Spicy potato sidedish (Batate Song , Potato and onion in spicy red masala)

Spicy potato sidedish (Batate Song , Potato and onion in spicy red masala)

'Batate song/saung' is a very spicy, fiery red, popular Konkani side dish with potatoes and onions. Yes, the name of this side dish is 'saung', pronounced as "song". :-) Batate saung is a beautifully bright red, very spicy, potato side dish. Batato in Konkani means potato and song/saung is the name of the side dish prepared with a fiery hot, red chilli masala. 

This extra spicy dish is prepared & served for lunch as a side dish in Konkani cuisine. I enjoy feasting on this spicy side dish as-is. :-) It tastes best when it is mixed well with steaming hot rice and lots of ghee. Goes amazingly well as a side dish with rice and dalithoy. The mildness of dalithoy (Konkani daal) contrasts with the spiciness of this song/saung. Batate saung goes well with dosas like udha polo and pan polo. You can even eat it with chapathis with it. Batate saung tastes awesome even with plain curd rice. After a few hours of preparation, or a day old saung is less spicy compared to when it's freshly made. 

During special occasions tender, fresh cashews (bibbo in Konkani, a Konkani cuisine favourite) are added to batate saung to give it a special twist. You can even add small florets of cauliflower or green peas to this batate saung. However, the original, classic batate saung has only potato and onions in it.


2 medium sized boiled potatoes
2 medium sized onions thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
2 tablespoons of grated coconut
6 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon/1 lemon sized tamarind
3 tablespoons of oil
Salt to taste

Serves: 2-4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Pressure cook potatoes with 1 cup of water and salt for 2-3 whistles. We want the potatoes well cooked & soft.

2. Once the pressure is off the cooker, peel the potatoes and break them down into small pieces using your hand into a bowl. Keep them aside.

You can cube the potatoes but when they are roughly smashed using your hands and are broken down into small pieces, they blend well with the masala and gives the song/saung a nice, thick consistency. The starch in those tiny pieces of potatoes, will leach into the masala & help in bringing about a nice thick consistency.

2. Peel and slice onions. Keep them aside.

3. Roughly make pieces of dried red chillies & fry them with few drops of oil for 2 minutes in a tempering pan and remove it off heat. Then let it cool down completely. 

As dried red chillies are fried & cooled down, they crisp up & are easily ground into a paste. Hence, the frying step. Also, fried, dried red chillies impart a different taste to this dish, unlike dried red chillies that aren't fried. It does make a world of difference in the taste of this dish, in the end. 

4. Once cooled grind fried red chillies with coriander seeds, grated coconut and tamarind into a very smooth paste using as much water as required. Keep the ground masala aside. 

Coconut is added just to help grind all the ingredients together into a smooth paste, so, do not add excess coconut. It'll ruin the taste of song/saung.

5. Heat oil in a wok and add in sliced onions. Add salt to fasten it's cooking and saute the onions. Fry onions till they are translucent.

6. Once the onions are half cooked/translucent, add in cooked potatoes pieces, the ground masala and mix well. Check and adjust salt.

7. Add in about 1/4 cup water if required to cook the onions and bring together all the ingredients. Do not add excess water, we need a semi dry gravy in the end. 

8. Cook on medium flame. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes till the onions cook through and all the water evaporates. You can then remove it off heat. 

The song/saung is usually semi-dry in consistency in the end. It'll further thicken as it cools down due to potatoes in it.

Serving suggestions:

1. Serve batate saung hot as a side dish with a bowl of steaming hot rice, mix well and enjoy with loads of ghee on top.

2. Serve hot batate saung with a bowl of steaming hot rice and dalithoy

3. Serve batate saung as a side dish with hot udha polo (split lentil dosa). Batate saung goes amazingly well with udha polo.

4. Eat batate saung with a bowl of curd rice and it tastes yummmm! 

5. You can also eat this batate saung with pan polo or chapathis as a side dish.

Side note:

1. Tender, fresh cashews (called as bibbo in Konkani) are also added to batate saung. Tender cashews are sold with the skin on. So, when you want to use them to make saung, cook them until they're done and are soft. Then peel them. Add these peeled, cooked cashews to batate saung, along with cooked potato pieces.

If the tender cashews you're using are sun dried & aren't fresh, then soak them in hot water for half an hour and then cook them until soft.

2. Cauliflower is also added to batate saung. If you want to use cauliflower in batate saung, then add cauliflower florets into the saung, along with ground masala and cooked potatoes. Then cook along until they are well cooked.

3. You can also add fresh green peas to batate saung. Add pre-cooked, fresh green peas to batate saung along with cooked potatoes and ground masala. Mix well.

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: Vegetarian, spicy, lunch, side dish, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, potato.