Massoppu Saaru Recipe | Ragi Mudde Side Dish

Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Sun Apr 19, 2020

Oil-free Vegan Massoppu Saaru Recipe

Massoppu (Masidha soppu) translates to ‘mashed greens’

Massoppu saaru is a south Karnataka delicacy, from Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysore. It is a hot favourite with Ragi balls / Mudde. This dish is filled with goodness that comes from greens and lentils. Massoppu (Masidha soppu) translates to ‘mashed greens’. Cooked greens are mashed to make this dish.

Enjoy making Massoppu Saaru the whole food plant based way with this recipe.

Whole Food Plant Based Massoppu Saaru Recipe

Course: Course 2 (Vegetable Dish) or Side Dish for Course 3 (Grain Dishes) at Lunch & Dinner Meals
Cuisine: South Karnataka Recipe from South India
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Passive Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people


2 cup Mixed Greens: Spinach, Amaranth, Dill
1/4 cup Togri Bele / Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea
1 Tomato
1 Onion
8 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Jeera
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf
1 tsp Poppy Seed / Gasagase / Khus Khus
1 tsp Coriander Seed / Dhaniya Powder
3 tsp Miso Paste
Water As required
1 tbsp Cashews, powdered
2 tsp Coriander leaves


  1. Soak toor dal for 2 hours.
  2. Wash greens and chop it into small pieces. Peel and chop onion into small pieces. Chop tomato into small pieces.
  3. Cook toor dal with a half closed lid, taking care not to let us boil over or get burnt. Once half cooked, add greens, tomato, and onion. Continue cooking.
  4. Peel and grind or crush garlic into a paste. Keep aside for ten minutes.
  5. In the meantime, dry grind jeera, pepper, fennel, poppy seeds, dhaniya powder, and miso paste.
  6. Once garlic has sat for ten minutes, mix into the boiling massoppu saaru, along with the freshly ground masala.
  7. Once dal and greens are well cooked, let it cool for few minutes, then mash well with a wooden or metal masher. Alternatively, you could add 3/4 of the dish into a blender and blend to a paste, and then mix it back. However, mashing enhances the texture of the dish compared to blending.
  8. Dry roast mustard seeds until they just start sputtering, then mix into massoppu saaru.
  9. Garnish with cashew powder and coriander leaves. Serve fresh with ragi mudde, red rice or steamed savory kadubus.

Plant Based Chef Pro Tips for the Best Massoppu Saaru Recipe

  1. Any choice of green leafy vegetables can be used.
  2. Dry roasted curry leaves and urad dal can be added along with dry roasted mustard seeds too.
  3. A tsp of date syrup can be used for some sweetness and extra tomato or kokum for extra sourness.

Nutrition Science Highlights for WFPB Massoppu Saaru Recipe

  1. Why Miso Paste? Miso paste is fermented & salted soya bean paste. American Heart Association Maximum recommended maximum daily salt intake of 3.75 grams per person to minimise risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer and chronic kidney disease. In addition to helping us restrict salt intake, replacing salt with miso paste also helps by neutralising the negative effects of salt by soya phytonutrients. You can easily make fresh miso paste at home by mixing 100 grams of cooked soya paste with 10 grams of salt, or 10 tablespoons of cooked soya paste with 1 tablespoon of salt. If making at home, ensure to use immediately, or freeze in batches to use later. Or, simply use 3.75 grams of salt or less per day per person and add 18 to 20 grams (dry weight) of soya beans in any dishes, spread through the day!
  2. Why legumes? Legumes are the #1 number food associated with long life in many recent large studies! They also fuel your gut microbiome through their resistant starch content and slow down glucose absorption, keeping your blood sugar levels steady - even in the next meal! This has been called the Second Meal Effect. This recipe is one of the yummiest ways to include pulses and legumes in your daily diet.
  3. Why crush garlic and wait? When garlic is chopped, crushed, ground or bitten into, two chemicals stored in different parts of garlic's cells combine in a chemical reaction to form allicin. This is a slightly bitter compound that deters insects, but happens to be very beneficial to our health. Allicin helps reduce blood pressure and protect the heart and other organs, fight off lung infections, and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, cooking destroys one of the enzymes required to form allicin. This can be overcome by crushing garlic and keeping it aside for ten minutes while the chemical reaction takes place. Once allicin is formed, it is heat stable and can be safely cooked. Alternatively, some raw garlic can be added after cooking, to a dish that has cooked garlic in it.
  4. Why not tadka? Tadka, thaaLippu, oggaraNe. Tempering spices in oil is quintessential to Indian cuisine. This practice may have started as a compromise when whole nuts were unavailable, and indeed, is more common in inland, drier areas where nuts do not grow easily, all year round. You can enjoy the taste and fragrance, though, by just dry roasting the spices you require, without the oil, or even better, mixing spice powders directly into your dish!

Dr Achyuthan Eswar
Lifestyle Physician & Co-founder, PHC Lifestyle Clinic & Plant-based Kitchen

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