Sunday, January 12, 2014

Upsaaru Recipe | Three-in-one dill leaves recipe: A Mandya/Mysore Speciality

.........a very elaborate recipe made easy using step-by-step pictorial.

Upsaaru & Mudde is a staple food of farmers of Karnataka, especially Mysore/Mandya region. Though my mom used to make mudde very frequently, I did not know about upsaru until I moved to Mandya. I tried masoppu & upsaru for the first time at Mandya. My mom used to make something similar to upsaaru. She called it bassaru, meaning basida saru . The literal meaning of basida saaru is "drained water" or "vegetable stock rasam/soup".

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 3-4

Sabsige soppu: 2 cups (finely chopped)
Pigeon peas | Toor dal: 3/4 cup
Green gram | Green moong | Hesaru kalu: 2-3tbsp
Turmerice powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: As needed

For chutney or khara or hasi khara:
Coriander leaves: 2 cups
Green chillies: 15-20, yes we want the chutney to be very spicy!!
Tamarind: small marble sized
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Pepper Corns: 6-8 nos
Garlic: 1 lobe (12-14 pods)
Salt:According to taste
Cooked dal + dill leaves: About 1-2 tbsp

For palya or poriyal or side dish:
Onion: 2 nos (finely chopped)
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 6-8 nos, torn
Salt: As needed

Important:The khara/chutney has to be made "spicy" as the other things are relatively bland & less spicy!!!
It is important to cook the dal completely & yet keep the dals firm & seperate. You do not want a mushy dal or mashed dal for this recipe.
If you cannot find dill leaves, use greens like spinach,  or amaranth leaves.
Other legumes like black eyed peas could be used too.
If you want the palya/stir fry spicy, add some green chillies to the tempering. I do not add as we don't like it spicy!
The palya tastes good with rotis too.
The above mentioned ingredients are eye balled. Use this as a reference to create yours.
The shelf life of the chutney is about couple of days (refrigerated!)
My friend Kannada Cuisine has a similar recipe named sapneeru. Do visit her space for the recipe.

Wash the toor dal & green gram in the running water thoroughly. Add about 4-5 cups of water to the dal & boil the dal in a broad sauce pan. Add the turmeric too.
When dal is 1/2 done add sapsige soppu, salt & cook until dals are cooked & yet firm. Keep adding water if you find the dal very thick. You might need another couple of cups of water.

Drain the water using a colander & save the drained water. We will make a rasam/saru using the drained water.

For the palya/stir-fry:

Add oil to a broad sauce pan. Once the oil is hot, throw in the mustard & cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add the curry leaves. When leaves wilt, throw in the finely chopped onions & saute till the onions turn translucent.
When the onions are cooked, add the dal + dill leaves mixture(reserve about 2-3 tbsp for the chutney) to the sauce pan. Add some salt & give it a mix. Turn off the heat & your palya/stir fry is ready.

For the khara/chutney:

Soak tamarind in about 2tbsp hot water for 5 mins. Squeeze out the pulp & discard the fiber from the tamarind.
Grill a lobe of garlic along with the skin of the garlic on the stove top or in the oven. I grill it directly on the stove. It will be messy, but that's perfectly alright. When garlic is grilled, move it away & allow it to cool.
When garlic is cooled, peel the skin of the garlic & throw it in the food processor. Add the washed coriander leaves, green chillies, tamarind extract, cumin seeds, salt, pepper corns to the food processor jar. Add couple of tablespoons of water (if needed) & grind a smooth paste out of it. Add about 2-3 tbsp of dill leaves + dal mixture to the paste & pulse again. Scoop out the chutney in a separate bowl.

For the rasam/kattu/saaru:
Add about a tbsp of khara/chutney prepared to the drained water (stocking) & mix. Adjust the salt (if needed) & boil it. Rasam/saaru is ready.

How to serve: 
Add a portion of rice or mudde (ragi balls) to a plate. Pour in about 1/4 cup of saaru, serve few tablespoons of palya/stir fry at the side along with a tsp or more of chutney. The idea of this upsaaru is to have a very spicy khara/chutney & adjust the spice level of the rasam according to each & every one's preference.


  1. Even I make this saaru in a different way.. And I love this version too.. Yumm

  2. I love Upsaaru/Sapneeru... it is no yummy. But in terms of terminology the one with green chillies we call it Sapneeru and the ones with red chillies is Upsaaru.

  3. Oh Gosh! reminded me of my childhood days. Our neighbour was a Gowda and we kids grew up eating Mudde saaru.. LOVE it

  4. wow tis is scuh a wonderful platter..

  5. Thats an wonderful platter and delicious dill leafs recipes :)



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