Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beans Sambar | Karnataka Style Sambar Recipe using fresh Coconut

beans sambar
Sambar and Rice is a very staple combination in any south Indian home.The versions of sambar vary from state to state but the basic ingredients are almost similar.I have posted many Sambar recipes which are prepared using ready sambar powder-which is typical Andhra version and today I am posting my mom's version which is prepared using freshly roasted spices and coconut. I feel that the Karnataka style Sambar tastes best with rice where as the Andhra style sambar goes well with both rice and idli/dosa varieties.I have my own set of vegetables to be put in these sambar varieties like drumsticks,brinjals,ladiesfinger,bottle gourd,radish,carrot-potato-brinjal combo goes well with Andhra style sambar where as the vegetables like beans, cluster beans, broad beans,chow-chow, radish,drumstick and greens go well with the Karnataka style sambar.

Check out other sambar recipes in my blog:
beans sambar

Beans Sambar Recipe -Karnataka style:
Serves 2-3
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time: 40 mins
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Side dish for Rice - Main Course

1/2 cup Toor dal
20-25 French Beans
1 Onion, diced or 12-15 Shallots
1 large Tomato, chopped
a small gooseberry size Tamarind
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1-2 tsp grated Jaggery,optional
2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

to roast and grind:
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1/4 tsp Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Red chillies,spicy variety
2 Byadige Red chillies
1/3 cup grated coconut

to temper:
2 tsp Ghee/Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1-2 Red chillies
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of Asafoetida

  • Chop the corners of beans and cut them into 1" pieces by removing the fiber in between with your hands.
  • Wash and soak toor dal for 10 minutes in 1.5 cups of water. Add turmeric powder to it. In a separate container add chopped beans and tomato and pressure cook dal and vegetables separately for 3 whistles, Once the pressure drops slightly mash the dal with a wooden ladle.
  • Soak tamarind in water for some time and extract pulp from it and keep it ready.
  • Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies and pepper corns and grind them along with freshly grated coconut to a fine and smooth paste.You can even saute the fresh grated coconut at the end for half a minute along with the spices,this way the sambar does not spoil quickly even in summers.
  • Heat oil in a big kadai/pan and add diced onions and fry until they turn translucent. Add boiled vegetable pieces and cooked dal to it.
  • Add ground mixture , tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery and mix nicely and boil it until the raw smell of the ground paste is gone.Also add enough water to get the required consistency while boiling.
  • Taste the sambar once and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sambar thickens slightly when it sits, so adjust the consistency according to your requirement. 
  • Heat ghee/oil in a small tempering pan and crackle mustard seeds and add red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and fry for half a minute and add the tempering to the sambar at the end and mix well.
Serve it hot with steamed Rice and fryums and a vegetable stir fry.

  1. You can replace beans with any other vegetable like carrot, cluster beans, drumstick, pumpkin,chow-chow, potato,raw papaya, brinjals,broad beans(chikkudu) etc or a combination of mixed vegetables.
  2. You can follow the same process for ladies finger sambar, in that you need to fry the ladies finger pieces in oil first and then add to the sambar while boiling.You should not pressure cook the ladies finger pieces.
  3. You can even prepare sambar with greens like amaranth, fenugreek(methi), palak or mixed greens following the same process.It tastes nice with Ragi Mudde.
  4. Instead of boiling the tomato, you can even grind the tomato with the other ingredients, that gives a nice color to sambar.
  5. For a quicker version you can even grind tomato,grated coconut with Karnataka style sambar powder to a fine paste and follow the same recipe.
karnataka style sambar

Monday, February 9, 2015

Khotto | Kottige (Idlis steamed in Jackfruit leaves)

Khotto is nothing but Idlis, but the idli batter is steamed in jackfruit leaves which makes it quite distinct in taste and look. The jackfruit leaves add wonderful aroma to the khottos and I quite like the flavor and taste of it.'Khotto' is also known as 'Kottige' and it is called as 'Gunda' in Konkani. Khotto is speciality of Coastal region of Karnataka and is usually served in the hotels for breakfast, it is usually paired with chutney or sambar for vegetarians and with spicy chicken gravies for the non-vegetarians.I have tried this a couple of times in the hotels when I visited Mangalore few years back and also in few breakfast joints in Mumbai.I never got to try it at home as I could not get jackfruit leaves here in Mumbai.
During one of those usual chats with my mom about cooking I casually mentioned about it and my mom promised me that she will procure these leaves for me when I visit her.During my last visit to Bangalore as promised by her,she made sure that I got my hands laid down on those beautiful aromatic leaves.As I was preparing the baskets for the first time I was very much excited to prepare these basket idlis for our breakfast.I could not find any sticks at home to prepare these baskets but that did not stop me from trying it,I stapled the baskets instead of using sticks.I made sure that the pins would not come in contact with the batter while steaming but still I would not recommend you to try stapling it as it is not safe and definitely use sticks to make these baskets.I find the toothpicks are too thick to use and also its difficult to find the old kind of broom stick these days hence the best option to use is the dried sticks of the curry leaves which is easy to find everywhere.Now on to the recipe.
idlis steamed in jackfruit leaves


