Soppina saaru or lentils&greens curry
I have been thinking of sharing one of my favorite recipes, Soppina Saaru or simply put the lentils-greens curry, of Mysore fame(For those of you who don’t know about Mysore, it is the princely city of Karnataka State in the Indian subcontinent). Glad that I got to write down the recipe at last for the reasons that it is both tasty and healthy at the same time. Most of all, it is quick and easy to make sans the saute and frying processes, though cleaning the leaves might be a bit time consuming. I learned this recipe from my mother-in-law, the better cook.
The name Soppina saaru came from soppu meaning green leafy vegetables in ‘Kannada’ language and saaru is any gravy accompaniment, like soup. It can be served with rice, chappathi or ragi balls. Everyone in or family just loves this dish for its simplicity and unique flavor. I am thrilled to see my kids’ excitement every time I make this dish and receive positive feedback from friends who get to sample.
The recipe of Soppin saaru is as follows:
Palak or spinach leaves – 4 cups nicely pressed
Methi or fenugreek leaves – 2 cups
Sabsige or dill leaves – 1 cup
Spring onion(optional ) – 3,4 cut in big pieces
Medium Onion – one chopped
green chilli – 5,6
Tuvar dal(split red gram) – 1 cup
garlic – 1/2 pod or 5,6 cloves
tomatoes – 2 big chopped
coconut – 2 tbl spoon, grated
Salt – to taste
For seasoning – Olive oil – 2 tsp, mustard – 1 tsp, red chilli – 2,
garlic – 4,5 cloves, curry leaves – 1 sprig, asafoetida – 1 pinch.
Wash and drain all the greens. Put all of the above ingredients except seasoning, in a pressure cooker vessel and add about 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for about 10 mnts or till you hear 4 to 5 whistles. Switch off the stove, and let it cool down.
Once cool, grind coarsely the cooked mixture of dal and greens in a blender to a watery paste. In a pan, put oil and add red chilli and mustard for seasoning. When mustard splutters, add garlic, curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute for about a minute. Pour in the blended gravy to the pan. Let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes in very low heat. This allows the flavor to get around and seep well. Once done, serve hot with rice or roti(wheat tortilla).
This simple dish offers the proteins from the lentil, and all minerals and vitamins from the leafy vegetables combined in one. When you are not up for an elaborate meal that is time consuming, think of Soppin saaru, that saves you times and still gives you satisfaction of cooking a well-rounded meal, not to mention some sincere accolades that might come your way!