When winter greens are cooked with dals (lentils) the preparation is called as sagpaita in UP homes. Dals are rarely cooked without greens during winters and the use of hing (asafoetida) and garlic is generous to keep it warming and curb bloating.
Winter food in Indian kitchens is all about relishing the fresh produce in abundance. Especially the leafy greens that come during winters are used in thousand different ways and there is a recipe suitable of every meal and snack time. The everyday dal always has some leafy greens added, a generous tadka of hing and garlic makes sure the excessive intake of greens is digested well, those who avoid garlic add a little more hing to the tadka.
This bathue wala sagpaita or arhar dal cooked with bathua (chenopodium greens) is something we look forward to in every winter. Bathua is a delicious saag (leafy green) that we use for parathas, raita, kadhi, chokha, saag or bhujia type preparations, this dal is also one of the popular recipes that is made in many homes across UP.
cleaned and washed bathue ka saag 300 gm
arhar dal (split pigeon peas) 50 gm
masoor dal (red lentils) 50 gm
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
chopped onion 1/4 cup
chopped tomatoes 1/2 cup
minced garlic 2 tsp
hing a pinch
cumin seeds 1 tsp
red chili powder to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
Rinse the lentils and soak for 30 minutes. Pressure cook the dal mix with salt and turmeric, along with 1 cup of water. It needs about 8-10 minutes after the first whistle. Cool down to release pressure before proceeding.
Meanwhile chop and bathua finely.Add the bathua to the cooked dal once you open the cooker. If cooking the dal in a pan you can add the bathua once the dal is cooked through.
Prepare the tadka by heating the ghee. Add hing, cumin seeds and garlic in that order, waiting for each ingredient to turn aromatic before adding the next. Add the chopped onions and fry till pinkish. Add the tomatoes and a little salt, fry and cook till tomatoes get completely mushy.
Add this tadka to the cooked dal and bathua mix. Adjust the consistency by adding water if needed, stir and mix, simmer for a couple of minutes before serving.
The dal is not rich and doesn't look so. It doesn't need any garnish but a dollop of ghee is added to each portion after serving. It tastes great with plain boiled rice and some bhujia type subzi