Saraswat Bhojan | 6 Saraswat Recipes

Saraswat Bhojan on my plate. Simplicity at its best. Goa’s Chitrapur Saraswat cuisine displays influences from the many regions the community has come to call home. Chitrapur Saraswats or “Amchis” as they are colloquially known, are a small sect of Konkani-speaking Brahmins. The community, often referred to as the offspring of Saraswati, the goddess of learning, traces its lineage to Kashmir Pandits, who inhabited the area around the Saraswati river basin in Kashmir.

Though coastal flavors have had an unmistakable bearing on the food, vegetable dishes form the mainstay of the cuisine. You may see traces of Malvan, Goan, Konkan, and Mangalorean influences, yet it is unlike any other cuisine. Tamarind, red chili, coconut, jaggery, and curry leaves form the basis of most of the preparations. Coupled with other ingredients such as Madras cucumber and pumpkin, each dish boasts a distinctive and unusual flavor. I really enjoyed preparing and relishing these time-tested unique cuisine that I have always wanted to try. Information and recipes about this cuisine have been adapted from GoodFood BBC food magazine. The name of the dishes of this little-known cuisine is as follows:

  1. Pumpkin phodyo
  2. Kairas (Green bell pepper and potato in a coconut curry)
  3. Beetroot sukke (spiced beetroot) Tendli and kajubi upkari (ivy gourd with cashew nuts) Dryfruit Sevaiyan kheer
  4. Coconut rice
  5. Doddak (Savoury buttermilk pancake)
  6. Sasam (Madras cucumber relish)
  7. Pooris Appalam papad.
Saraswat-Bhojan-1
Saraswat-Bhojan

 

Saraswat Bhojan
Saraswat Bhojan

 

Saraswat Bhojan
Saraswat Bhojan

 

1. Tendli and Kajubi Upkari

Tendli-and-kajubi-upkari-saraswat-bhojan
Tendli and Kajubi Upkari – Saraswat Bhojan

Recipe of Tendli and Kajubi Upkari

Ingredients:
500 grams tendli, sliced into fine roundels
1 cup halved cashewnuts
2 tbsp. jaggery
A large bunch of curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 slightly slit- red chili
1 tsp hing
1 tbsp. oil
Salt to taste

Method-
1. Heat the oil and mustard seeds.
2. Once they splutter, add the red chili, hing and curry leaves.
3. Add the tendli and cashew nuts and mix well for a minute.
4. Stir in the jaggery and salt and cover with a lid.
5. Cook for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and stir-fry for a few minutes.
7. Serve hot with chapatis or puris

Saraswat-Bhojan

Tendli and Kajubi Upkari

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Saraswat
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams tendli sliced into fine roundels
  • 1 cup halved cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp. jaggery
  • A large bunch of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds 2 slightly slit- red chili
  • 1 tsp hing 1 tbsp.
  • oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil and mustard seeds.
  • Once they splutter, add the red chili, hing and curry leaves.
  • Add the tendli and cashew nuts and mix well for a minute.
  • Stir in the jaggery and salt and cover with a lid.
  • Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir-fry for a few minutes. Serve hot with chapatis or puris
Keyword cashew curry, kaju curry, kajubi, Tendli and kajubi upkari, tendli curry, tendli sabji, upkari

2. Beetroot Sukke

Beetroot-Sukke-saraswat-bhojan
Beetroot Sukke Saraswat Bhojan

Ingredients-

200 grams beetroot, cooked, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp grated coconut
2 tsp jaggery
15 grams tamarind pulp
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds 1tsp urad dal
1 tsp coriander seeds
2-3 dry red chilies
A pinch of hing
Salt to taste

Method –
1. Dry-roast the red chilies, coriander seeds, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds and blend with the coconut, tamarind, and jaggery.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan and add a pinch of hing (Asoefotida).
3. Add the onion and fry until golden brown.
4. Pour in the ground masala and sauté for a minute until the spices release their aroma.
5. Add the beetroot and sauté for a few minutes.
6. season and serve hot.

