BeLe saaru is without doubt the most popular comfort food in Karnataka. It is made with lentils and is delicious, and is easy to prepare. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like beLe saaru yet!
In my house, no one feels like they have completed a meal without eating beLe saaru-anna. My father-in-law often eats this after coming home from dinner in a restaurant!
Ingredients for Saarina Pudi (Rasam powder)
Coriander seeds-1 cup
Cumin seeds- 2 tsp
Pepper corns-¾ tsp
Mustard seeds-½ tsp
Curry leaves- handful
Dry Red chili pieces- 4 cups (adjust the pieces according to the spiciness of the red chillies)
Togari bele (Toor dal)-¾ cup
Tamarind or tamarind paste – lemon size or 2 tsp
Jaggery- ½ tsp
Curry leaves-3 to 4
Coriander (Cilantro)-2 to 3 strands
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Asafoetida- ¼ tsp
Coconut -2 tsp (optional)
Clarified butter (Ghee)-1tbsp
Saarina pudi (Rasam powder)
Dry roast all the above ingredients and grind them to fine powder. Store them in air tight container. It will remain fresh for many months. You need 1.5 tsp of this powder for this recipe.
Cut tomato half length-wise. If using tamarind, soak it in water for few minutes. Cook toor dal, tomato and turmeric in a pressure cooker. In another container add 1/4 cup water, tamarind paste, (or squeeze the tamarind concentrate from tamarind) saarina pudi, jaggery and curry leaves and bring it to a boil. Now add cooked toor dal and tomato. Add coconut at this point and keep stirring occasionally. Bring it to a boil add chopped coriander at the end.
Heat ghee in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering add asafoetida and turn off the heat. Add it to the saaru and mix. Serve with hot rice! Alternately, you can drink it like a soup!