Dried peas with garlic seasoning(Vatane Saru-upkari)

Some 2-3 months back, Aruna had sent me recipes of many dishes. This was one of them. She said, “You must be knowing we prepare different types of saru-upkari. Basically it is just pressure cooking the pulses and adding a seasoning/phanna of mustard, red/green chilies and garlic. On the fasting days, curry leaves are used instead of garlic. This is a little different type than the authentic saru-upkari, which my mom makes and we all like it. One can have this like soup. Once in a while, my mom cooks this and simple upkaris. No daal or no randayi. Whenever everyone gets bored of daal, this dish is prepared. She makes this out of all pulses”.

I was hearing the name Saru-upkari for the first time. In Konkani, Saru means, something like rasam, it is a watery dish used both as a drink and gravy. Upkari means a dry stir fried dish with coconut. After exchanging 2-3 mails with Aruna, I understood that, Saru-upkari is a combination of both these. In other words, it is a watery upkari with pulses. Thanks Aruna, for introducing me to this dish.

Read Manjula’s version of saru-upkari.

1 cup yellow dried peas(vatane)
1 tomato
2 garlic cloves crushed (or 4-5 Indian small garlic cloves)
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
2 green chilies
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn oil
1 tbl spn grated coconut(optional)

I used green dried peas instead of yellow ones. Any pulses can be used. Tastes good with Kulith(Horsegram), chowli (Black eyed beans), black chana, moong, tingaavro(navy beans) and maybe many others.


Soak the yellow peas overnight and pressure cook with turmeric and green chills until soft and mushy. Allow to cool.
Keep oil for seasoning, add mustard. When they start popping, add crushed garlic and fry till garlic is slightly brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 min. Now add the boiled peas and mix well. Add required water and bring to boil.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

Note : It should not be too watery. A semi thick gravy goes well with plain rice.

21 thoughts on “Dried peas with garlic seasoning(Vatane Saru-upkari)”

  1. This is more a Southcanara dish I think – My mamama used to make it with mainly dhavvi bea (small white beans)- little different recipe- no coconut or mustard. Pressure cook the peas with a small potato and then bring to a boil with green chillies and tomato. The potato starch adds some thickness to it. For phanna LOTS of garlic fried till light brown 🙂 Very simple and super tasty. Thanks for reminding me of this recipe!

  2. Thanks Shilpa for posting. You can add one more line that any pulses can be used. Tastes good with Kulith, Chowli (Black eyed beans), black channa, moong, navy beans (tingaavro) and maybe many others which i cannot recollect at this time.

  3. hi shilpa,
    i had been following your blog for quite some time. it is quite fascinating to note the similarities between the cuisines of kerala and konkan region. for ex. the terms ‘saru’ and ‘upkari.’ in kerala too, the watery dishes, or the watery part of the dish, is called ‘chaaru.’ however, this is not an ‘elitist’ usuage ! likewise, ‘upperi’ is the veggie stir-fries, with coconut. i will write more of these terms in my blog, adukkala.blogspot.com

  4. I was looking out for dry peas recipes. U have mentioned yellow dried peas , is it the same as the round pale greenish ( somewat sismilar to this comment box color) that we get in Indian stores ?

  5. I thought I had tried it with all pulses. But oops. I never did sarupkari with bataNi. “otaNe” is called “bataNi” in SK Konkani 🙂 Adding tomato in sarupkari is totally new to me. Gotto try this new version soon.
    Do u add tomato just with otaNe or with all other pulses too?
    Thanks for linking to my blog.

  6. Manjula, my mom adds tomato when she makes, just to add some sourness. Thats why Shilpa has mentioned what i had writen to her. “This is a little different type than the authentic saru-upkari, which my mom makes and we all like it.” Try it you will like it.

    My hubbys family is from NK and they have never tasted any sarupkaris. He too likes it a lot. A change from dalitoy or any other toor dal.

  7. i must try this! i have eaten sarupkari with only masoor and chana. it used to be always with fanna of curry leaves – as you’ve mentioned, i think this must be due to the fasting days….. but this variation of garlic and with other beans sounds really delicious! thanks!