Saraswat-Bhojan

Beetroot Sukke Saraswat Bhojan

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Saraswat
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams beetroot cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 tsp jaggery
  • 15 grams tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • A pinch of hing
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Dry-roast the red chilies, coriander seeds, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds and blend with the coconut, tamarind, and jaggery.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan and add a pinch of hing (Asoefotida).
  • Add the onion and fry until golden brown.
  • Pour in the ground masala and sauté for a minute until the spices release their aroma.
  • Add the beetroot and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Season and serve hot.
Keyword beetroot curry, beetroot ki sabji, beetroot sabji, beetroot sukke, sukke

 

3. Pumpkin phodyo

Pumpkin-phodya-saraswat-bhojan
Pumpkin Phodya Saraswat Bhojan

Ingredients-
750 grams pumpkin
4 tbsp. oil for frying
1 tsp. oil for greasing
1/2 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp powdered jaggery
1 tbsp. rice flour Salt to taste

Method-
1) Cut the pumpkin into 2-inch squares, about 1cm thick. Rub the pieces with a mixture of 1 tsp. oil, asafoetida, chili powder, salt, and jaggery.
2) Leave it aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
3) Heat 3-4 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan. Sprinkle rice flour over the pumpkin and fry it in hot oil, for about 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp on the outside but cooked on the inside.
4) Once one side is crisp, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 1 minute.
5) Then remove the lid and cook for 2 more minutes and serve it piping hot with chapatti or as a side dish.

Saraswat-Bhojan

Pumpkin Phodya Saraswat Bhojan

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Marination Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 750 grams pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp. oil for frying
  • 1 tsp. oil for greasing
  • 1/2 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp powdered jaggery
  • 1 tbsp. rice flour
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut the pumpkin into 2-inch squares, about 1cm thick. Rub the pieces with a mixture of 1 tsp. oil, asafoetida, chili powder, salt, and jaggery.
  • Leave it aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan. Sprinkle rice flour over the pumpkin and fry it in hot oil, for about 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp on the outside but cooked on the inside.
  • Once one side is crisp, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then remove the lid and cook for 2 more minutes and serve it piping hot with chapatti or as a side dish.
Keyword phodyo, Pumpkin Curry, pumpkin phodyo, Saraswat Bhojan

4. Potato and green capsicum kairas

Kairas-sweet and spicy curry (Bell pepper and potato in a coconut curry)

Kairas-Saraswat-Bhojan
Kairas-Saraswat-Bhojan

Kairas-Saraswat-Bhojan

Ingredients-

For the vegetables- 150 gm diced green bell pepper
2 peeled and diced potatoes
1 green chili 75 grams soaked and peeled peanuts
20 grams tamarind soaked in 4 tbsp. water
50 grams cashew nuts browned in 1 tsp ghee
Salt to taste

For the paste-
60 grams dried coconut
2 tbsp. sesame seeds 1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tbsp. Chana dal
1 tbsp. Urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 red chilies
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp. oil

For the tempering-
1 tbsp. ghee
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
a bunch of curry leaves

Method-
1) Boil the diced potatoes in a saucepan until just cooked and keep it aside.
2) To make a paste, heat the oil in a non-stick pan and roast all the ingredients except the dry coconut. Grind this roasted mixture together with the dried coconut.
3) For the tempering, heat the ghee in a pan and add all the spices.
4) Add the green pepper and cashew nuts and stir fry for a few minutes.
5) Add the potatoes, peanuts, and the ground paste and stir.
6) Add the tamarind water, green chili and 3 cups of water and cook for a few more minutes until all the ingredients are cooked through.
7) Add salt, mix well and serve hot with puri or chapati.

