- 1 cup chana dal / chickpea lentils 1 tomato ½ cup cocoonut milk 2 Kokum peels 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp 2 fresh green chillies slit ½ teaspoon mustard seeds 1 pinch of hing/ asafoetida 1 pinch of sugar Oil for cooking Salt to taste
Saar is a simple shorba / thin curry that is popular all over Goa and many other southern states of India.
During festivals and holy poojas this is a staple that is prepared as a combination with rice and usually mixed with Goan Vanna. This Goan Saar (different from the Tomato Saar popular all along the coastal regions of India) is prepared with the base of dal water.
- Boil the chana dal in 3 cups of water. The chana dal is mashed for making other dishes like puran stuffing for modaks and puranpolis. The water/ dal stock is used for making the goan saar. Tip: Usually goan saar is prepared on festive occasions when other dishes like modaks and puranpolis are prepared and hence the dal water gets used up. I love to prepare this often and hence instead of separating the dal, I generally just blend the dal in its water to make a homogenized pureed dal water using a blender.
- Heat a pan and add oil. Add hing/ asafoetida & mustard seeds and allow to crackle/ tempering.
- Now add the chillies and tomato and fry a little.
- Add the dal water/ stock or the blended dal, coconut milk, kokum peels (for tanginess and colour), salt, sugar, tamarind pulp and cook for 5 minutes.
- Your tasty Goan Saar is ready to be served with steamed rice and Goan Vanna. The usual ratio of Vanna to Saar is around 1:2, that means the 1 ladle of Vanna is added for adding a base flavour and thickening to the 2 ladles of Saar to give it a perfect combo flavour. Usually a dash of pure Ghee adds richness to the steamed Rice, Vanna & Saar combination.
Accompanied by crispies like Fried Papads, varieties of pickles like mango, radish and raitas of cucumber, sweets like modaks, nevris, pedas and veggies like the Rushi chi bhaji make the complete offering to god called the Naivedya thali. Once the thali (meal plate) is offered in prayer to god only then the rest of the family start their meals. The offering of the thali is distributed to all family members as Prasad or blessings of god.