savaa ni bhaji (dill and lentils)

August 25, 2012mayurisjikoni

Prina my niece, loves savaa ni bhaji with rotli and so does her dada. Savaa, suva or dill leaves are prepared as a vegetable in India either with lentils or potatoes. It is a herb but grows in abundance in India during the rainy season and winter season. Big fat bunches sometimes sell for just under 10 rupees. My visit to the Mombasa market this week was a delight as I saw only one seller with a few bunches of the bhaji. I quickly grabbed a few and made the vegetable on the same day. This herb does not stay for too long as the leaves start to turn yellow within a day or two. I love savaa ni bhaji with the lentils but Ajay prefers it with aubergines.

Updated: 07/09/2019

What is Dill?

Did you know that dill which is a herb belongs to the celery family. This herb has a tender hollow stem and very fine long threadlike leaves. Sometimes the leaves are also known as dill weed. It can be used fresh or dried and also the seeds are used for cooking. Did you know that dill water is also used to give babies to relieve gas and reduces colic symptoms.

Dill is usually used to flavor soups, a bit is used to make a cooling drink by adding it to yogurt or kefir. Its also used to flavor salads, I love the combination of cucumber, dill and yogurt. Its used in breads, for making dips and also added to fish, mashed potatoes or roasted ones. The famous dill pickle cannot be made without dill.

Dill seeds can be added to breads, cookies, crackers. have you ever tasted dill bread sticks? They simply are delicious. I remember when I was young, my mum would buy them for us from a famous bakery called Oven Door in Nairobi. Unfortunately, that bakery doesn’t exist anymore.

Its very common to find huge bunches of fresh dill in India as its commonly used to make a sabji or curry. Its usually served with rotis or parathas. Making this sabji or side dish is very easy. I decided to use the pressure cooker to cook it and it was ready in a matter of 5-10 minutes. It actually takes longer to clean and chop the dill than the cooking period. 

Check out this delicious, aromatic sabji which is best served with some hot hot rotis.

savaa ni bhaji 3
savaa ni bhaji 5
savaa ni bhaji 6

4 servings

½ cup yellow split green gram lentils ( yellow moong dal)

½ cup water

4 cups (lightly packed) chopped savaa or fresh dill

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp chilli paste

1 tbsp oil

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp garlic paste or 2 to 3 cloves finely chopped (optional. Avoid if making satvik or Jain version).

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander cumin powder


  1. Wash and soak the moong dal in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the root tips and chop the dill finely.
  3. Wash it in a sieve thoroughly to remove any mud.
  4. Heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat.
  5. When the oil is hot add the mustard  and cumin seeds.
  6. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add the chilli and ginger paste. Mix.
  8. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and coriander cumin powder.
  9. Immediately add the soaked lentils along with the water.
  10. Add salt and mix. Bring the moong dal to a simmer. 
  11. As soon as the moong dal mixture becomes hot, add the chopped and washed dill.
  12. Mix very well.
  13. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid. Let it cook on medium heat for one whistle only.
  14. Let the steam reduce naturally. Open the cooker and mix savaa ni bhaji.
  15. Serve with hot rotlis.



  • Add one big aubergine finely chopped instead of lentils. Add both the aubergine(eggplant) and chopped dill together.
  • Try and chop the stalks finely so it cooks quickly.
  • I use both the yellow moong dal and the green one with the skin.
  • For a satvik/jain version avoid adding garlic.


Pin for later:

savaa ni bhaji

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

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  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


You may want to check out the following recipes where I used dill:



  • Linsy Patel

    January 7, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I just love this, but prefer dal style, little liquidy.

    1. Lata Lala

      September 13, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Suva and lentils sabzi is one of my favorites. I love this as I am from Gujarat and have eaten many times at my friend’s place. We Sindhi’s use Suva in making Sai bhaji and it adds great flavour to palak dal.
      Nostalgic share Mayuri.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        September 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm

        Thanks Lata, I’m so happy you’ve tasted this simple and yet so flavorful bhaji.

