Tempting Sisunak Saag

Posted by Post Admin on December 7, 2009 / Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com

Sisunak Saag

The North Indian cuisine known as Sisunak Saag (Nettle curry) is prepared with the green leaves of the sisunak plant, also known as the common purslane. The Bichhu Ghas (the local name) leaves used to make this saag are legendary. Everyone loves this dinner of lush greens. Only the most tender leaves are picked from the wild. The dish is delicious and simple to make. Sisunak Saag is scrumptious and nutritious and has many positive effects on health. The rich nutrient content of sisunak saag contributes to its delicious taste. Due to the high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content of sisunak, this meal is celebrated for its deliciousness and health advantages.

  • Origin: Uttarakhand, India
  • Category: Sisunak Saag is a Pahari Vegetarian Main Dish which is considered Main Course
  • Ingredient: Nettle Greens, Spices, Lentils are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Asafoetida, Ghee, Coriander
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 1-2 hours and the flavour is Mildly Bitter and Sp
  • Nutritional Information: Sisunak Saag contains 70 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 4 g of fat, 2 g of protein and 10 g g of carbohydrate. The latter is sugar and 2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Table Of Contents

Tempting Sisunak Saag

Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com

Details Of Sisunak Saag

'Sisunak Saag,’ also known as 'Stinging Nettle Greens Curry,’ is a traditional Pahari dish that originates from the mountainous regions of India, particularly Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This dish showcases the use of locally foraged stinging nettle leaves, which are rich in nutrients and believed to have medicinal properties. To prepare Sisunak Saag, stinging nettle leaves are carefully collected and cleaned to remove the stinging hairs. The leaves are then boiled until tender and chopped. The chopped leaves are cooked with a blend of spices, including cumin, red chili, and asafoetida. The dish is often enriched with ghee (clarified butter) for added flavor and richness.

Sisunak Saag offers a unique taste with earthy undertones and a slight bitterness. It is often served with steamed rice or local flatbreads like 'Baadi.’ The use of foraged ingredients like stinging nettle leaves reflects the resourcefulness of Pahari cuisine. This dish not only provides a unique culinary experience but also offers a glimpse into the region’s connection to nature and the use of indigenous plants for both nutrition and flavor. Sisunak Saag is a celebration of Pahari culture, tradition, and the culinary heritage rooted in the local environment.

Ingredients Used In Sisunak Saag

  • Nettle Leaves [ सिसुनक पत्ता ], 2 Cups
  • Red Onion [ लाल प्याज़ ], 1 Piece
    → Medium Sized.
  • Garlic Cloves [ लहसुन की पुठ्ठी ], 4 to 5 Pieces
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Green Chili [ हरी मिर्च ], 1 to 2 Pieces
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Cumin Seeds [ जीरा ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder [ हल्दी चूर्ण ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Coriander Powder [ धनिया चूर्ण ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired
  • Red Chili Powder [ लाल मिर्च चूर्ण ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Mustard Oil [ सरसों का तेल ], 2 Tablespoons
    → Use Any Oil Of Your Choice.
  • Water [ पानी ], 1/2 Cup


Method for preparing Sisunak Saag

  • In a pan, warm the mustard oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds to the heated oil and watch them sputter.
  • To the pan, add the minced onion, minced garlic, and green chilli. Sauté until the onion turns translucent.
  • Sisunak leaves should be finely chopped and added to the pan with the onion mixture.
  • Mix well before adding salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and optional red chilli powder to the pan.
  • Mix thoroughly in half a cup of water in the pan. Saag should be cooked for 10 to 12 minutes with the lid on the pan, stirring as needed.
  • Turn off the heat after the saag is fully cooked and allow it to cool.
  • Blend the saag to a smooth consistency either with an immersion blender or a regular blender.
  • Replace the pan with the combined saag, warm it gently.
  • If ghee is being used, stir the saag with a tablespoon of it.
  • Serve the dish hot with roti or naan, along with the chaat masala (optional) as a garnish.

Health Benefits Of Sisunak Saag

  • Antioxidants found in abundance in sisunak leaves can assist the body to ward off oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
  • Vitamins A and C, which are necessary for maintaining excellent skin, eyes, and immune system function, are abundant in sisunak leaves.
  • Calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for sustaining healthy bones and muscles, are abundant in sisunak leaves.
  • Sisunak leaves contain fibre that can aid in controlling digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Sisunak saag has few calories and is a fantastic addition to a diet plan for losing weight.
  • The vitamins and minerals in sisunak saag can help strengthen the immune system and safeguard the body against illnesses and infections.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

In conclusion, the Pahari dish 'Sisunak Saag' exemplifies the guiding principle of regional cuisine: a balance between history, health, and nature's gifts. This dish, made with fresh sisunak greens and a variety of local spices, is a testament to the skill required to transform humble ingredients into something spectacular. The Pahari people's culinary prowess is on full display in this dish, which takes simple greens and turns them into a wonderful treat through meticulous heating, mixing, and seasoning. The cultural significance of 'Sisunak Saag' extends far beyond its delicious flavour; it is traditionally served at feasts that celebrate the bounty of the land and the ties between people. With every bite, this dish tells a story of how people and their environment have always depended on one another for survival. Pahari cuisine, as represented by the dish 'Sisunak Saag,' is all about the art of cooking up delicious fare that satisfies the body and soul while paying homage to the bounty of the earth.

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