Today I bring you a hugely popular dish from Karwar, on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, the Saasam, a sweet- sour coconut gravy but with a unique pungency lent by the tiny unassuming mustard seeds! Don’t you take these little seeds for granted as they pack quite a punch when ground with other ingredients for the gravy of this superb side dish. I love mustard in any form, shape or size!!
What’s more, it’s a no-oil, no refined sugar & no-cook gravy!!
While this gravy is most commonly made during hot summers like a fruit salad with small local wild mangoes, pineapple, grapes etc., I decided to show you the same recipe with a popular winter root vegetable, the bright & healthy beetroot.
Mustard seeds, a staple in any Indian kitchen, are known to have numerous benefits since they’re low in calories and high in nutritional value and have a lot of antibacterial and antiseptic qualities as well as excellent for digestion. They are a rich source of magnesium, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, protein & dietary fibre. The oil extracted from these seeds is also very popularly used in cooking in several parts of India during winters to generate warmth.
To be frank with you, I never personally cared too much for coconut gravies until much later in life, but it is indeed the zing added by the mustard seeds that attracted me to this recipe.
Do tell me what you thought of it!
“I have a mustard seed; and I am not afraid to use it.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Recipe for Beetroot Saasam
Ingredients (Serves 2 – 4 persons)
- 2 medium size beetroots, boiled
- ½ cup fresh coconut, grated
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp / lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon jaggery
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Peel the boiled beetroots & chop into medium sized cubes.
- While the beetroot is getting cooked, grind together the grated coconut, mustard seeds, red chilli powder, jaggery, tamarind and salt together to a fine smooth paste.
- Mix the fine coconut paste with the cooked beetroot. Check for salt & sweet flavours & balance accordingly.
- You can also give an optional seasoning: heat a small seasoning pan & add oil, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and 4-5 curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to sizzle, pour it onto the beetroot.
- Serve this delicious beetroot Saasam as a side with rice & dal!
- Do not overcook beetroot, cook until soft.
- You can use reconstituted or dehydrated coconut with some warm water, when fresh coconut is unavailable.
- You can substitute the tamarind pulp with lemon juice.
- The mustard seeds add a unique delightful pungency to this colourful healthy side dish.
Video for Beetroot Saasam