Saar | A Goan Rasam

By the late 1990’s I was beginning to cook Indian food or at least attempting to make a fair representation of some dishes. Many of my early attempts came from Goa as that was my first port of call on my first trip to India. Later I expanded my love of Indian food to Tamil cuisine and South Indian in general.

Saar is similar to the Tamil dish Rasam, but with Goan twists. The recipe is from Tasty Morsels; Goan Food Ingredients and Preparation by Maria de Lourdes Bravo Da Costa Rodrigues. I picked it up on one of my early trips to Goa. It is like the Green and Gold of Goan Cuisine. I love to look through the book and remember my many visits to Goa over the years. I adore exploring the different areas of Goa, away from the tourist attractions, and dive into the different cultures. There were many times I travelled with a friend on his motorbike, exploring off-road areas and little-known beaches, as well as the local food markets, food stalls and tiny shops. Sleeping in thatched huts, eating at restaurants right on the beach, talking to women on the beach picking up inhabited shells to cook with rice. The smell of morning fires ready for cooking the day’s meals, the pink sands on the beaches, the sunsets, spice farms, hills, temples, music. Oh, Goa – I miss you!

Tickle My Senses has a wonderful description of Saar.

Well, saar needs to be eaten in the right way for maximum pleasure. Pour the piping hot tomato saar over your rice (for me the rice has to be swimming in the saar) then using your finger tips coat the rice with the piping hot saar, making sure you do not burn yourself ! then scoop mouthfuls of this delicious mixture into your mouth, accompanied with fried foods and vegetable. When all is done, lift up the plate to your lips and drink off any remaining saar, the orphaned bits can be polished off by licking your fingers….slurpp!!!

Note the Portuguese name of the author – there are at least 3 distinct cuisines in Goa – that heavily influenced by the Catholic Portuguese cuisine which is also non-vegetarian, that of the Hindu Goans which is more vegetarian and more traditionally South Indian. Finally there is the Muslim cuisine from the Muslim invaders and immigrants over the years.

Often Saar is described as a soup, which is a misnomer. While it is a thin but strongly flavoured broth, traditionally it is not eaten with a spoon from a bowl. See the description of Saar on the sidebar here. It really does capture the essence of Saar and Rasam.

We have a lovely collection of rasam recipes that we have put together as a collection. You can see the collection here.

Similar recipes include Mysore Rasam with Tomatoes, Tomato Pepper Rasam, and Cumin Seed Rasam.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes and all of our Goan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Tulasyadi Phanta | Herbal Drink of Tulsi and Spices

There are several recipes for Tulasyadi Phanta. This is one that is not so common – perhaps more recent as it includes lemongrass. It is a infusion that is good for colds and fevers, and also if you are exhausted from work or illness, and need to feel comforted and rested.

The infusion is made with Tulsi, the Indian holy basil, seeped with lemongrass, cloves and cinnamon.Β  It really is relaxing – as you sip it in the afternoon you feel your body beginning to relax and your breath deepen. It is a gorgeous way to wind down.

Similar recipes include the Ginger Tulasyadi Phanta, Teas for Good Health, and Unusual Teas, Coffees and Infusions.

Browse all of our Infusions and all of our Teas. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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MID WINTER: Spicy INDIAN DELICIOUSNESS for Winter Warming | Seasonal Cooking

Goodness, it’s cold! Put on another jumper and enjoy these highlights from our Mid Winter classic Indian recipes.

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Aloo Gobi

Recipes for Aloo Gobi, the much loved potato and cauliflower dish from India, are so various that there must be a different one in every household in India and beyond. Each is glorious in its own right.

Some have yoghurt sauces, some have tomato based sauces. This recipe has one based on tomato, cumin, ginger and coriander leaves. It’s pretty good. I like it with a cumin pepper rice or a simple jeera rice.

Similar dishes include Aloo Gobi with Yoghurt Sauce, Aloo in Aloo, and Simple Cauliflower Curry.

