Monday, July 29, 2013

Shel Saaru

Shel Saaru is a very old konkani dish. I got this recipe from my mother. In Konkani 'Shel' means 'not hot' i.e at room temperature. Saaru is nothing but Indian soup which is served with rice. Generally saaru is made by roasting spices, then grinding, then cooking it down and finishing it with a seasoning. But the speciality of this dish is it is not cooked. The coconut is ground with the freshly roasted spices and then a good seasoning is given. 

It is a very unique recipe and not known to many. This was my favorite dish as a kid and my mother used to make this often. It had been so many years since I had this. Hence I thought of making it, so that I can share the recipe too. The 'saaru' really made me nostalgic.


  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 2/3 cup
  • Dry red Chilli - 4-5
  • Tamarind - A small piece
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - little more than 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing)- A generous pinch
  • Jaggery- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- To taste
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - Few


Take a pan and roast the dry red chilli in few drops of oil. Then transfer it on a plate. 
In the same pan add few more drops of oil and then add coriander seeds. When it starts to roast add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Continue heating until it turns light brown and turn off the heat. Transfer it into a plate for cooling.
Now take grated coconut, tamarind, jaggery, salt along with roasted spices and red chillies in a blender.

Grind it by adding little water to get a paste.

Transfer this paste into a bowl. Adjust the consistency by adding water (I kept it medium thick). Then finally add the seasoning.
For Seasoning: heat oil in a small pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Add this seasoning to the prepared mixture. Mix well. Shel Saaru is ready!!

Serve it along with rice. Above measurement serves two people.


  1. hello lakshmi.....dont we have to boil the paste before adding seaasoning???

    1. No..thats the speciality of this dish. I have mentioned about it above.