Nettle Saag Recipe By Five Flavors Herbs

Have you seen it? It's dark green, fragrant, medicinal and giving people prickly pokes on trails and farmers markets all over North America. 
It's Nettle!
In honor of her seasonal appearance here's a recipe from Five Flavors Herbs, one of our dearest sponsors for the Herbalist Certification to nourish yourself this Spring.



Nettles make a good substitute for or addition to spinach (saag) or Swiss chard in almost any dish. This tasty Indian-inspired recipe creates a creamy vegetable dish that goes well with dahl (lentil soup) and rice or chapati.

🌿 1 gallon water

🌿 1 lb. fresh nettle leaves, removed from stem (either U. dioica and U. urens will work)

🌿 4 Tbsp. ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil

🌿 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or substitute 1 tsp. asafoetida powder)

🌿 1 inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped

🌿 1 small jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely chopped (optional)

🌿 1 Tbsp. turmeric root powder

🌿 1 tsp. coriander seed powder

🌿 1 tsp. cumin seed (whole)

🌿 1 lb. fresh spinach or chard, coarsely chopped

🌿 1/2 cup cream of choice: heavy whipping cream, crème fraiche, coconut cream, or other non-dairy substitute

🌿 Salt, to taste


  • Bring water to a boil in a non-reactive pot.
  • Add nettles to water and boil for 5 minutes to blanch, then transfer leaves to a colander to drain.
  • While leaves cool, heat oil in a skillet and sauté garlic, ginger, pepper, and spices.
  • Add chard and stir until coated in spices.
  • Add the nettles and stir.
  • Add a few pinches of salt, stir, and cover. Stir every few minutes, replacing cover after (if needed, add a small amount of water to prevent sticking).
  • When the vegetables are soft but not too mushy, turn off heat and add cream. Adjust salt and serve warm.

Enjoy your Nettle season! xo, 

Kelsey Barrett, Co-Director SOTHA