A mixed vegetable stew, mildly spiced, with coconut, onion and ginger based gravy – Mixed Vegetable Saagu Diabetes Friendly.
You might be aware of the popular south Indian side – mixed vegetable saagu served with flatbreads (gluten-free as per the theme here), fluffy set-dosa, and so on. There are many versions of the saagu possible. I’m sharing with you all today a simple and easy version of the dish which is diabetes friendly too with the multitude of veggies. I will be posting a different version soon.
Diabetes Friendly Thursday
Creating recipes with a cause!
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The Mixed Vegetable Saagu Recipe is my contribution for gluten-free DFT this week.
To learn for about the connection between gluten and diabetes read here.
In this recipe, I have used onion and roasted Bengal gram (de-husked split dark chickpeas) which will aid in the thickening of the gravy instead of using only coconut (although coconut too has a beneficial role in diabetics) The gram also brings protein and insoluble fiber.
Did you know gingerols – the major active component of ginger – can increase uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, and may therefore assist in the management of high blood sugar levels. However do take caution and consume under your dietitian’s or doctor’s advice since it may bring down the sugar levels much. Read more.
Read about few more main ingredients in the foot-note.
Suggested Portion Size – 1/2 cup per person. Served as a side.
Firstly, chop all the vegetables, grate the coconut and keep them ready. Add all the vegetables to a deep thick bottomed pan or dish. Add sufficient water to cover the vegetables. Bring this to a boil, simmer until the vegetables are just tender. Add cauliflower when the other vegetables are 80% done. (If possible steam the vegetables instead)
Grind the onion, coconut, green chili, roasted Bengal gram, cumin seeds to a smooth paste by adding water as required.
At this stage once the vegetables are just tender, you can either drain all the water or retain some. Add chopped spinach now. Mix.
Add the ground paste, salt to taste. (add water to the consistency needed) Bring this to a boil at low to medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes at the same heat. Turn off the heat. Prepare the tempering by heating the oil in a small separate pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add asafoetida powder and curry leaves. Turn off the heat. Add this to the prepared saagu. Serve hot with flat bread (gluten free as per the theme) as a side dish.
- For the paste>>
- ½ an onion chopped roughly
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut
- 2 tablespoons of roasted Bengal gram (dalia or hurigadale)
- 3-4 green chilies (adjust quantity to taste)
- 1" piece of ginger roughly chopped
- ¾ tablespoon of cumin seeds
- water as needed
- For the gravy>>
- 1 cup of chopped cabbage
- 1 cup of chopped zucchini (courgette)
- ½ cup chopped cauliflower
- ½ cup chopped carrot
- ½ cup chopped green beans
- ½ heaped cup of spinach
- salt to taste
- For tempering>>
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil (or coconut oil)
- ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 good pinch of asafoetida powder
- to begin, chop all the vegetables, grate the coconut and keep them ready.
- In a deep thick bottomed pan/dish, add all the vegetables except cauliflower and spinch. Add water enough to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are 80% done.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the ground paste by grinding coconut, onion, ginger, green chilies, cumin seeds and asafoetida to a smooth paste by adding water as needed.
- Add cauliflower to the pan where the vegetables are cooking. Cook until all the vegetables are just tender. (instead the vegetables can also be steamed)
- Turn off the heat. Drain some or all of the water.
- If draining all of the water, add the vegetables back to the pan. Add spinach, gound paste, some additional water (adjust to the consistency needed). Bring to a boil at low-medium heat adding salt to taste.
- If retaining some water, add the spinach, ground paste, bring to a boil at low-medium heat.
- cook for another 1-2 minutes adding salt to taste. Turn off the heat.
- Prepare tempering in a separate pan. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add asafoetida powder. Turn off the heat.
- Add this to the prepared saagu..
it can also be served with rice - brown rice is suggested if you are a diabetic.
Info about some of the other main ingredients used here-
Did you know the metabolism of sugar in the body needs many of the B vitamins many of which are found in valuable proportions in zucchini. As also zinc, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids too are needed for the metabolism of sugar, again present in zucchini. In addition, special fibers such as pectin provided by this summer squash helps keep insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance and also protects against the onset of diabetes type 2. More here.
Vegetables, in general are high in fiber, have low Glycemic Index. Generally non-starchy vegetables have 5 g of carbohydrates in 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Most of this is fiber and hence need not be counted unless you eat more than 1 cup of cooked or 2 cups raw at a time. For more info. regarding non-starchy foods read here (diabetes.org)
I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
Check out recipes from the rest of the DFT team: