|PREP TIME: 30 MIN||COOK TIME: 10 MIN||SERVES: 2|
Saag roughly translates to “greens” in English. There are many different varieties of edible leafy greens found growing wild in Nepal depending on the season. Saag is one of the most essential elements of the Nepali “Khana Set”. Bethe is very popular in Nepal for its flavors and also for its high nutritional value. It is generally harvested in early spring (April/May) but I can easily find them in the markets of Pokhara, Nepal during winter. The official latin botanical name for Bethe is “chenopodium album”.
This perennial annual herbaceous plant falls under the weed family, which I find strange considering how delicious and flavorful it is. During my stay in America, I noticed most people considered this amazing plant an unwanted nuisance to be eradicated and disposed of, not even considering cooking and eating it. In contrast, Nepali people can eat saag every day. The taste of Bethe Saag reminds me of simpler times in my childhood in Terai village living with my grandfather who was a farmer. Bethe Ko Saag has a similar taste to spinach with a little hint of earthy flavors. Sometimes when I find baby bethe saag, I like to sauté the leaves with some garlic and onion. On other occasions when the saag is bigger with a thicker stem, I cook them with potatoes & add them as a topping for other recipes that need a kick. I not only enjoy saag (greens) for their flavors but also for the amazing health benefits such as keeping my eyes sharp and most importantly keeping my gut clear. Bethe Saag is super-packed with nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C & K, just to name a few.
Note: If you can’t find Bethe you can make spinach or any other greens that you find in your neighborhood. Adding greens (saag) to your daily diet helps you with constipation problems.
|Bethe Saag: 3 cups|
|Oil: 1 tsp|
Garlic: 1 big clove
Green Chili: 1
Salt: 1/8 tsp
- Cut and remove the soft stems of the saag. Chop the leafy greens into small pieces if you don’t like chewy leaves.
- Wash the leaves three times thoroughly and drain the water. They feel sandy when washing.
- Heat a pan on medium and add oil.
- Add thinly chopped garlic, onion and green chili.
- Once the onion and garlic turn golden brown, add saag.
- Stir, add salt and cover with the lid for about a minute.
- Take the lid off and mix.
- Turn the heat off and plate.
- Delicious Bethe Saag is ready to eat. I love this recipe with a side of steamed rice and dal.