Browse all of our Potato recipes and all of our Cauliflower dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Collection: Chai Recipes with Love

Chai is the comforting drink that we all need every day. It is made from tea, usually an Assam tea, spices, milk and sugar. The spices are simmered in water and milk with the tea for some minutes to infuse the flavour, and it is sweetened before serving. The tea is simmered with the spices – a different way of brewing it when we consider the dunk-in-dunk-out method of the British and others.

Learn how to make Chai properly here.

Enjoy these 20 or so different Chai recipes.

Similar articles include 30 Soups for Mid Autumn, A Collection of Kitchdi Recipes, and Delicious Recipes with Green Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Chai Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Kanda Batata Poha

There is a quick and easy Batata Poha that I make – the flattened rice flakes mixed with herbs and fried potatoes, yum! This recipe is no more difficult, still quick and easy, very similar to the recipe that Tim and Saun gave me – just a few extra spices. It includes onions, steamed potatoes and peas, cashews and peanuts, coconut and warming spices. It is a light dish that is eaten for breakfast or tiffin snacks. It is perfect just with a cuppa. It can also be served for brunch, lunch or a light dinner – add some coconut chutney or a bowl of yoghurt for a quick,light and delicious meal. It can be packed into lunch boxes, taken on picnics or taken on trips as travel food. We love poha and have nearly a dozen recipes that use it.

Take note that this is made with the thick poha – poha is steamed and rolled/flattened rice – make sure that you buy poha and not puffed rice. When you visit your Indian grocery you will see that Poha comes in different thicknessesΒ  – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There is also poha made from red rice and brown rice as well as white rice. The thicker types are soaked before use.

Similar dishes include Lemony Poha, Poha Chaat, and Coconut-Tamarind Poha.

Browse all of our Poha recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Beetroot, Radish and Carrot Kachumber | Beetroot Salad

We had a focus on Indian Salads last Summer, mainly varieties of Kachumber and Kosumalli/Koshambari. As the weather slipped into cooler parts of Autumn, I found myself wondering if thes were the last ones we would make until the warm weather arrives once more. Perhaps not, I thought, as I do love salads in Winter too, but they become a little heavier than the Summer versions. More lentils, grains and Winter vegetables.

It is Summer again, so time to bring you this particular salad. It is such a delightful salad, healthy and quick to make if you use a food processor. The dressing is the usual Kachumber dressing of lime juice and black pepper.

Although I use raw vegetables, but many in India like them cooked in some way. You can either saute them lightly in ghee or Indian sesame oil, or steam them just a little if that is your preference.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Carrot Kachumber, Chopped Salad, and Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari.

Browse all of our Indian Salads and our Beetroot Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Matki Sprouts Misal

Both Matki sprouts and Horse Gram sprouts are highly nutritious, and fairly easy to sprout if you are careful. For these sprouts, I prefer to wrap the soaked lentils/beans in muslin cloth and place in a dark cupboard for 24 – 48 hours, sprinkling with water occasionally.

One way of using the Matki sprouts is to make Misal – a gravy based dish that is often eaten with bread but can be served with rice. The matki sprouts don’t take as long to cook as the horse gram sprouts do – under 15 mins to be soft but with a little texture still. Just how I like it.

Similar dishes include Carrot and Mung Sprout Kosumalli, Sprouts Usal, and Black Gram Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Matki dishes, and all of our Misal recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Spring Onion (Green Onion) Salad | Kachumber

This is another chopped salad, a kachumber made in the food processor, so it can be done in under 5 minutes from start to table. It is a combination of spring onions (scallions or green onions), coriander leaves, green chilli, cumin powder and lime juice. Divine!

Similar recipes include Beetroot, Radish and Carrot Kachumber, Spring Onion and Pea Soup, Salad of Spring Onion Greens, and Indian Spring Onion Soup.

Browse all of our Spring Onion recipes and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Stunning INDIAN Dishes for Early Summer | SEASONAL COOKING COLLECTION

We always need spice and heat, right? As the weather warms and the days are gloriously long, spice adds to the brightness of our days. Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer Indian recipes.

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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