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Rapini Saag Recipe: How to Make Saag in Canada

Rapini Saag Recipe: How to Make Saag in Canada

Saag is a traditional Indian dish made with leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, rapini or broccoli rabe (in Canada), or fenugreek. It is usually served with makki ki roti (Sweetcorn flour bread), naan bread, or rice and can be made with paneer (Indian cheese), chicken, or lamb. In Canada, we have access to a wide variety of fresh and locally grown vegetables, and rapini is one of them. Rapini is also known as broccoli rabe and has a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the spices used in saag.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to making Rapini Saag, a delicious and healthy dish that combines the flavors of India and Canada. We will also include tips and variations to make the dish your own.

Finding the Perfect Substitute: Making Saag in Canada with Rapini/Broccoli Rabe

I have always shied away from trying my hand at making Saag, thinking it’ll be too much work. Saag & Makki di Roti craving was on a high during Canadian Winter, especially on days when we were blessed with Mr. Sun after days of snow.

So, I geared up, made up my mind, and decided to cook up my “Mom’s Homecooked Saag.” Now came the question- where to find Sarson / Mustard Green Leaves to prepare my favorite dish???? Looked around every store, including Indian grocery stores – no mustard greens to be found. No Sarson, No Saag 😞😞 Then my dear Sister came as a savior and told me, here in Canada, Saag is prepared using Rapini (also known as Broccoli Rabe).

To be honest, I had my apprehensions…I mean, Broccoli… in Saag… 🙄🙄I went ahead and bought the ingredients and got ready to cook 🙂 Thank you for reading till here. Without further ado, I am presenting you my “Mom’s Homecooked Saag” recipe, using Rapini/Broccoli Rabe. If you find Mustard Greens/Sarson, use that. However, I could hardly figure out any difference in the taste. Thank God !!!

Rapini Saag Recipe: How to make Saag in Canada Step-by-Step

Rapini Saag Recipe: How to Make Saag in Canada

Recipe by Vanshika K SiddiquiCuisine: Indian, North IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time





Rapini Saag Recipe: How to Make Saag in Canada


  • 2 bunch - Rapini / Broccoli Rabe

  • 1 bunch - Spinach or 1 small packet of Baby Spinach Leaves

  • *Important - the ratio of Rapini & Spinach should be 2:1

  • 5 cups water

  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp

  • 6 - 7 Green Chillies

  • Salt - to taste

  • Sweet Corn Flour / Makki ka Atta - Yellow color (not the white one)

  • White Butter / Ghee

  • For Tadka / Tempering -

  • Onion - 1 small, chopped

  • Tomato - 1 small, chopped

  • Green chilies - 1 or 2 chopped (optional)

  • Ghee - 1 Tbsp

  • Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

  • For Makki ki Roti

  • Sweet Corn Flour / Makki Atta - 2 cups

  • Warm Water - 1 cup


  • Wash Rapini & Spinach thoroughly; no dirt should be there.
  • Take off about 1-inch stems from Rapini; if the stems are big, chop off about 2 inches. Peel the skin too. This makes the Saag less bitter.
  • Roughly chop the Rapini & Spinach.
  • Boil water
  • Put the chopped Rapini Spinach & Chillies. If you’re using Ginger & Garlic pods, put them now with the Leaves. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  • Let the Leaves shrink. It takes about 45 mins
  • You can pressure cook too for 10-15 mins on low flame
  • Keep stirring every 10 mins.
  • When you see them shrinking, take a piece of the stem to see if it's mashable.
  • Add Ginger Garlic paste to the shrunk leaves.
  • Time to Blend the mixture. Let the leaves cool down a bit before blending. Use a Hand Blender or a Blending machine/mixie to blend.
  • Blend to your desired consistency.
  • Transfer the blended leaves back into the pan.
  • Add Salt, Corn Flour, and Butter. ALWAYS add Salt after blending.
  • Cover the pan (half open) and let it cook for 10 - 15mins on low flame.
  • If it’s too thick for you, add some hot water.
  • Saag is ready.
  • Next, if you want to Fry it to make it tastier, Heat the pan on medium flame.
  • Add ghee & cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds start sputtering, Add the chopped onion, tomato, and chilies.
  • Add salt. Remember, Saag has salt, so be mindful.
  • Cook till the Ghee separates.
  • Add 2 to 3 Big Tbsp Saag in the pan.
  • Mix it well.
  • Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Ready to be Served
  • For Makki ki Roti. First, we’ll start by kneading the dough.
  • Always use Warm Water for kneading, as this helps bind the flour
  • Start by adding a little warm water to the flour and mixing it together.
  • It might seem that the flour is breaking, but that’s okay. Just keep adding the water slowly and kneading it.
  • Check out the video to help you with the process.
  • soft dough is ready. Be careful; it can still break.

