Sagu Recipe

Updated: June 19, 2024, By Swasthi

Sagu is a super delicious side dish of vegetables simmered with tempering spices and thickened with fried gram flour. This is a fast dish that gets done under 20 mins and it goes well with poori, rava idli, roti, chapati, sada dosa, set dosa and uttapam. The word “SAGU” is most commonly used in Udupi/Mangalore restaurants, to refer a side dish served with breakfast items. In Karnataka, there are different versions, made with varying ingredients like mix vegetables, or with just potatoes.

sagu recipe

About Sagu Recipe

If made with only potatoes, it is called aloo sagu or Bombay sagu. The dish made with mixed vegetables is known as veg sagu and it uses carrots, kohlrabi (navil kosu), peas, potatoes and French/green beans. Whole spices like marati moggu, cinnamon etc are ground with coconut and coriander leaves. This looks similar to the Veg kurma but with a different flavor profile due to the addition of various other ingredients.

My Bombay Sagu recipe helps you make a delicious side with potatoes and peas, under 20 mins. If you don’t like using only potatoes, use mixed vegetables like carrots, green beans, peas and a small amount of potatoes. This recipe does not use onions and garlic, so it is a fast dish that does not require much time.

Though I make other sides like this Poori Masala, Aloo Masala, Potato Kurma and Bombay Chutney to go with the pooris, this potato sagu is made most often since it is super easy and quick. The best part is that it keeps us full for long, meaning it is a great side for our breakfast or lunch.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Veggies: You need raw potatoes to make this. But if you have boiled aloo and want to use up, you may use them. Adjust the amount of water as required. I also add some green peas to make my dish colourful, if you want you may also use carrots, green beans, peas and potatoes. For texture you can add a small sliced onion (about 1/4 cup).
  • Fried Gram: It is used to thicken the sagu. Fried gram is chutney dal and is also known as roasted chana dal. We grind them to a fine powder and add to dish while cooking. But if you don’t want to grind, you can use besan. I have shared another aloo sagu in this Rava Idli post and that uses besan.
  • Tempering ingredients: Curry leaves, ginger, green chilies, hing, cumin seeds and mustard seeds are used to temper the dish. Note that these are the heart of the dish and you need all these except for the hing.
  • Lemon Juice: This dish tastes best with a mild tang. So use lemon juice before serving.

Photo Guide

Step by Step Photo Instructions

1. Peel and chop potatoes to small cubes. The smaller, the quicker the curry gets cooked. I chop them to almost half inch. Heat oil in a deep pan, add mustard, cumin and curry leaves. When the spices begin to crackle, add hing, ginger, slit green chilies, potatoes and peas. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure you add enough green chilies since there is no red chili powder used. The heat comes only from green chilies.

If you want to a use onions, add them before the potatoes and saute for 4 to 5 mins.

crackling spices to make sagu recipe

2. Pour water to cover the potatoes and bring the water to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are fork tender/ fully cooked.

addition of water to boil potatoes

3. While the potatoes cook, make a fine powder of the fried gram.

powdered fried gram in jar for making sagu recipe

4. Add very little water to make a thick paste but of pouring consistency. Add salt and turmeric to the paste.

fried gram powder

5. Once the potatoes are soft cooked, pour this mix and let it simmer till the gravy thickens. If your gravy becomes runny, you can mix some more fried gram powder with very little water and pour it to the gravy. When it is thick, yet of pouring consistency, tun off the heat. It will thicken further upon cooling. Taste test and adjust salt.

add fried gram flour slurry

Add lemon juice and stir well. Garnish with coriander leaves if you want.

sagu recipe also known as potato sagu

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

sagu recipe

Sagu Recipe

4.97 from 29 votes
Karnataka style potato sagu made with potatoes, peas, spices and fried gram. Serve it with poori, dosa or rava idli.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 2 potatoes medium , cubed small
  • ¼ cup green peas fresh or frozen
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 to 3 green chilies slit
  • ¼ inch ginger grated or sliced
  • ¼ cup fried gram / roasted gram/ bhuna chana dal
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • Salt as needed
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (adjust)


  • Temper: Heat a pan with oil, add cumin, mustard and curry leaves. When the spices splutter add hing, green chilies, ginger, potatoes and peas. Saute for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Cook the potatoes: Cover the potatoes with water and cook until fork tender. Meanwhile grind the fried gram to a fine powder and mix with water, turmeric and salt to make a thick slurry of pouring consistency.
  • Make the Sagu: When the potatoes are cooked, pour the fried gram slurry and stir well to prevent lumps. Simmer the gravy till it thickens. Turn off the heat
  • Add lemon juice and adjust salt to taste. Garnish potato sagu with coriander leaves. Serve with rava idli, poori, set dosa or sada dosa.


If your gravy becomes runny, you can mix more fried gram powder with very little water and pour it to the gravy while it is still cooking. stir well

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Sagu Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 182 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Sodium 90mg4%
Potassium 576mg16%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 31.9mg39%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
I made this with some poori and it was the best breakfast I ever made. Thank you for this delicious recipe

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

I’m a very big fan of yours. Your blog is the first thing that comes in my mind when I think of trying some south Indian recipes, have been following your instructions and prepared many mouthwatering dishes.
Looking forward to learn as much as possible from you .Thanks a ton for sharing such a wonderful recipes and keeping it updated.
Loads of love ❤️

Can we use besan(gram floor ) instead of gram powder?

Will be trying out the recipe today ,let’s see how it comes out to be . i swear by your coconut chutney and karahi paneer recipe .i am totally new to cooking but whatever I make with your recipes turns out great ,family loves it . thanks dear

Hi Swasthi,
I live your recipes. I am a novice cook, but your recipes are inspiring, interesting and give me great results.
Thanks for being such a great support.

5 stars
At first I was not sure about this recipe then I realised I forgot to put the lemon in it. What a difference that made. Ate it with roti and loved it. Tasty and easy to make.

5 stars
Thank u dear.

5 stars
I love all your recipes..
Will try n let you know the results…

Prepared this today to accompany poori. Generally I don’t like potato curries with poori, but this one I personally liked it

4 stars
About potato saagu
Simple recipe
Very tasty

5 stars
A HEALTHY, EASY, QUICK, TASTY RECIPE.. I prepare this kind of recipe for the 1st time, but still it turned out very well. I never ever heard of preparing a dish by adding roasted chanadal powder.

This kind of healthy recipes can be given to kids also,


Simple but awesome

No Masala!
Can I add gram powder instead of grinding?

I made it today. It came out pretty good. Didn’t add peas. But still eatable.

Will try today recipe looks great

my favorite sagu Swasthi. Looks very good!

never added dal powder before, nice to know that, love the new look.

nice instructive and beautiful recipe too..

The concept of adding gram flour to thicken a gravy is actually new to me. I’ve always used cornflour or all purpose flour. This is interesting. Great recipe!

Love the new look of your blog…I like the idea of adding gram flour to thicken the gravy…the curry sounds simple and easy..bookmarked!!