I am not talking about the pronunciation of the word Sir in different ways. Saaru is the kannada word for Rasam. But unlike rasam we do add vegetables and daal. At times, it is made without veggies and daal too. But there are 3 main ingredients which make this taste amazing. Uppu, huli and khara. Uppu is salt. Huli is the tang, which comes in either from tamarind or sometimes from tomatoes. Khara is the spiciness or the hotness or the chilliness. Apart from this anything which is added is a bonus on the saaru.
This is a part of staple diet in most of the households. There might be variations, but the base is probably the same everywhere. The way its prepared now is, the tamarind is soaked in water for some time, and once the daal is boiled and cooked, the salt and chilli powder is added, and the juice from the tamarind pulp is extracted and that’s poured in the daal mixture. After it comes to a boil, it tempered with mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves.
As kids we had a different version of this, and we prepared a solid version of this, tamarind pulpy pop. So one day after school, we decided to make it. One of us had got tamarind, chilli powder and salt from home. With a stone we ground the tamarind pulp, salt and chilli powder, adding water little by little. And after a long wait and few minutes, we had the tamarind pop ready. Its like the tamarind peppermint we get in the stores. The one we ate, that day was not packaged better, looked ok, but taste was priceless.