Sunday, 12 July 2009

Turnip greens saag

I know turnip greens are not to everyones taste, and they were not to mine either. But the thrifty individual in me wanted to create another dish out of them, rather than consign them to the compost bin. So a few days ago, I decided to a a cheats version of saag with the turnip greens pickings from last weekend. Saag can be made with any green leaf vegetable.
Here is the recipe if you find yourself with some turnip greens that have gone to seed and are thinking 'mmm what can I make with it?'. If you don't fancy this recipe, You could also try and make soup with it. I minced 250g of the turnip greens, added some salt and 4 small green chillies and then covered it with enough water. Bring it to the boil, then turn it down low to simmer for two hours, yes two hours. Occasionally topping off with more water to prevent it from drying out. Once the turnip greens are thoroughly cooked, pretty much turned to mush. Turn the heat up and cook off all the liquid. When the pot is nearly dry, turn off and cool. Once cooled, mash thoroughly or blend in a liquidiser.

Now do the tarka (tempering). You will need 100g full fat butter, 2 minced garlic and 1/2 small onion, finely sliced. Once golden and sizzling, add the blended turnip greens to the tarka and mix thoroughly till warmed through. Turn off and serve with plain naan bread, roti or paratha.

Even though this was not the authentic way of cooking saag, the final result was spot on, really rich and creamy. It was so good that I actually think my mother would be quite proud of me.


  1. I've never tried turnip greens though Greta the bunny loves them. Turnip greens are popular in the Southern US; I may have to try them soon. Your recipe looks delicious!

  2. Looks lovely Mango - so does the flatbread!

  3. You did a good job there Jan! Your flatbread looks reakky tasty too :)

  4. Michele,
    Turnip greens were new to me up until a few weeks ago, but now I have dicovered I quite like them. I guess I am in good company if Greta likes them (i'm smiling honest).

    Thank you.

    Thank you. Whose this Jan? unless its a typo.

    I have to be honest and say, the stuffed flat bread is not mine, it was made a little while ago by a friend, and was quickly defrosted to accompany this dish.

  5. The turnip greens in my garden I find to be quite spiny-- handling them makes my arms itch and sometimes leaves tiny splinters! Can you tell me if cooking the leaves disolves these annoying spines? I would dearly love to put them to use but I couldn't imagine eating them with the spines.

  6. Hi there B T,
    Firstly let me say Thank you so, so much.

    Now onto the turnip greens. Do you know what type of turnips they are, mine were Purple Top Milan and not at all spiny or causing any irritation. If these turnip leaves are a bit like nettle then yes I would say the spines would dissapear on cooking, but because I am not familiar with what type of turnip greens you are using, I would perhaps air on the side of caution. So its one for the compost bin I think. Sorry...

  7. I love turnip tops and mustard and all those strong greens. Will definitely try - thanks! I have just bought seeds for a mustard leaf which has red stems and lime green leaves, so pretty in the garden - maybe I'll give that a go too!


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