White saagu | White Kurma | How to make White Kurma with tips

This special Udupi recipe is made from a few root vegetables, peas and beans boiled and cooked in a very lightly spiced gravy. It is called White Saagu or White Kurma and is eaten with Pooris or Chapatis It is so delicious that you could eat cups and cups of it; and it is very light and easy on the stomach.

The Udupi special White Saagu is served in any Hotel in Karnataka as an accompaniment to Poori or Chapaati along with spicy Kurma.

‘Saagu’ in Kannada means Curry. This ‘Saagu’ is white in colour; hence the name white saagu. This dish is very tasty. No hard spices like red chilli powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste or tomatoes are added to this dish. A few spices are added in a limited quantity just for a touch of flavour and delicate taste. This is not at all a spicy curry.   Apart from Karnataka we find that many Bhavan’s Hotel Chains in Tamil Nadu also serve White Saagu in the evening meals

White Saagu is a very simple dish! You just have to cook boiled vegetables in the masala gravy and take it down when it thickens. That’s all! That is why I call it a ‘Happy Tummy Recipe'!

Here are a few tips for making the simple White Saagu and getting it right!!!

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White saagu | White Kurma


Knol Khol:

This is an essential vegetable for the White Saagu. We find this Knol Khol quite frequently in Kashmiri cuisine. The Kannadigas also like to use this vegetable. It belongs to the Cabbage family.  

So, if you can lay your hands on Knol Khol use it. If you cannot, just increase the quantity of Potato by half a cup. Do remember though that you have to have knol khol in order to make White Saagu truly authentic.

About boiling the vegetables: 

All the vegetables have to be of the same measure. Add all the vegetables to boiling water and boil tehm till they get 70% soft. Too much of boiling may result in the veggies becoming squishy.


Use spices very sparingly. Please understand that the spices are used only to add a flavour to the dish. This dish is not supposed to be strong or spicy.   


Pudina leaves which are added at the very end and should be not more than 6-7 leaves. Too much of Pudina can give an overpowering taste to the dish.

Khuskhus (Poppy seeds):

Khuskhus is the core ingredient that gives flavour to this dish. In some countries however, Khuskhus is banned. You may increase the quantity of cashew in case you can’t use khuskhus.


Those of you who do not eat onions, or those who are making this dish during fasting or festival can happily omit onions from the recipe.

White saagu | White Kurma | How to make White Kurma with tips - Recipe Video

White saagu | White Kurma | How to make White Kurma with tips

Breakfast Recipes | vegetarian
  • Prep Time 5 mins
  • Cook Time 25 mins
  • Total Time 30 mins
  • Servings 6


  • For the Masala Paste:
  • 1/2 Bay Leaf (Tez Patta)
  • 4 Clove (Long)
  • 3 Cardamom (Ilaichi)
  • 1 inch Cinnamon (Dalchini)
  • 1 tbsp Soaked Poppy seeds (Khuskhus)
  • 15 Soaked Cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Bengal Gram (Phutane)
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Coconut pieces
  • 4 - 5 Green Chillies
  • Vegetables:
  • 1/2 cup Knol Khol pieces
  • 1/2 cup Peeled potato
  • 1/2 cup Beans
  • 1/2 cup Carrot
  • 1 liter Water
  • For the Saagu:
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Sonf)
  • 1/2 cup Diced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Peas
  • Salt- To taste
  • 1/2 liter Vegetable stock (Drained and kept aside after boiling the vegetables)
  • Masala Paste
  • 6 - 7 Mint Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar


  1. Grind all the ingredients for masala paste with a little water into a fine paste.
  2. Boil all the vegetables till they are about 70% soft. Drain and keep the water aside. If you are using fresh green peas you should boil them along with other vegetables. I have used frozen peas.
  3. Heat the oil and put in bay leaf and Sonf.
  4. When the Sonf crackles, put in the onion and fry till it gets a light golden colour.
  5. Now add the boiled veggies and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the masala paste and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock and sugar and mix well. Close the lid and cook for some 15 minutes. Keep stirring time to time.
  7. Sprinkle the mint leaves and turn the flame off.
  8. If you find the gravy too thick, you may add a little hot water to get a desired consistency. The white Saagu tastes very good with Poori or Chapaati, even better than with rice!

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White saagu | White Kurma