Vegetable saagu (veg sagu) step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Vegetable saagu (or sagu) is a famous dish from Karnataka in which loads of vegetables are cooked in a creamy coconut-coriander base. It is usually served with poori, roti, or dosa. My favourite combo is poori-saagu and neer dose-sagu.
Every household has its own version of making the masala or spice mix for the veg sagu. This is my version of this flavourful, creamy, healthy dish that is a regular in my kitchen. You may use the vegetables that I have mentioned or may change them as per your preference. For example, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, etc. taste great in this dish too.
Vegetables: I use potatoes, cauliflower, beans, carrot, peas, and capsicum.
Ghee: I prefer to make this dish with ghee. However, you may choose to replace it with any cooking oil.
Onion and tomato: I use chopped onions and tomato to make the gravy of the dish.
Spices used in the gravy: I use mustard seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and curry leaves.
Spices used in the masala paste: I use cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, and poppy seeds to grind in the masala paste.
Herbs in the masala paste: I use coriander leaves and a few mint leaves here. However, the mint leaf is optional and can be skipped.
Ginger and garlic: I use them in the masala paste.
Onion in masala paste: I roast the onion on an open flame and then use it in the grinding; however, this step is optional. You may skip roasting it and just add raw onions.
Roasted Bengal gram: This is called hurigadle/puthani in Kannada. If you do not have access to it, you may replace it with besan (gram flour/chickpea flour).
The first step to make this dish is to make a base masala with fresh coconut, coriander leaves, mint leaves, onion, garlic, and spices. You can make this masala base beforehand and store it in the refrigerator for three to four days. You can also freeze the base masala for up to three months.
I roast some onion on an open flame and use it in my masala paste. This step is purely optional and you can use raw onion instead. But charring the onion on an open flame gives it a nice smoky flavour to the saagu. Once the masala is ready, all you have to do is saute onions and tomatoes. Saute the ground masala in it and cook the cut vegetables in it.
A go-to dish when I have a bit of this and a bit of that vegetable left in my refrigerator. Do try my version of saagu and let me know how you like it.
- is healthy and delicious
- is loaded with vegetables
- can be served as a part of both breakfast and lunch/dinner
Step by step instructions
1. Roast the onions and use in the masala paste
2. Prepare tempering (seasoning) and fry onions until translucent
3. Add tomatoes and cook until soft
4. Add the ground paste and cook
5. Add vegetables and water, and simmer until saagu thickens
Neer dose served with saagu
Vegetable saagu (sagu)
FOR THE GRAVY:
- 1 large potato diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 large capsicum diced (I used red)
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup cauliflower
- 10-12 beans cut into 1-inch piece
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 small tomato finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-6 curry leaves
- Salt to taste
FOR THE MASALA PASTE:
- ½ cup coconut grated
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- ½ inch ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger paste)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- 2-3 green chilli or as per taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small piece cinnamon
- 2-3 cloves
- A handful coriander leaves
- A few mint leaves
- 2 tablespoon roasted Bengal gram (puthani)
TO MAKE THE MASALA PASTE:
- Soak poppy seeds in some water for 30 minutes
- Roast the onion on an open flame until lightly charred (you may skip this step but roasting gives a very nice smoky flavour to the dish)
- Grind the roasted onion and soaked poppy seeds with rest of the ingredients into a smooth paste using some water
TO MAKE SAAGU:
- Heat ghee in a pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter
- Add bay leaf, curry leaves, cumin seeds, urad dal and fry for a few seconds
- Add onion and fry until it is translucent
- Add tomatoes and fry until it is soft
- Add the ground paste and saute for few minutes (until the raw smell of the masala disappears)
- Add the vegetables, salt, and some water
- Check for seasoning and bring to a boil
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are completely done and the saagu thickens slightly
- Serve hot with poori, roti or dosa
- You may use raw onion for the masala, but roasting them gives a very nice smoky flavour to the saagu
- You can make this base beforehand and store in the refrigerator for three to four days. You can also freeze the base masala for up to three months
- Use vegetables of your choice. For example, cabbage, turnip, etc. tastes great in this dish
Click here to watch vegetable saagu web story.