Recipe Video

Makki di Roti Hack

With Makki ka Atta/Dough, you can not use the traditional way of rolling out the dough into a chappati/roti. My mum told me to use a plastic bag(Walmart kind) to place the dough ball and roll it. I found that not so interesting.

I went searching in my kitchen for something that could be used and is better than the plastic bag option. Guess what I found – ZipLock Sandwich Bags. Yay!! Neat, Food friendly, and Handy!!

Here’s the Roti Hack – Split open the ZipLock bag. Take a small lemon size dough ball. Place it inside the bag, and cover it. Use a plate and push down the dough ball to flatten it a bit. Now flatten the roti using a rolling pin. Perfect Flat Roti Heat Tawa / Griddle on medium flame. Gently & carefully take the Roti out and place it on the Hot Tawa. If the Roti breaks, don’t worry.

Put the pieces back together and join them. Just be mindful of the hot tawa. Flip the Roti after 30 seconds. Apply ghee Flip again after 30 seconds and apply ghee to this side too. Cook the Roti till you see slight brown spots on both the sides (like your regular roti). Serve & Enjoy Makki di Roti & Saag topped with Extra Butter 😋😋


Rapini Saag is a delicious and healthy dish that combines the flavors of India and Canada. With its bold flavors and vibrant colors, it is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you serve it as a main dish or a side dish, it is a great way to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. So, next time you are in the mood for something spicy and comforting, try making Rapini Saag and enjoy the delicious fusion of Indian and Canadian cuisine!


Is rapini same as sarson ka saag?

Rapini is not the same as Sarson ka Saag. Sarson ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish made with mustard greens, while rapini is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking. However, in Canada, rapini is often used as a substitute for mustard greens to make Saag due to its similar taste and texture. So, while rapini may not be the traditional ingredient used in Sarson ka Saag, it can still be used to make a delicious and healthy Saag in Canada.

How do you cut rapini for saag?

  1. Wash the rapini thoroughly in cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Trim off the bottom of the stem where it is tough and woody.
  3. Cut the rapini into small pieces, including the leaves and stems.
  4. Discard any tough or woody stems or large leaves.
  5. Chop the rapini finely to ensure that it cooks evenly and blends well in the saag.

Once you have cut the rapini, you can use it to make your saag according to your preferred recipe. Check out our video in the card recipe for more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Can I make saag ahead of time?

Yes, you can make saag ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a pan over medium heat before serving.

Is saag a healthy dish?

Yes, saag is a healthy dish as it is made with leafy greens and spices that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. However, the addition of heavy cream makes it a high-calorie dish, so

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Hello, I'm Vanshika Siddiqui, but you might know me better as 'The Lazy Chef.' My culinary journey is all about embracing the vast, vibrant world of flavors and bringing them right into your kitchen. I've always believed in the beauty of simple, lazy chef cooking, where the essence of global cuisine meets the ease of everyday meals.

On my website, The Lazy Chef Cooking, I share a treasure trove of easy cooking recipes and quick meal ideas, sprinkled with some of my favorite kitchen hacks. My goal is to help you master the art of effortless cooking, guiding you through an array of diverse cuisines. Each recipe I share is more than just a dish; it's a story, a memory, a little piece of the world, lovingly crafted with a dash of magic and a whole lot of heart.

Join me in this exciting culinary adventure, where we celebrate the joy of creating delightful, simple meals that resonate with tastes from around the globe. Together, let's cook up something wonderful, no matter where we are in the world!

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