Obbattu Saaru Recipe | Karnataka Recipes

Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Fri Apr 24, 2020

Vegan Obbattu Saaru Recipe

Obbattu saaru is a dish popular in Karnataka and is prepared during festivals like Ugadi and Gowri Habba among others.

Obbattu Saaru or Holige Saaru is a rasam (soupy lentil dish) with a twist! It is made using the remaining stock after cooking the bengal gram stuffing for Holige. The stock and a bit of the obbatu stuffing is recycled with fresh pulpy tomatoes to create a new, wholesome, and soupy rasam or curry. Obbattu saaru is a dish popular in Karnataka and is prepared during festivals like Ugadi and Gowri Habba among others.

Obbattu Saaru is well-spiced and flavoured with pepper and other spices. It is sweetened with a dash of jaggery which balances out the natural sourness of tomatoes and makes for a yummy and soothing soup! Obbatu Saaru is usually prepared in large quantities and consumed over a day or two, however, it is good to make and consume this rasam fresh. It goes well with any unpolished rice, foxtail millet rice or ragi mudde.

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Whole Food Plant Based Obbattu Saaru Recipe

Course: Side Dish for Course 3 (Grain Dishes) for Lunch & Dinner Meals, Festival Dishes, Soup, Beverage
Cuisine: Satvik Karnataka Recipe from South India
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


2 Large Tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup Bengal Gram Dal chana dal, soaked
1/4 cup Date Syrup
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1 tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
2 tsp Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/8 tsp Fenugreek Seeds / Menthe Kaalu Pudi
1/4 tsp Poppy Seeds / Gasgase
1 Green Chili slit
1 pinch Asafoetida / Hing
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
4 tsp Miso Paste (Healthier Salt Alternative. See Nutrition Science Highlights below)
4 cups Water as required

Seasoning or Tadka

1 sprig Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds / Sasive
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera


1/4 cup Coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp Almonds, chopped


  1. Wash Bengal gram dal, add about 2 cup water and boil it on low flame with closed lid. Dal should be properly cooked and shouldn't be over cooked. Strain it and use the water or stock for rasam with 2 tsps of cooked dal to blend it for rasam. Rest of the cooked dal can be used to make Holige or Obbattu. Keep this aside.
  2. Dry roast Poppy seeds lightly. Keep it aside. In the same tawa, add chopped tomato and cook it for sometime. Blend dry roasted poppy seeds with jeeera powder, dhaniya powder, black pepper powder, turmeric powder, half of chopped tomato, 2 tsp cooked dal and blend it into a smooth paste to make obbattu saaru masala.
  3. Now to the bengal gram broth, add the remaining chopped tomato, ground obbattu saaru masala, date syrup, cardamom powder, and slit green chili. Let it cook well. Add water to adjust it to rasam or thin sambar consistency.
    Once cooked, switch off stove and add miso paste and asafoetida / hing.
  4. To prepare tempering, dry roast mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. When they staart sputtering, immediately mix into obbattu saaru.
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and chopped almonds. Serve with kodo millet rice or ragi mudde

Plant Based Chef Pro Tips for Best Obbattu Saaru Recipe

  1. We haven't used onion or garlic to make it a satvik recipe. Crushed garlic can be cooked along with tomatoes if required.
  2. Adjust the sweetness and sourness as needed.

Nutrition Science Highlights for WFPB Obbattu 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 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, NutritionScience.in, PHC Lifestyle Clinic & SampoornaAhara.com Plant-based Kitchen


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