Sunday, February 26, 2017

Kottambari Palle Saaru / Coriander Leaves Saar.

Khatta Meeta Teekha “Kottambari Palle Saaru / Coriander Leaves Saar” With Jeera Rice ….. Saar or Saru as we say in Konkani is a thin sort of soup like spiced watery dish that is served along with hot rice or mildly spiced rice dishes ..... This is a favourite dish among us which I learnt from my Mom ….. Yumz ….

Coriander leaves are herbal leaves commonly present and used in almost every Indian home. These aromatic herbs commonly known as Dhania patta in India and Cilantro overseas is extensively used all around the world as a condiment, garnish on culinary dishes. They are mostly used in the preparation of chutneys, salads or even in parathas. Coriander leaves and so also the seeds, have immense health benefits. They contain certain essential oils, some acids, minerals and vitamins along with a number of beneficial other health properties. So its good for bone health as it also has a rich source of calcium with helps in preventing diseases like osteoporosis. I have limited knowledge of the same, but reading about these leaves has enlightened me with the knowledge of why our ancestors used this herb extensively in their dishes. Sometimes, we simply search here and there for knowledge or queries on food or prepared dishes. If we follow our elders though sometimes they may not be able to explain scientifically of the roles of certain veggies, they did use excellent and healthy combinations in food platter. If we follow this even by 50% we are sure to not have any health issues. The modern ways and standard of sedentary living and eating instant or fast foods has created a havoc on our health and it is now or never if we do not trace back to our habits. So do introduce this awesome herb that adopts well with any food to obtain optimum health benefits to you and your family. 

This saar or saaru as we call in Konkani is a thin sort of soup that is like spiced watery dish which is served along with hot rice or mildly spiced rice dishes. There are many varieties of saar / saaru prepared in southern parts of India where rice is the staple diet of the people. This saaru / saar should be served steaming hot to be relished and enjoyed. This coriander leaves saar is a simple one which can be prepared really fast and served when guests drop in suddenly without announcement. All you need to have is a lots of coriander leaves picked and ready, rest of the ingredients are the common one’s readily available at home. So just enjoy this saaru and do let me know if your family enjoyed the same. If for any reason you do not wish to have or prepare rice at home, you can relish this as a side accompaniment for lunch or dinner like rasam too. Serves well as a soup item / dish too. In which case after seasoning you can cover and keep the dish aside for an hour and then just sieve the saar to keep away the seasoning. Heat to boiling point and serve immediately. 

Masala to be ground to fine paste : 3-4 cups picked, cleaned and chopped coriander leaves along with the tender stems, 8-10 green chillies, ½ cup freshly grated coconut, ½ tsp dry roasted jeera and small lemon sized tamarind. Put all the ingredients in a mixer grinder and grind to a very smooth paste with about ½ to 1 cup of water. The paste should be ground very smooth. 

Pour the ground masala into a thick bottomed stainless steel vessel and add in 2-3 cups of water and mix well. Bring all to boiling point, lower the heat and add in about ½ cup of grated jaggery along with salt to taste, 2 tblsp of prepared hing water (hinga uddak) if using and simmer for 10-15 mins. Keep stirring in between. If the saar / saaru is too thick you can add in some more water. The consistency of the same depends upon individual liking so does the sourness and spiciness. You can cut down the amount of tamarind if you do not like it sour and the green chillies if you want it medium spicy. But this saar is supposed to be khatta meetha aur theeka to be enjoyed and relished with rice. 

For Tempering : Heat 1 tblsp of oil in a small pan, when hot enough add in 1 full tblsp of jeera and then 1 tsp of mustard seeds, when they begin to splutter add in 2 tsp of hing / asafoetida powder and 8-10 curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Remove and add it to the simmering saar / saaru. (If using prepared hing water leave out the hing powder while seasoning)

The Kottambari Palle Saaru / Coriander Leaves Saar is done. Remove from fire and keep it aside covered for some time for the flavours of the tempering to seep into the saar efficiently. Serve this saar / saaru with rice or as a appetizer during lunch or dinner time. Tastes really superb. This is my Mom’s special Coriander leaves Saar and I relish it and enjoy it a lot with hot rice along with the some baji (upkari) and bajias to go along as accompaniment. 

Note: If adding the prepared hing water (hinga uddak) as I do then do not add the hing / asafoetida powder in seasoning. Add the prepared hing water while adding in salt and jaggery and bring to boil. We south Indians always prepared and keep hing water out of the gum sort of hing available. But you may follow the above method mentioned as this is not available in all vicinity. I have however, added on the preparation and picture of the same for you knowledge. If available please do use the same. 

** Prepared Hing Water / Hinga Uddak : Hing water is prepared by putting a small marble sized gummy hing (available in South Indian Stores) into a glass bottle and adding about a small cup of boiled and cooled water to it. Within a few hours the hing will slowly melt and you will get a thick whitish liquid. This is hing water. You can keep this in the fridge and use sparingly as and when needed. We GSB / Saraswat Konkani people usually prepare the same and keep it in the fridge always and use the same for dal, patrado or any other humman etc

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