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Khatte Wala Saag and Makki Ki Roti: Traditional Punjabi Dish

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Khatte wala saag and makki ki roti

Khatte wala saag and makki ki roti

Khatte wala saag and makki ki roti is a traditional Punjabi dish from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is a complete meal.

Khatte wala saag, also called lassi wala saag, is a curry prepared with saag (spinach greens) cooked in a mixture of besan (chickpea flour) and water-thinned dahi (yogurt). The lassi is the mixture of besan and water-thinned dahi. The dahi should be slightly sour as this dish is always a little sour tasting.

We are also preparing makki ki roti, or maize flour flatbread, which is traditionally served with khatte wala saag.

Do try this dish and share your experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

2 hours

2 hours 15 min

2 servings (plus enough for leftovers)


For the khatte wala saag:

  • 750 grams slightly sour dahi (yogurt), whisked until smooth
  • 3 tablespoons besan (brown chickpea flour)
  • 1 liter water
  • 250 grams chopped and washed palak (spinach)
  • 10-15 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 green chillies, chopped
  • 1.25 + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp malai (fresh cream)

For the tadka (tempering):

  • 1 tablespoon desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 sliced green chilli
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped

For the makki ki roti:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ajwain (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup makki ka atta (maize flour)
  • Water, as needed, to knead the dough
  • Desi ghee, as needed, to knead the dough
  • Dry maize flour, as needed
  • Desi ghee as needed to roast the roti

For the salad:

  • Cucumber, radish and tomato, sliced, to serve with the dish


  1. Add the besan to the whisked dahi and hand-blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the dahi mixture into a handi (pot). Keep the heat on low-medium. Pour in 1 liter of water. Stir well and let it warm up a little.
  3. Add the chopped palak, chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and salt. Keep the heat on medium and let the mixture come to a boil. Note: We will be cooking this saag (spinach) for 1 hour and 30 minutes on low heat after it comes to a boil. During this time, stir from time to time.
  4. Check the saag after 15 minutes. If you feel the consistency is getting too thick, add water as required to thin it or if the besan seems less add some more. Our consistency was fine so there was no need to add anything.
  5. Check the saag after 1 hour and add the malai. You can add homemade white butter or amul butter instead. Stir well and let it cook. In the meantime, prepare the makki ki roti (maize flour flatbread).
  6. In a pot, combine water, ajwain and salt. Keep it on medium heat and let it come to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the maize flour. Stir well until the flour absorbs all the water and mixes well. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the dough to a large plate and let it cool down until you can comfortably handle it. Grease your hands with desi ghee and start kneading the dough. As needed, wet your hands with water and knead the dough until it is soft and smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Prepare the makki ki roti. You can roll out this dough with a rolling pin, if you prepare the dough following the method explained above. This is not possible if you follow the traditional method of making maize flour dough. Make 2 rotis and keep stirring the saag frequently. This dough will make 4 rotis.
  9. After 1 hour and 30 minutes, the saag should be cooked. Remove from heat.
  10. Make tadka (tempering) for the saag: Keep a tadka pan on low heat. Add desi ghee and let it melt. Add the jeera and let it crackle. Add the chopped green chilli and garlic. Stir-fry until the garlic turns brown. Save a little for garnishing the dish. Pour the rest over the saag and stir it in.
  11. Serve with makki ki roti and salad.

© 2022 Rajan Singh Jolly