Gravy from vegetable stock(Bassaru or Upsaru)

Basidu(Kannada) – after cooking, tilting the vessel to take out all the water off the coarse materials. Here no strainer is used, sometimes a plate is held at the mouth of the vessel to stop the coarse materials from falling with the water. Vegetable stock is not readily available in all places in India. So this was the method used to collect it.
Basidu + saru = bassaru Saru made from vegetable stock.

Now, I don’t want to apply this same theory to Upsaru and say it is uppu(salt) + saru, because it might not make any sense. So I leave that name as it is :).

I got this recipe from a Kannada magazine where they had a special article for “Okkaligara Sampradayika Adugegalu” – Farmer’s traditional recipes. According to the article, this dish is popular among Gowdas. One of the main occupation of Gowdas is farming, they cook super healthy food which are full of minerals, vitamins, proteins etc which give them strength to do the physical work.

Bassaru or Upsaru is prepared by straining the water off the vegetables, grains or greens. Then this water is spiced up to make this saru. The vegetables/grains/greens are used to make any palya – dry side dishes. Some people also grind a handful of cooked grains and add to the saru to give a thickness to it. I got this interesting discussion about this saru at Karnataka recipes. As usual, I followed the simplest version given in the magazine. The saru came out to be very delicious.

3 cups vegetable stock
2-3 green chilies
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
3-4 peppercorns
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
3-4 strands of coriander leaves
1 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1/4 tea spn jaggery
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
A handful of cooked pulses
4-5 curry leaves

Strain the water off the vegetables or pulses or greens. I used more water while cooking pulses(that I used to make chane usli) and then vegetables (used to make some mixed vegetable curry). Strained the extra water and used for this saru.
Heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, green chilies, peppercorns, garlic, onions till they turn soft. Grind this along with coconut, coriander leaves, pulses.
Add the paste to the strained water along with salt, tamarind and jaggery till it boils well.
Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the saru.
Serve as a gravy with rice or ragi mudde.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15mins

Updated: Thanks a lot for the translation Poonam, Manjula, K.Boy. “Stock” was the word I was looking for and could not remember.

18 thoughts on “Gravy from vegetable stock(Bassaru or Upsaru)”

  1. in english, we can use the word stock…as in soup stock…to explain strained water.
    another version is we could name this recipe as” curried soup stock”

  2. The best word in American English would be “Broath” which they use for all many prep. So you can say Chane Broath or Garbenzo Broth and if it’s Pejje Nisse(Rice Broath!!)

  3. Shilpa,
    I think “broth” is an appropriate term for the water strained form the veggies.
    Good idea to turn all that wonderful nutritious broth into saaru.

  4. Kulatha Saaru Upkari (Horsegram Broth and drycurry) comes in this category and is the favorite of many Konkanis, although other communities (such as Gujarati) do not cook because of poorman’s source of energy nutrients.

  5. in bangalore most of the restaurents they add sugar to the sambhar.That is not very interesting to taste.In Chennai we never do that.

  6. Hi Shilpa, Thanks a lot 4 d wonderful recipe. I prepared d same kind of saaru 2day with cabbage, tuvar dal and spint leaves(sabsige soppu). It really tastes gr8 equally with rice and ragi balls(mudde). Thank u so much. With luv Mamatha Raju (Bahrain).

  7. Looking at your ingrediants I can say that the resulting saaru is very watery like rasam. Bassaru is thicker than rasam and thinner than sambhar. So to attain this you must take 5-6tbsp or 1small cup of pulses that you have cooked to blend with rest of the ingrediants. The resulting saaru will be perfect to eat with raagi mudde.

    Shilpa: Lakshmi, yes, it was thicker than saaru. Thats why I mentioned gravy. The onions, coconut gave it a thickness. I have mentioned the pulses while grinding in the introduction. I will mention it in recipe also, thanks.

  8. Hey Shilpa- interesting recipe; a bit like a rasam without coriander leaves- and very healthy with nutrients indeed!

    Either “stock” or “broth” can be used for an English translation, as they are both defined quite similarly. However, there is a subtle difference in usage: When cooking, either word(as well as the word “base”, meaning “foundation”) is used to mean the liquid that is flavoured with meat, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc, but… when dining upon a bowl of something prepared, it is more common to use the word <i>broth</i> to describe it. So…for example, one would say “Isn’t this broth delicious? It was made using a vegetable stock/broth/base”

    Ain’t English grand? 😀

    Shilpa: Thanks Pelicano, so my translation is good?? Its a broth made of stock?? .
    English grand?? no comments sorry… But surely I am learning day by day.

  9. Your English is excellent! Much better than my Konkani… if I were in Mangalore right now, the only thing I’d remember to say would be “karathe”. 😀

    Oh, and “kushil narlu lashil chatni” of course! 😉

    Shilpa: Hahahaha…looks like you really loved that “kushil narla lashil chutney :))”. I can’t beleive you still remember that. If you think properly, I am sure you will remember few more Konkani words :).

  10. Thanks Shilpa. Happy Janmasthami to you.

    Shilpa: Thanks for clarifying about the Saru Lakshmi. I really needed feedback from someone who has actually seen the authentic saru :).

  11. Hi Shilpa,

    Excuse my silly question, but what do you usually eat this with? As a soup with lets say rice noodles or croutons ? Or as a gravy base for vegetable stews?

    Shilpa: Sorry, I forgot to mention it. This is served as a gravy with rice or ragi mudde.

  12. Hi,

    I tried this recipe today and it was delicious! I had been looking for a good bas saar recipe for quite sometime, and finally decided to try yours today. I made a few changes though. I remembered a friend’s mom used to add whole corriander seeds, whole red chillis and a few fenugreek seeds to the onions while frying them. I did the same. The corriander seeds when ground into a paste give a wonderful aroma.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. Hi,
    Your website is so wonderful, the recepies remind me of my childhood when my mom use to make obbatina saaru, chiroti etc., this sunday I am planning to make obbattu and obbatina saaru. Keep it up, the tradition of these authentic recepies are diminishing, save Indian tradition, Hats off to you!!!!!!
    Sundar, Manchester

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