Before going to the recipe, if you are interested check out other Idli varieties in my blog:

Khotto | Kottige Recipe:
makes: 6 khottos
Prep time:45 mins | Cooking time:15 mins | Total time:1 hr +
Cuisine: Konkan/Karnataka | Category: Breakfast

for the batter:
3 cups Idli Rice or Par boiled Rice(or 2.5 cups Idli Rava)
1 cup whole Urad dal
Salt to taste

for the baskets:
24 (or more) same sized Jackfruit leaves
unused broomstick or dried curry leaves stick or toothpicks - as required

to prepare batter:
  • Soak rice and urad dal separately for 3-4 hrs.If you are using Idli rava soak it for just 1 hr before grinding.
  • Wash the urad dal and grind to a fine batter in the wet grinder/mixie and remove it and keep it aside.
  • Now grind the idli rice to a slight coarse batter,the consistency of batter should be like slight rawa textured batter.If you are using idli rawa,squeeze the idli rava and add it to the ground urad dal and grind for 5 minutes.Keep the batter thick and do not add much water while grinding.
  • Add this to ground urad dal batter and mix well and add enough salt and let it ferment for 12-14 hrs.
to prepare baskets:
  • Take four equal sized jackfruit leaves and place two leaves with the corners(not the stem side) slightly overlapping on each other and join them with a piece of small stick.Now place the thrid and fourth leaf and again join them at the edges with the help of the sticks.The picture will give you a better idea.
  • Now fold the corners(stem side corners) such that the side edges of the leaves overlap on each other and leaves no gap in between, pin the overlapped portion carefully so that there would not be any leakage of the batter while steaming.Repeat for all the edges and pin together to form a basket.See the pictures for better idea.
  • Repeat and prepare all baskets.
to prepare Khotto:
  • Pour batter until it covers 3/4th of the basket and place the baskets carefully in the steamer or cooker(without whistle) and steam the khottos for 15-20 mins. While steaming do not try to overcrowd the steamer with baskets but make sure that there is not much gap in between them.
  • While opening tear the leaves carefully so that the khotto can slip out of the basket without getting stuck to the leaves and loose its shape.
Serve them hot with Coconut chutney,Sambar or any spicy gravy.


  1. You can use your idli batter to prepare these khottos.
  2. If you do not find jackfruit leaves you can try with banana leaves, but that gives a different aroma and can not be substituted with jackfruit leaves.It is just for a change.
  3. Do not overcrowd the steamer with the baskets while steaming but make sure there is not much of gap in between the baskets.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mixed Vegetable Sagu | Vegetable Saagu Recipe

vegetable saagu
Mixed Vegetable Sagu or Saagu, as we call is a famous combination for breakfast varieties like Set dosa and Poori and is served in most of the darshinis and hotels in Karnataka.My favorite combination is with Set dosa and infact Set dosa-Sagu is my most favorite breakfast and would not miss to order it in my favorite darshinis when I visit Bengaluru. This not only tastes delicious but it is also a good way to add vegetables during the breakfast time. Saagu tastes much different from the Mixed Vegetable Kurma though we find the ingredients are much similar.
vegetable saagu

Check out other famous Karnataka Breakfast recipes here:

Mixed Vegetable Saagu Recipe:
Serves 2-3
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time: 44 mins
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Side dish for Dosa/Poori/Chapathi

2 cups of finely diced Mixed Vegetables(Carrot,Potato,Beans,Green Peas,Cauliflower)
1 Onion,roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil/Ghee
Salt to taste

To grind:
1" Cinnamon stick
4-5 Cloves
1-2 Marathi Moggu
1/2 cup fresh grated Coconut
1 tbsp Khus khus
1 tbsp Fried gram
5-6 Green chillies
a handful of chopped Coriander leaves,optional
1 tsp Oil

  • Heat a tsp of oil in a kadai/pan and add green chillies and fry them, but be careful as the whole green chillies might burst.You can make a small slit if you want to avoid bursting.Add cinnamon,marathi moggu and cloves to it and fry for sometime.
  • Grind the fried ingredients with grated fresh coconut,khus khus, fried gram, coriander leaves and make it into a smooth puree.
  • In a cooker,heat oil crackle mustard seeds and fry chopped onions until pink.Now add vegetables and fry until they are slightly crisp.
  • Add the ground masala and fry until the mixture leaves the oil and then add enough salt and 1 - 1.5 cups of water and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles(do not over cook).Once the pressure is released add lemon juice to it and give a good stir.
Serve hot with Poori or chapathy or Set dosa or Atukula dosa.


  1. You can even add vegetables like cabbage, knol-khol to saagu. My aunt suggests to add even add beetroot but I usually don't add it as it changes the color of saagu, but you can add while preparing the red color sagu.
  2. The addition of  Khus-khus is optional but it adds a nice richness to the gravy.You can even add cashewnuts if you want.
  3. This sagu would be slightly greenish because of the usage of green chillies and coriander in the recipe.If you want it to be red in color, skip green chillies and coriander in the recipe and add red chillies and tomato while grinding the paste.Also, replace lemon juice with tamarind pulp at the end.
mixed vegetable saagu

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