Monday, June 11, 2012

Bele Saaru (Lentil Soup)- Udupi Special

Bele Saaru is one more popular dish of the Udupi Brahmins. As I had mentioned earlier in one of my posts- Boodh Kumblakayi Huli, this saaru/ soup is served daily in Shri Krishna temple and many other temples as prasadam to the deities. This is another favorite of mine and make it once in a while. 
The best part of this recipe is, it doesn't require coconut and hence the spice powder can be stored for a month (if dry roasted, will stay good for a long time). This recipe is got from a magazine which I had noted long back and sharing it with you, so that you can make it and enjoy as I do:-)

  • Toordal- 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind- A small piece, soaked in water.
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Jaggery, powdered- 2-3 tsp
  • Green chilli, slit- 2
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- Few sprigs
  • Asafoetida- 2-3 pinches
  • Salt- To taste
For Masala:
  • Coriander seeds- 2 Tbsp
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds/Methi- 1/4 tsp
  • Dry red chilli- 4
  • Oil- 1/2 tsp
For Seasoning:
  • Oil- 1-2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chilli- 1
  • Curry leaves- Few 

Wash and pressure cook toordal in sufficient amount of water, for 2-3 whistles.

While the dal is getting cooked, prepare the masala
For masala- heat oil and then add coriander seeds. When it turns slightly brown, add cumin and fenugreek seeds. Fry until everything turns brown (don't burn them). Transfer them to a plate.

In the same pan fry the red chillies as well and once done allow it to cool on the plate along with other spices.
Once the spices are ready, grind it to get a fine powder (I always prefer to add water and make a paste out of it). 

Now, mix the cooked dal vigorously to break it down and get a smooth paste. To this dal, add jaggery, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, green chilli, asafoetida, salt and the masala. Mix it well and bring it to a boil. Adjust the consistency of the saaru (soup) with the help of water. I always keep it medium thick (not too thick/ too thin). Once it comes to a boil, continue heating for 3-4 minutes and the add chopped coriander leaves. Turn off the heat.

For Seasoning- Heat oil. Add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves and broken red chillies. Turn off the heat and add this to prepared saaru/ soup. Mix well. 
Bele Saaru is ready!!

Serve it hot with rice. Above measurement serves 3-4 people.