Monday, February 15, 2016

Set Dosa and Saagu ( Pancakes served with Vegetable Stew made with coconut sauce) ; Meatless Monday

This past summer, I went on a vacation to India. When I was there, we had been on a road trip to Shirali, Karnataka, where our family temple is located. Enroute there, we stopped for breakfast at a Brahmin hotel in Kundapur. The breakfast was delicious! 

There, I had the best set dosas ever! It was served with piping hot Saagu and coconut chutney. That with the filter coffee, totally made my day! Set dosa is nothing but  a bunch of dosas served in a set of two or four.

These dosas are never served alone. They are served traditionally with Saagu and coconut ginger chutney. 

Saagu is nothing but a spiced mixed vegetable stew in coconut sauce. This dish is part of traditional cuisine of Brahmins residing in the Mysore-Bangalore region of Karnataka State in India. This means that we never made it in our homes.

The other day, I was nostalgic and craving the Saagu. I immediately reached out to my high-school buddy who is a Brahmin residing in Bangalore (who also happens to be an excellent cook herself), for the recipe. She was kind enough to quickly send it to me via messenger! I immediately made it this past weekend and coupled it with the set dosa, which I also like! I was in Saagu heaven! It tasted every bit as good as I remembered and some more!! Thank you Smitha for the recipe!

It is very easy to make and is a filling, complete breakfast.

For the Set Dosa:

Servings: 3-4


Raw rice: 1 1/2 cups
Urad dal: 1/2 cup
Methi seeds: 1/4 tsp
Poha( beaten rice): 1/2 cup
Salt: 1 tsp( adjust as needed)
Sugar: 1 tsp
Water: for soaking and grinding
Coconut oil: to grease the griddle ( any cooking oil can be used).


Soak  rice, urad dal and methi seeds in water for 4-5 hours or overnight .

After the soaking period,  grind the above mixture with just enough water to make a fine batter.

Soak 1 fistful of poha in water for 10-15 mins. Add it to the above ground mixture and blend it together.

Pour everything in a bowl. Add salt and sugar and mix well.Let it ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Heat a tawa/ griddle on medium heat, grease it with a little coconut  oil.  

Take a ladleful of batter and put it on the center  of the griddle. Spread it in a concentric circle to the thickness of a pancake. Cover and cook on very low flame until done. 

Flip the dosa and cook on the other side for a minute. I sometimes flip the dosa and sometimes I don't, as my kids  like their dosa milky white.

Serve hot with coconut chutney and Saagu.

Enjoy! I am bringing this to my favorite blog parties: Fiesta Friday # 107 which I am co-hosting with Margy @ La Petite Casserole  , Throwback Thursday #27 and Saucy Saturday.

For Saagu:

Servings: 4-6


Green beans : around 10
Carrots: 1 medium-sized
Red potato: 1 medium-sized
Green peas: 1/2 cup
Tomato: 1 medium
Water : 2 cups
Salt: 1/2 tsp

To grind:

Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Green chillies: 2-3 ( can be adjusted as per individual taste)
Tamarind: marble-sized
Cumin seeds ( jeera): 1 tsp
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece
Cinnamon stick: 1 cms piece
Cloves: 2
Cardamom: seeds from 2 pods
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Water: 1 cup

For tempering:

Coconut oil: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig

For garnishing:

Chopped cilantro: 2 tbsp


Peel and chop the potato to big chunks. Chop the green beans into 1 inch pieces. Peel the carrots and cut them into 2-inch long, 1 cms thick pieces. Dice the tomatoes big. Add all the vegetables into a pot with the peas, salt and water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook until tender. Turn off the flame and keep aside.

While the vegetables are cooking, add all the ingredients listed under " to grind" to a blender or food processor and grind to a fine paste.

Add this to the cooked vegetables. Mix well. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the flame.


Heat coconut oil on medium heat in a frying pan/skillet. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, turn off the gas. Add this to the above pot.

Garnish with chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves.

Serve hot with Set Dosa, poori , flat bread ( rotis) or regular bread.
Can also be served with rice.


Cooking made easy:

Typically, for Saagu , the vegetables of choice used are carrots, green peas, green beans and potatoes. Do not fret, if you are out of any of them. Feel free to use whatever you have! The dish tastes good with most combinations of vegetables.

When I am making this dish, I cook vegetables as I chop. I chop and add the vegetables in the order of their cooking tome. I place the pot with water to heat up . As the water it heating, I dice the potato and add it in. Then comes the green beans , carrots, green peas and lastly tomatoes. This technique for me saves a lot of time. You should do whatever works best for you.

Tip for healthy living:

While serving a meal, try to serve as much or slightly more vegetables than the rice in your plate.

Food for thought:

All great achievements require time. Maya Angelou

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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