Saraswat-Bhojan

Kairas-Saraswat-Bhojan

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

For the vegetables:

  • 150 gm diced green bell pepper
  • 2 peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 green chili 75 grams soaked and peeled peanuts
  • 20 grams tamarind soaked in 4 tbsp. water
  • 50 grams cashew nuts browned in 1 tsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

For the paste:

  • 60 grams dried coconut
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Chana dal
  • 1 tbsp. Urad dal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Instructions
 

  • Boil the diced potatoes in a saucepan until just cooked and keep it aside.
  • To make a paste, heat the oil in a non-stick pan and roast all the ingredients except the dry coconut. Grind this roasted mixture together with the dried coconut.
  • For the tempering, heat the ghee in a pan and add all the spices.
  • Add the green pepper and cashew nuts and stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, peanuts, and the ground paste and stir.
  • Add the tamarind water, green chili and 3 cups of water and cook for a few more minutes until all the ingredients are cooked through.
  • Add salt, mix well and serve hot with puri or chapati.

5. Madras cucumber sasam.

Sasam is a chunky chutney or salsa.

Madras-cucumber-sasam
Madras Cucumber Sasam

Recipe of Madras Cucumber Sasam

Ingredients-
1 diced madras cucumber
1 tbsp. crushed jaggery 25 grams chopped sultanas (raisins)
30 grams grated coconut
1-2 finely chopped red chilies
1 tsp tamarind
½ tsp yellow mustard powder
A pinch of mustard seeds
Salt to taste

Method-
1. Rub the cucumber with the jaggery and salt and keep it aside.
2. Grind all the remaining ingredients together.
3. Combine the cucumber and the ground mixture. Serve chilled.

Saraswat-Bhojan

Madras Cucumber Sasam

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 diced madras cucumber
  • 1 tbsp. crushed jaggery 25 grams chopped sultanas raisins
  • 30 grams grated coconut
  • 1-2 finely chopped red chillies
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard powder
  • A pinch of mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Rub the cucumber with the jaggery and salt and keep it aside.
  • Grind all the remaining ingredients together.
  • Combine the cucumber and the ground mixture. Serve chilled.
Keyword Cucumber Chatney, Kakdi ki chatni, Madras Cucumber Sasam, Saraswat Bhojan, Sasam

 

6. Doddak

Doddak-Saraswat-bhojan
Doddak

Recipe of Doddak

Ingredients-
1 small grated madras cucumber
50 grams grated coconut
3 tsp jaggery
175 grams roasted semolina
1 finely chopped green chilies
Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. ghee
Salt as per taste

Method-
Mix all the ingredients together except the buttermilk.
Add the buttermilk to the batter, a little at a time, until you attain a dropping consistency.
Heat the ghee on a griddle.
Put a dollop of the batter in the center of the pan and pat down carefully to make a circle.
Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2-3 minutes further.

Serve with any chili-based chutney or Sasam.
Rare and unique cuisine, a legacy from our ancestors are worth their weight in gold. I’ve fallen hard for the sweet and sour accents of Saraswat Cuisine. It will be a regular affair in my kitchen from now on. Do try these unique and traditional recipes and I can vouch that you will make them again someday.

Saraswat-Bhojan

Recipe of Doddak

Hetal Kamdar
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small grated madras cucumber
  • 50 grams grated coconut
  • 3 tsp jaggery
  • 175 grams roasted semolina
  • 1 finely chopped green chilies
  • Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • Salt as per taste

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients together except the buttermilk.
  • Add the buttermilk to the batter, a little at a time, until you attain a dropping consistency.
  • Heat the ghee on a griddle.
  • Put a dollop of the batter in the center of the pan and pat down carefully to make a circle.
  • Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2-3 minutes further.

Notes

Serve with any chili-based chutney or Sasam.
Rare and unique cuisine, a legacy from our ancestors are worth their weight in gold. I’ve fallen hard for the sweet and sour accents of Saraswat Cuisine. It will be a regular affair in my kitchen from now on. Do try these unique and traditional recipes and I can vouch that you will make them again someday.
Keyword Doddak, Saraswat Bhojan

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