Saaru is a name given to a liquid of a soup consistency which is had along with Rice in Karnataka. If i list the variety, probably this page would not be sufficient. Such is the richness in variety when it comes to just these 'Saaru s' in Karnataka. And there is so much more to Cuisine from Karnataka. Recently when i was telling about Karnataka cuisine to a new aquaintance from another part of India, she was surprised with the variety i mentioned. She said "Really? and i thought all you south Indians ate was idlis and dosas..." Can you believe that?!!!!What i intend to say is that each corner of our country is so rich in every which way, but the awareness of that among others is what is lacking.
Coming back to my post today , this particular variety "Bus Saaru" is one among the different kinds of Saaru which can be made out of almost all the vegetables. The idea is to cook the vegetable /greens in Water , drain, and use that water for the Saaru while the drained vegetable is had as a side dish. I used the Ridge gourd( Eerekayi in Kannada) and Toor dal in my post today as it is one of my favourite vegetable. You could make it with any other vegetable such as all the sprouted beans, green beans and dal, just greens, and so on. Although this is very common in most of the houses in Karnataka, slight variations are found in every house in the kind of masala that goes into it. In our Family it is prepared as follows:
- 1 long Ridge Gourd.
- 1/4 cup Toor Dal.
- Pinch of Turmeric powder.
- 4 cups water.
For the Masala:
- 1Tblspn Oil.
- 1/2 Large Onion cubed.
- 4 large garlic cloves.
- 3-4 sticks of Curry Leaves.
- 2 tspn Jeera.
- 1/4 tspn Pepper.
- 3-4 sticks of Coriander.
- 1 medium sized Tomato cubed.
- 1 Tblspn Saaru Pudi (this is a kind of powder made with several spices like redchillies, Coriander seeds and so on) You could probably use MTR Sambhar powder instead.
- 1 inch Tamarind piece soaked in water.
- 1/2 cup Coconut grated.
- 1/2 tspn Musturd seeds.
- Few Curry leaves.
- A pinch of Asafoetida(hing).
For the vegetable Palya(vegetable side dish):
- 1/2 tspn mustard seeds.
- 1/2 Large Onion chopped.
- 5-6 green chillies slit lengthwise/ 5-6 Red chillies split once
few Curry leaves.
- Grated coconut for garnishing.
- 1Tblspn chopped Coriander for garnishing.
- Peel the ridge of the Ridge gourd. Make sure you do not overdo this. Just the ridge part must be removed. The rest of the peel should still be intact.
- Now cut the Ridge Gourd lengthwise. and chop them into approximately1/2 inch width pieces.
Cook the Ridge gourd and Toor Dal in about 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric for 1 whistle.
- Drain and preserve both the vegetable and broth(the water in which the vegetable is cooked) seperately.
- In a pan fry the onions with the curry leaves and jeera in 1tblspn of oil until the onions turn transclucent. If you want to avoid the smell of raw garlic , you could add this also for frying.
- Grind the above along the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the Masala section. Grind to a fine paste.
- Now add this masala to the broth , add salt to taste and bring this to a boil. Add more water if required to give a soup consistency.Continue to boil for 4-5 mins.Put off heat.This is the 'Saaru'.
Vagarne in kannada refers to the final touch given to certain dishes by adding mustard seeds and a few other optional ingredients fried in a little oil.
- In a seperate pan(kadai) add 1 tblspn oil, Once hot, add 1/2 tspn mustard seeds.Once they splutter, put off the heat. when still hot add curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida(Hing) powder.
- Now add this into the "Saaru'
- In a pan, heat about 2-3 tblspns of oil. Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter add curry leaves, green chillies and onion. Cook till the Onions turn transclucent.
- Now add the drained Ridge gourd and toor dal. Add salt and stir . Keep covered in low heat for 2-3 minutes or until hot uniformly.
- Remove lid , transfer to a serving bowl , and garnish with chopped coriander and grated coconut.Serve Bus Saaru and palya along with Rice.