IF YOU ASK ANY SINDHI WHAT THEIR FAVORIT DISH IS...
Sai Bhaji would definitely be in their top three!
Today I am sharing with you my family's recipe for this traditional Sindhi dish. Every family does it a little differently but this recipe reminds me of all things home and my childhood.
So what is Sai Bhaji?
It's a 1 pot dish made from spinach, lentils, and other seasonal veggies. It's the perfect nutrient-dense plant-based meal.
Serve this up with your choice of rice –
And lastly, Sai Bhaji isn't complete without a form of achar or Indian pickle! While most store-bought pickles are made with questionable oils and ingredients, I find Ri's Sambal works as the perfect clean swap out!
Sai Bhaji (Sindhi Spinach & Lentils)
A nourishing dish made of spinach and lentils that I have been having since childhood
- 4 tbsp ghee or olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1.5 tbsp ginger, grated
- 2 fresh bird’s eye chili (or to taste), chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
- 1.5-2 tsp salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 500g spinach leaves, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chana dal (yellow split bengal gram), soaked in 2 cups water for 1 hour +
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste (optional)
- 5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil on the saute function of your Instant pot or heat your pressure cooker on a medium flame.
- Add in the onion, ginger, fresh chili, carrots, potatoes, and stir-fry for a few minutes until the onion softens.
- Next, add your coriander powder, amchur, turmeric, salt, and tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add finely chopped spinach, dill, cilantro leaves, kasuri methi, lentils, and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach reduces in volume.
- Add 1 cup water, stir well. and close your instant pot. Make sure the valve is set to sealing and set to high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Mash the Sai Bhaji slightly using a whisk or potato masher.
- At this point add lemon juice and stir well. (optional).
- Before serving, heat 2 tablespoons ghee or oil in a small frying pan. Add garlic and fry on low heat until garlic starts to turn crispy and golden.
- Pour the fried garlic and hot ghee into the Sai Bahji - stir.
- Serve hot with steamed rice, yogurt, and pickle (FYI - Ri's Sambal is a perfect pickle replacement), and papadam for the perfect authentic Sindhi meal.
- Follow steps 1-4 from the Instant Pot/Pressure cooker method in a large heavy bottom pan on medium heat.
- Add 1.5 cups water; stir well and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45-60 minutes until lentils are soft.
- Follow steps 7 onwards from the Instant Pot/Pressure cooker method