of the other ingredients.
Dill leaves are known for their subtle, yet fresh and grassy flavor. In sai bhaji, they add a hint of freshness and herbal flavor to the dish, making it more aromatic and enjoyable to eat.
Yes, sai bhaji is a traditional dish from Sindhi cuisine and is a staple in many Sindhi households.
Yes, you can substitute green chillies with red chillies in sai bhaji. Red chillies are spicier than green chillies, so you may need to adjust the amount used based on your preference for heat.
Yes, moong dal can be used instead of chana dal in sai bhaji. However, moong dal is smaller and cook faster, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Spinach leaves are used in sai bhaji to add a boost of nutrition and flavor to the dish. They are also high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C, making sai bhaji a healthy and satisfying meal.
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