Black Chickpeas Stew (Chane Saaru)

Black Chickpeas Stew (Chane Saaru)

Saaru's are flavourful, watery stews made to eat rice with. In Karnataka no meal is complete without a saaru. This chickpeas saaru makes a scrumptious, hearty meal when it's eaten with a bowl of steaming hot rice. This Konkani meal with steaming hot saaru and rice is comfort food for most of us and is to die for. This meal is usually served with some fried papads, fritters or with some stir fry. The added taste and flavour in the saaru comes from the garlic seasoning. Garlic seasoning adds heavenly taste and aroma to this saaru. I love the aroma of tempered garlic. The heavenly aroma of garlic seasoning fills up your home and others homes :-) and is very enticing and alluring. 

Chickpeas are boiled and ground with coconut, tamarind, red chillies and coriander seeds. This ground paste is then made into a watery gravy, that is seasoned with garlic. Bilimbi is traditionally used in this saaru for it's tanginess. But you can make do with tamarind if you cannot find bilimbi. I love eating the cooked bilimbil from this saaru. Bilimbi is grown in most of the household backyards in Udupi and Mangalore region. 


1/2 cup black chickpeas
4 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons of grated coconut
1 tablespoon tamarind or 2-3 raw bilimbi
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Salt to taste
10-12 garlic 
3 tablespoons of oil

Serves: 2-3

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Soaking time of chickpeas: 1 hour to 8 hours. 

Preparation Method:

1. Soak chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook them until done. 

The time taken for pressure cooking them depends on how long they have been soaked. If they have been soaked overnight then 2 whistles should be enough to give you soft chickpeas. If not cook them more.

2. While the chickpeas are cooking, fry coriander seeds and red chillies for few minutes using few drops of oil, until you get the aroma of fried coriander and red chillies. Keep them aside and let them cool. 

3. Then grind fried coriander and red chillies with exactly 2 tablespoons of cooked chickpeas and exactly 2 tablespoons of grated coconut and tamarind (if your not using bilimbi) and salt into a fine paste.

4. The quantity of coconut and cooked chickpeas you use for grinding is crucial for the taste of the saaru. If you add more coconut and chickpeas, the taste of saaru changes and you get a curry like consistency and taste instead of a watery, soupy, flavoursome saaru.

5. Add the ground contents into a cooking vessel, add in remaining cooked chickpeas, it's stock, sliced bilimbi (if you're using them in place of tamarind). 

6. Add water to bring the consistency to that of a saaru, a thin, watery consistency. You can adjust the amount of water you add based on how watery or thick you want the gravy to be. Watery gravy tastes awesome or the saaru ends up tasting like a curry.

7. Add salt and bring the saaru to boil. 

8. Once it comes to boil, simmer for few minutes, until the rawness of the ground masala goes off.

9. Remove the saaru off heat and season it with garlic.

10. Garlic seasoning: Heat oil in a tempering pan, add in slightly pounded garlic and fry them until they turn golden brown.

11. Add the tempering to the saaru and mix well. 

12. Serve steaming hot saaru with a bowl of steaming hot rice.

For more Konkani cuisine curry recipes look here

Tags: Saru, saar, gravy, curry, lunch, dinner, black chickpeas, spicy, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, saaru