Saar is a soupy accompaniment to rice, made traditionally with tomatoes pureed with butter milk or coconut milk and tempered with green chillies and cumin. Although it's most popular piping hot, I think it makes a great chilled soup too.
I love this soup at this time of year, when we can eat it hot to take the chill off the evenings, and enjoy it chilled the next day for lunch, when the weather hots up.
In this version of saar, I have used red peppers along with tomatoes to add some veggie and colour oomph, and a bit of ginger and parsley spice up the blandness of coconut milk.
Here's the recipe.
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2 medium sized red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 green chillies (I use them whole, along with the stalks)
2 tbs coconut milk powder
2.5 cups of water
Puree the tomatoes, peppers and ginger until smooth. Blanch and peel the veggies if you don't bits of skin in your soup, but I just eliminate this extra step and let the blender pulverise the skins.
Heat oil in a large saucepan and add the cumin. Once you hear a satisfying sizzle, add the chillies and stir around a couple of times.
Add the vegetable puree and water and bring the liquid to a boil.
Stir in the coconut milk powder and simmer for a few minutes. Add parsley.
If your tomatoes are a bit tart, you could balance the sourness out with half a tsp of sugar.