Cowpeas Saaru (Bagde Saaru)

Cowpeas Saaru (Bagde Saaru)

Konkani cuisine includes an array of pulses. Pulses are a great source of proteins and low-fat source of fibres, vitamins and minerals. So, they are great for you. Our ancestors have tried to use pulses in so many different ways by including them in our diet. We make delicious curries and the most simple, flavourful saarus out of pulses. 

Saaru is a delicious, watery, soupy gravy that is seasoned and is served with rice. Comfort food for most South Indians. In Konkani homes pulses like horsegram, cowpeas, green gram etc., are cooked until they are soft and the watery gravy's are seasoned with garlic for loads of flavour. Makes a hearty meal! The smell of garlic seasoning travels far and wide. And is mesmerizing. These saaru's are also quick, easy to prepare. And it's comfort food at its best. :-)

Here's the recipe for cowpeas saaru, called as bagde saaru in Konkani. Bagdo meaning cowpeas/black eyed peas in Konkani.


  • 1/2 cup of cowpeas/black eyed peas
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 5 mimutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Soaking Time: 30 minutes

Ready In: 55 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Soak cowpeas in water for 1-2 hours (atleast for a minimum of half an hour). If you're in a hurry you can skip the soaking part but cowpeas will take longer to cook. Soaking them fastens their cooking.

Side Note:

This saaru is perfect for busy weekday dinner's. To save time you can soak the cowpeas overnight or soak them in the morning before you leave to work. That way you can put together dinner fast.

2. Pressure cook cowpeas with green chillies and 1 cup of water until they are cooked through. Should take 2-3 whistles if you've pre-soaked them. If not cook them for longer

We want cowpeas to get soft but not mushy. Don't overcook cowpeas such that they all disintegrate.

3. Transfer boiled cowpeas along with it's stock into a cooking vessel. Add salt and bring it to boil.

4. Grind about 2 tablespoons of boiled cowpeas into a smooth paste using 1/2 cup of water and add it to the boiling cowpea saaru. This makes the saaru a little thick, tasty and gives it a base. Or else the saaru will be too watery.

5. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the boiling saaru if required. Consistency of this saaru is watery, but be careful not to make it too watery. Check and adjust salt.

6. Simmer the cowpeas saaru for 2-3 minutes so that all the ingredients blend together, cowpeas takes up salt and the saaru gets a little concentrated during this time.

7. Remove the saaru off heat and season it. For seasoning, heat oil in a tempering pan, add in slightly smashed garlic cloves to the hot oil. Let them fry for few minutes until they start to brown. Then add in dried red chilli broken into pieces and let them sizzle for few seconds. Add this seasoning to the saaru and mix well.

Peel the garlic cloves if you wish. Smashing garlic helps draw out it's flavour into hot oil.

8. Serve hot saaru with a bowl of steaming hot rice and enjoy! 

Yum! Comfort food at its best.. It can't get any better than that. :-)

Find more Konkani cuisine curry recipes here

Tags: Lunch, dinner, easy to prepare, quick recipe, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, cowpeas, black eyed gram, bagdo, bagde saaru, bachelor recipe.