  8. Funny thing is sarupkari is never made with the dried green peas/vatana !! The best one is that made with thingalavro and a broken boiled potato is added to only this version like Sudeepta said. Navy beans sold in the US groc stores are an approximation of thingaloavro.
    I add tomato to the kidney beans sarupkari only.

  9. Sudeepta, Manjula, This version tastes great. Just give it a try.

    Yes Priya thats right. There are two varieties of peas available one is green and one is pale yellow. Both go well for this dish. You can also use other pulses mentioned. Let me know if you try this.

    Rajasi, this was the first time I tasted this. And it tasted amazing. This is going to be a regular at my home hereafter.

    Vini, Arjuna, Jaya, Please let me know if you try this.

    Mai, as I have said in the above post, this is not the authentic way of making the normal saru-upkaris. But there may be many types of saru-upkaris depending on individual taste. I loved this dish and I suggest you also to try this dish. I am sure you will love this.

    Aruna, I cannot tell you how happy I am to receive so many new recipes from you. I loved all your recipes and I thank you for the continuos support to this blog.

  10. Hi Shilpa,

    I made this curry for dinner. My hubby wasnot feeling well, so I thot to make sth very simple, and the next reason is that my blender is dead now. I used chickpeas…he he…i actually cooked it and mashed it slightly. and the recipe was 22222222222 gud tat made me lick my fingers at t end. We need not have any side dish for such a curry. Very nice….and thanks a ton.

  11. gosh…I’m a day late for this interesting recipe and comments….this looks very good Shilpa and Aruna, plus I have a bag of yellow peas that need to be used, although the chickpeas version that Anisha used sounds good too…:-) BTW Anisha, I am sorry about your blender…I hope you have a nice funeral planned for it? 🙂 I know that I’m concerned about mine because, until I found this site, I had only used it rarely….now, I am eating karnatakan food so often that it is finding much work to do, so I keep it nearby always.(thanks Shilpa!)

  12. Hey Pelicano…..don worry….iam happy tat my blender is dead….kno why? cos my hubby gifted me a food processor last night…with rice cooker too….hmm…and iam getting a new replacement for t blender too…..are u on t way to repair ur one 🙂 ?????

  13. But the onething I wonder is, when you karanataka guys have so much traditional food, often rare ingredients, yummy and healthier, even easy to cook….why have i not seen any bangalore restaurant serving such dishes? all t ones i see are either tamilnadu idli dosa- in blore style, north indian food or bisibela bath…..till when i moved out frm blore…i was cursing t restaurants thr….was never happy…except for t mughlai/hyderabadi non-veg hangouts….i really wonder…why someone shudnt start such a traditional restaurant…i hope shilpa will be very happy to outsource her recipes…:)

  14. Thanks Anisha for trying my recipe. In Karnataka we have lot of different food, but when u consider Bangalore, there are few restaurants for regional speciality food. But since Bangalore has people from all over the India, majority of restaurants serve more common food which is liked by all.

    Pelicano, Thanks a lot for your support. As you said, I cannot live without blender :). It is a must in my kitchen :D.

  15. thanks for highlighting a konkani staple, Shilpa – one of my favorites these days -nourishing and such a quick fix! when we were young teens i found it so boring ! i will try your recipe for sure as i have never made it with garlic !

    my version is with hing, gr chillies and a spot of sugar in the pulses while it is being cooked and then phanna of mustard and curry leaves and my preferred vegetable is eithr potato or chayote squash. our kids eat it like soup with just a scoop of rice in it instead of the other way round! my aunt in Mangalore was sharing her childhood when they wer 14 children and the daily afternoon meals for children was a saarupkari made in a huge ‘kataar’ and part of the pulses would be set aside for the bendi masalu for the adults and how my aunt as a child would ask the ‘mayin’for that spicy dish instead of her saar-upkari!

  16. My mom used to make “Saru-Upkari” with Kulith, Tori and Tinglaure all the time…
    but in her version, the grains\pulses were pressure-ccoked with lots of water, then she would seperate the water out and make the upkari with the cooked items (using your ingredients) and use the water to make “Saar” and temper (phanna) it with garlic and red chillies. The saar was consumed like a soup and the upkari was used as a side dish with rice and another randayi or daal.

  17. Thank you for the recipe! In the north, we have something similar and it is called mathra, served with kulchas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top