Saturday, June 30, 2007


I've been really ill with viral for the past few days so haven't felt up to doing anything - blogging, talking, even reading. Food has been tasting like nothing which is really sad for someone who loves food like I do. But one dish that'll definitely taste good at any time and have the added benefit of being good for you is an old-style Karnataka vegetable stew called Sagu. It goes with puris, typically and makes for a wonderful Sunday brunch, especially along with Mango sheekarane in the summer. Hot sagu and puris is a wonderful meal in winter as well, and we love to eat this out on our terrace garden.

I suppose this is somewhat like Thai green curry in terms of ingredients, but the taste is totally different.

Here's the recipe:
  1. 1 handful freshly grated coconut
  2. 3-4 cloves of garlic
  3. 1 inch ginger
  4. 6-8 cloves
  5. 2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
  6. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  7. 1 handful fresh coriander leaves and stems
  8. fistful of roast chana dal - bhuna hua chana or hurakadale
  9. 3-4 green chillies
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
2 potatoes, diced
half cup fresh peas, or frozen
half cup cauliflower florets
half cup beans, cut into 1 inch segments

For tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds (black)
2 tsp oil
handful curry leaves, washed and dried
1 dried red chilli

  1. Put the first 9 ingredients into the blender with a little bit of water and grnd into a smooth paste.
  2. Put 2 and a half cups of water to boil, with salt added. Toss in the diced vegetables one by one in the order of how long they take to cook. So start with the potatoes, then add the beans, then carrots, then cauliflower, peas and onions last of all. Boil them until they are al dente.
  3. Add the paste of the first 9 ingredients to this water and stir to mix. Taste to check on salt, and let boil until the vegetables become soft but not mushy (another 5 minutes, say)
  4. Prepare the tempering: Put the oil on to heat at high in a small wok. Add the mustard seeds. When they have finished popping, add the curry leaves and red chilli and turn off the heat.
  5. Top the sagu with the tempering and serve it hot.

Sagu tastes great with rice or rotis, or even crusty bread. Sometimes I even have it by itself as a hearty soup!

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