Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Quick Tomato Saar

My entry for Nupur's 'Q of Indian Vegetables' is 'Quick Tomato Saar'. Tomato Saar is a very popular, Maharashtrian version of a soup. It is commonly found on the menu of engagement functions, weddings, naming ceremonies, etc. Normally, meals on auspicious/festival days are prepared sans onion and garlic and hence, Tomato Saar is an all time favorite on such days. This sweet & sour soup is generally served along with the very traditional 'Masaale Bhaat' or Pulav and is a crowd pleaser. So, the next time you have an impromptu potluck or if you are craving for something simple and quick, try out this appetizing 'Quick Tomato Saar'.
The traditional way of making the Saar involves cooking the tomatoes, cooling them, then running the tomatoes through the food processor and straining out the seeds...whew!! It could take a while to get the tomatoes prepared; and though I do go the traditional way, when I am tired and hungry, I just don't have the patience. So this is where the 'quick' part comes in...
Instead of using fresh tomatoes I use 'Campbell's Low Sodium Tomato Soup' ! It makes life really easy and lunch/dinner really 'Quick'!! :)

Ingredients: (serves 2)
Campbell's Tomato soup-
Low sodium 1 small can
Water 1 cup
Cayenne pepper 1-2 tbsp (adjust to your liking)
Sugar 2 tsp
Salt as per taste
To garnish:
Saajuk tup/ghee (clarified butter) about 1 tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) 1 tsp
Hing powder (Asefoetida) 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut about 2 tbsp
Cilantro

Method:
Empty the can of soup in a saucepan. Mix in the water to thin it out. Tomato saar is generally not very thick. Next, add the cayenne pepper, sugar and salt. Heat the saar and bring to a boil. Check for taste. You should get a sweet & sour taste.
In a separate small kadhai, heat the ghee(tup) to make the fodni/tadka. To this add the jeera and the hing powder. Pour this over the Tomato Saar. Garnish with grated coconut (I use frozen coconut) and cilantro. Serve hot.
Now wasn't that quick? ;)

We had the Tomato Saar with 'Masaale Bhaat', of which I will write in my next post.

Variations:
  • You can replace the sugar with gul (jaggery). Also, in this case, do not add cayenne pepper. Add coarsely crushed black peppercorns instead, to the fodni (tadka). This is how my mother-in-law prepares it.
  • Instead of using grated coconut, use coconut milk. It gives a creamy texture to the Saar.

6 comments:

burekaboy — said...

tee, who'da thought you could use campbell's soup for indian food :) this looks very good (especially adding coconut milk to it); i love sweet and sour stuff -- makes me think of aamti, also maharashtrian and sweet and sour and soup-y. thanks for the quick idea; i always seem to have a can or three of tomato soup in the cupboard!

Roopa said...

wow wonderfull idea use the campbell soup ... this is really a quick one. great entry!

Aruna said...

What an idea!!! Cool

Sheetal Kiran said...

tee, linking to your recipe! I absolutely love saar with hot ambe-mor rice ... yum! I really like your quick version, just what I need on days I am too bored to cook.

Sukhada said...

You should increase the water quantity mentioned. I put 1.5 cups and still, it's very thick! It's turning out to be soup, not saar... :-( But thanks for the quick recipe! Specially, when I am also making Masale Bhaat...the combo will be great! :-)

Tee said...

Thank you sukhada for trying the recipe and for your feedback. The quantity of water in the recipe is for the small can of soup. i am not sure what size you are using, but if it is the small one then I agree that the quantity should be increased. The amount of water also depends on each individual's liking but it definitley is true that the saar should not be 'soup'. :)