Saibhaji ~ The Weekend Sindhi Vegetable Medley with Jaya Mahbubani

by on December 15, 2011

A popular Sindhi VEGETABLE dish that is easy to prepare & flexible since many of the ingredients are optional and can be easily substituted. In many Sindhi homes, this is often prepared during weekends since it is a good way to use up small quantities of fresh vegetables (except lady’s finger). Most combinations work well but at least one of the following is required for the perfect consistency: brinjals, yam or bottle gourd.




  • Spinach leaves ( palak) – 2 bunches, chopped
  • Bengal gram (chana dal) – 4 tablespoons, soaked
  • Brinjal (baingan / eggplant) – 1 medium sized, cubed
  • Potato – 1 large, cubed
  • French beans – 5-10, chopped
  • Carrot – 1, diced
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped fine
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped fine
  • Green chillies – 3-4, chopped fine
  • Garlic cloves – 4, chopped fine
  • Tomatoes – 2 large sized, roughly chopped
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder (amchur) – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

If available:

  • Sorrel leaves (khatta bhaji) – ½ bunch
  • Dill (sua) – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek leaves (methi) – 1 handful


1. Heat the oil & add the onions, ginger & green chillies. Lower the flame & gently sauté until the onions turn translucent.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute.
3. Add the Bengal gram and chopped vegetables (brinjal, potatoes, beans, carrots) and pressure cook until the gram has cooked (2-3 whistles).
4. Add the remaining ingredients (chopped greens & masalas) except the garlic & pressure cook up to 1 whistle. (Some people add the greens along with the other vegetables but it is preferable to add them at the final stage since they don’t require as much cooking as the bengal gram.)
5. Blend well using a hand blender (mandira).
6. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in another pan & add the garlic. Lower the flame and sauté for a while.
7. Toss into the vegetable.
8. Switch off the flame & serve hot.

A delicious accompaniment to Rotis & Pulaos. The Mahbubanis enjoy it with Onion Pulao or Yellow rice. Serve with yogurt (boondi dahi or any other yoghurt preparation) if you like.


This recipe was first featured in Soul Food and Soul Mates – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Jaya & Narain Mahbubani – a Sindhi couple.


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