From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alternative namesSaaga or tuna (Odisha),
shaag, shaak, saagwala
Region or statePunjab
Main ingredientsVarious kinds of edible plants

Saag (Hindustani: [ˈsɑːg]), also spelled sag or saga, is an Indian subcontinental leafy vegetable dish eaten with bread such as roti or naan,[1][2] or in some regions with rice. Saag can be made from spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, basella, finely chopped broccoli or other greens, along with added spices and sometimes other ingredients such as chhena.

In India, it is common, especially in the state of Odisha, where it is eaten with pakhala. In the Shree Jagannath Temple of Puri, saag is one of the dishes offered to Jagannath as part of Mahaprasad. Saag is also common in West Bengal and other regions of North India, where the most common preparation is sarson ka saag (mustard plant leaves), which may be eaten with makki ki roti, a yellow roti made with maize flour.[3] Saag gosht or hariyali maans (spinach and mutton) is a common dish in the North Indian state of Punjab.[4] In Pakistan, it is most commonly eaten in the Punjab province along with Makki ki roti


The word saag is derived from the Sanskrit word shaak (śāka) meaning leafy green vegetables.[5]



In Odia cuisine, sāga (Odia: ଶାଗ) is one of the most important vegetables. It is popular all over the state. A large variety of plants are used as sāga in Odisha. A list of the plants that are used as sāga is as below.

  • Kalama sāga (କଳମ ଶାଗ): Ipomoea aquatica (water spinach)
  • Kosalā/Khadā sāga (କୋସଳା ଶାଗ/ଖଡା ଶାଗ): prepared from amaranth leaves.
  • Bajji sāga (ବଜ୍ଜୀ ଶାଗ): Prepared from Amaranthus dubius leaves.
  • Leutiā sāga (ଲେଉଟିଆ ଶାଗ) Amaranthus viridis leaves and tender stems.
  • Pālanga sāga (ପାଳଙ୍ଗ ଶାଗ) spinach
  • Sāga chhena (ସାଗ ଛେନା): Greens, especially spinach, with cottage cheese
Saag Chhena, a spinach-based curry dish
  • Poi sāga (ପୋଈ ଶାଗ): prepared from basella leaves and tender stems.
  • Bāramāsi/sajanā sāga (ବାରମାସି/ ସଜନା ଶାଗ): prepared from leaves of the drumstick tree. Cooked with lentils or alone with fried onions.
  • Sunusuniā sāga (ସୁନୁସୁନିଆ ଶାଗ) Marsilea polycarpa leaves.
  • Pitāgama sāga (ପିତାଗମା ଶାଗ) Gilnus oppositifolius .
  • Pidanga sāga (ପିଡଙ୍ଗ ଶାଗ)
  • Kakhāru sāga (କଖାରୁ ଶାଗ): Prepared from leaves of the pumpkin plant.
  • Madarangā sāga (ମଦରଙ୍ଗା ଶାଗ): prepared from leaves of Alternanthera sessilis.
  • Sorisa sāga (ଶୋରିସ ଶାଗ) : Mustard greens
  • Methi sāga (ମେଥୀ ଶାଗ): prepared from methi or Fenugreek leaves and besara (mustard paste) cooked with vegetable.[6]
  • Matara sāga (ମଟର ଶାଗ): The inner coating of peas is removed and then chopped to make the saga.
  • Bahal sāga
  • Kular sāga
  • Bhader sāga
  • Jhirel dal sāga


In Bengali cuisine, sāg is one of the most important vegetables, being popular throughout the state. Most Bengalis eat at least one dish containing sāg at lunchtime every day - usually fried or accompanied by a little gravy (jhol) and served with rice. A list of the plants that are used as sāg is as below.




There are around 70 varieties of saag in Jharkhand.[9] Some are as follows:

  • Beng saag
  • Bhaji saag
  • Kalmi saag
  • Khesari saag
  • Kohnda saag
  • Koinar saag
  • Methi saag
  • Munga saag
  • Palak saag
  • Pechki saag
  • Poi saag
  • Putkal saag
  • Sarla saag


Saags (Leafy greens) are an important part of the Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari cuisines of Uttarakhand. The abundance of leafy greens in the state are because of fertile land and forested land. Saags of Sarson (Mustard), Palak (spinach), Mooli (Radish) are common[10] but exclusive saags cooked in the state are:

  • Kandali saag / Bicchu ghas ka saag / Sisun ka saag - saag prepared from young leaves of the stinging nettle weed. First the leaves are boiled in water, rendering their stinging hairs harmless, before grinding them into a paste and cooking with ghee, tomato and spices to flavour them. Nettle leaves so prepared are highly nutritious, containing essential minerals and large amounts of protein [11]
  • Lingdi ka saag: made using tender fern leaves.[10]


  • Saag gosht or Hariyali Maans is a version of the dish prepared with meat often of mutton or lamb. This version of the dish is more common in the state of Haryana.[4] The meat is usually cooked in a Bhatthi (clay oven) before being marinated in the other ingredients.
Saag Maans or Hariyali Maans with Roti
  • In winters, saags of Channa/Cholia (chickpea leaves), Sarson (mustard), Methi (fenugreek), Palak (spinach), Bathua (chenopodium) are commonly cooked in Haryanvi households.[12][13] These saags are mainly eaten with millet breads like Makki ki roti & Bajra ki roti, smeared with ghee or butter.


  • Saag is usually made with mustard leaves in Punjab, although spinach is common in other parts of the world. Saag is commonly served hot, usually with roti (wheat bread), chapati, makki ki roti, bajra ki roti and topped with clarified butter.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anderson, E.N (2019). Asian Cuisines Food Culture from East Asia to Turkey and Afghanistan. Berkshire Publishing Group. p. 40. ISBN 9781614728467. Spinach greens, or Palak saag, is a traditional winter dish from the Punjab region of northern India and Pakistan
  2. ^ "Saag (Indian spiced spinach)". 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012. Saag makes a tasty and nourishing meal when paired with chapati or naan.
  3. ^ "served with makki ki roti". Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Food of Haryana, Restaurants in Haryana, Haryanvi Thali". Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  5. ^ Platts, John T. (John Thompson) (1884). "A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English". Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  6. ^ Lokesh Dash. "Recipes Methi Saga Recipes". Archived from the original on 2012-09-15.
  7. ^ Enydra fluctuans, Wikidata Q10800735
  8. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Saag Dishes". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  9. ^ "सागों में छिपा है सेहत का राज, कई रोगों की है अचूक दवा; झारखंड में उगते हैं 70 से ज्यादा प्रकार के साग". jagran. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  10. ^ a b Singh, Rocky; Sharma, Mayur (2014-07-25). Highway on my Plate - II: the indian guide to roadside eating. Random House India. ISBN 978-81-8400-642-1.
  11. ^ "Flavours of the land | Uttarakhand Tourism". Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  12. ^ Haryana (India) (1988). Haryana District Gazetteers. Haryana Gazetteers Organization. Some locally available green vegetables in Haryana are Channa Saag, Sarson Saag, Bathua in winter...
  13. ^ K.S. Bhoria (1983). Haryana District Gazetteers : Gurgaon. Chandigarh, Revenue Department. Winter vegetables of Gurgaon (Haryana) include a wide range of vegetables such as (a) root crops like radish, turnip, carrot; (b) leafy cole crops, like palak, methi and sarson ka saag
  14. ^ "Traditional and Wholesome Meal: Makki di Roti, Sarson da Saag, and Lassi". Food and Festivals. Retrieved 2024-04-03.