      2. Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

        September 18, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        Its true that i have not tried dill leaves yet. Here the dish looks so healthy and with simple phulka it pairs well

      3. mayurisjikoni

        September 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm

        Thanks Sasmita.

  • shobhakeshwani

    September 10, 2019 at 3:39 am

    We add dill in Sindhi sai bhaji . I have never trid cooking it by itself.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 10, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Try it Shobha its quite a common sabji in the Patel community.

  • sizzlingtastebuds

    September 10, 2019 at 5:13 am

    I love dill (the only one in the family who likes this veggie), and I wouldn’t mind eating that bhaji all on its own… its totally yum !! bookmarked to make it sometime 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Kalyani, when I make it, I mostly eat it on its own.

  • Anna | Serving Dumplings

    September 11, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Sounds amazing, love the flavors. Never tried dill with lentils before.

  • Cat | Curly’s Cooking

    September 11, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    This looks lovely and fresh.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      Thank you Cat.

  • Anshu

    September 12, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Never had dil bhaji in my life, sounds very healthy and delicious. Will try it for sure if I get the suva leaves around

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 12, 2019 at 7:55 pm

      Its healthy and delicious, please try it.

  • Angela Roberts

    September 13, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Looks like a ton of flavor and health in a bowl.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Angela it is a healthy bowl.

  • Nickki

    September 14, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I’m a huge fan of dill. This looks so delicious!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much.

  • jhumuhere

    September 16, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I came to know about dill leaves just a few years ago and prepared paratha with it…Never prepared bhaji with dill leaves… this one with lentil sounds good…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2019 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks Amrita. Try making the bhaji, its so healthy and delicious.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    September 16, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    What a beautiful green dish mayuriji! I love the zest of dill, never tried making dal wtih them, though i have heard of potatoes and dill cooked together, i have only used them in baked breads, will try this dal sometimes! must be a great pair with roti;s

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Priya, its really delicious and its such a common sabji especially in the evenings in most Patel homes. Served either with hot rotis or bhakri.

  • Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey

    September 18, 2019 at 10:58 am

    We love Suva ni bhaji, lemony scented bhaji blends so well with lentils, potato or aubergine. Healthy and nutritious .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Jagruti, I personally don’t like it with aubergine but hubby loves it with it. I will try with potato next time.

  • jayashreetrao

    September 18, 2019 at 11:34 am

    It’s been long time I bought dill leaves. Looks so delicious, shall try this one Mayuri. Awesome.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Jayashree.

  • Sapna

    September 18, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Don’t know why I have never used dill leaves in my cooking. This bhajji sounds very delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks Sapna, its a must in our home to have to this bhaji during the season.

  • Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille)

    September 19, 2019 at 6:13 am

    I only like dill in VERY SMALL quantities more as a herb. To use as a veg, I imagine the flavor must be very strong. This is definitely for the DILL LOVERS!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Mireille it has a strong taste but somehow with lentils its taste yum.

  • Sisley

    September 19, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    This is heaven! I love lentils and always looking to use them in new ways.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Sisley, hope you try out this recipe.

  • Lathiya

    September 19, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    This sounds a lovely, healthy dish. Never cooked dill leaves before but will try this recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Lathiya, this is one bhaji we have when greens are available in abundance.

  • shobhakeshwani

    September 20, 2019 at 1:03 am

    I somehow don’t like the taste of this bhaji, though we add a little bit in Sindhi Sai Bhaji.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm

      Oh, that’s sad, perhaps you could try adding less and more dal.

  • theculinarypeace

    September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Wow never tried dill with a lentil. Loved the recipe and bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 21, 2019 at 3:52 pm


  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    September 28, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I loved the way you have cooked it with moong dal to add more nutrition to the already healthy dill. Lovings those soft phulkas and would love to dig in this.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you so much Renu.


    October 1, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    The savva ni bhaji looks delicious Mayuri. I did not know it can be prepared with dal or even with aubergines. Sounds like I have closed my ears to any possibilities with dill. Old habits are hard to change. 😀

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 1, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Archana, please try it first will dal. Am sure you’ll love it.

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