Haak Saag
40 Min

Haak Saag

Kashmiri food is mostly celebrated for it’s heavy use of meat, nuts and saffron. And while that has its place, there are a few vegetable dishes within that realm that are quite glorious, like Haak saag. The traditional haak saag uses collard, radish or spinach greens and cooks them down slowly with spices. However, in this recipe, we call for a reduction of pomegranate juice to balance out the bitterness and a quick final stir of the greens to keep the bright green color intact. This also maintains the nutrients in the greens.
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Cook Time

30 Minutes



Step 1
Using a sharp knife, remove the center stems of the leaves, especially in the case of kale, chard, dandelion, or mustard greens. Discard the bottom inch or two if it appears inedible. Thinly slice the remaining stems. Set these aside. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces and set aside separately.
Step 2
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the olive oil and pop the cumin seeds. Within 3 to 4 seconds, add the garlic, green onion, serrano, and sliced stems of the greens.
Step 3
Cook this mixture on medium heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the pomegranate juice, ginger, and salt. Continue cooking until the mixture is dark green and reduced in size – there should be no visible liquid.
Step 4
Add the torn leaves from the remaining greens, cover the wok and within 1 to 2 minutes turn the heat off. The leaves should remain bright green in color. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds.
2 to 3 large bunches of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, dandelion, carrot greens, or mustard greens)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
2 to 3 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon ginger purée
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • The cumin pop is the most important step in this recipe – if the oil is too hot, the cumin seeds will turn a dark brown or black. If this happens, discard the seeds and oil and start again. If the oil is not hot enough, no problem — wait until the cumin seeds start popping. The whole process goes very fast so watch it carefully.
  • If using a tough variety of kale, cut the leaves into smaller pieces so they cook evenly.
  • The pomegranate juice adds a sweet balance to some of the bitter greens – replace with heavy cream, coconut milk, or water.
  • Replace serrano pepper with 6 to 8 whole red dried chilies.
40 Min

Have a Kashmiri feast!

Check out these two other recipes inspired by Kashmir (pro-tip: they pair really well as entree and side)!

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