Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ S is for Sektani Sing No Saas

finely diced garlic, ginger, chiles, and sliced onion
ingredients for sektani sing no saas: garlic, ginger, chiles, onion, and drumstick pulp

Every now and again I need to regroup. It’s fun to concoct new things and test my yearling skills, such as they are. Lately however, I’ve been lacking the time I usually have to spend in the kitchen; when I’m not cooking regularly, I lack confidence in my experimentation. I feel drawn to the comfort and stability of a tried-and-true recipe.

This is “S” week of dear Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables. A perfect excuse for me to delve into my old Parsi cookbook treasure and make something I’ve been longing to try: Sektani Sing No Saas.

The title was appealing to me even before I knew that the main ingredient is one of my favorites: drumsticks! Best I can decipher, “sektani sing” must mean drumsticks, and “saas” is sauce. Any experts out there, please chime in.

I followed the recipe to the letter, and here it is, exactly as written in Bapsi Nariman’s A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine.


Sektani Sing No Saas
Drumstick Sauce

20 tender drumsticks
1 sliced onion
1 TB oil

1/2″ piece ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 c mutton or chicken stock, or water (I used water)
1 tsp sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 TB besan or plain flour
2 TB vinegar
a few chopped coriander leaves


Skin the drumsticks, cut in 2″ pieces and boil until soft. Remove pulp from drumsticks discarding the water. Keep aside the pulp.

Fry onions in oil until golden brown. Add the chopped ingredients, salt and turmeric powder and fry for a minute or two. Add the stock or water, drumstick pulp and sugar, and bring to a boil. Remove from fire.

Mix eggs, flour and the vinegar together. Add to the above mixture. Cook on a low flame until it comes to a boil. Remove immediately from the stove or else it may curdle. Serve with khichree garnished with coriander leaves.

(BP’s note: This sauce is also delicious when served with Parsi mutton cutlets).


My notes: I washed and boiled one standard pkg frozen drumsticks, and took the pulp from those. I didn’t have any coriander, so I sprinkled freshly cracked pepper. I also added a little melted ghee.

This was a very interesting sauce with the sugar and vinegar, egg and besan thickener. When I first saw the recipe, it made me think of hollandaise, that rich and velvety combination of egg yolks and butter than goes so well with asparagus. This was also rich and velvety, but the jury is still out on the vinegar flavor. Another time I might try it with lemon or lime instead.


Bapsi Nariman’s Khichree Recipe
also from A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine

1 1/2 c basmati rice (washed and soaked for 30 minutes)
3 TB arhar dal (washed and soaked with the rice)
4 TB oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large finely chopped onion
1″ piece cinnamon, broken
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
2 TB grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 1/2 c water


Heat oil, add cumin seed, cook for a minute. Add onion, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. Fry until onions are golden in color. Mix in coconut, turmeric and salt and saute for a minute further, turning the mixture over once or twice. Remove water from rice and dal and add to the onion mixture. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and let the mixture come to a boil, lower the flame. Place a lid on top of the pan with water in it. Cook until rice is ready and the water has dried. If more water is required to cook the rice, add it from the top of the lid. (Always add hot water.) Immediately fork the rice, so that the grains are separated. Serve hot.


My notes: I didn’t have basmati, so used sona masuri rice. I only made 1/3 of this recipe (1/2 c rice and 1 TB dal,and I cut back the oil to 1 tsp), and it made a *huge* pot of khichree, plenty for two and possibly three hungry people. Very delicious!

sektani sing no saas over khichree
sektani sing no saas over khichree ~ parsi special from Bapsi Nariman

Sektani Sing No Saas and Khichree recipes taken from A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine, copyright Bapsi Nariman

Thank you Nupur, for providing the perfect reason to try these new recipes! 🙂


  1. Asha said

    WOW! Linda,Parsi dish! That is so cool girl,really.Never heard of it,of course I am not a Parsi.Looks delicious.I have some frozen Drumsticks.I will try this,simple enough.Thanks for that book,see if I can get it too.
    Have a great weekend:)

    Hi Asha, I got the book at a flea market, if you can believe that! I didn’t look too hard for it on Amazon or elsewhere. Hope you have a great weekend too! 🙂

  2. Nupur said

    Wow, Linda! What a unique entry! The sauce with the eggs and drumsticks is totally new to me, and the combo with the khichdi looks ultra-comforting and tasty! As usual, you astound me

    Thanks Nupur — this was kind of astounding because of the vinegar — totally new to me, too! 🙂

  3. Richa said

    wow! sektani sing no saas, the name sure is appealing
    such a unique dish, wonder if it can be done without egg or if there is a substitute! khichree looks good too!

    Hi Richa, I thought the name was appealing, too. I guess you could substitute egg whites if you didn’t want yolks… or just eliminate the egg altogether and use a little something else to thicken… maybe cornstarch or dalia powder (a trick which I learned from Indira here). Khichree was good straight from the book 🙂

  4. bee said

    ’saas’ also mean mother-in-law in gujarati. mother-in-law marinated in drumstick sauce.

    Oh Bee, that got me laughing! 😉

  5. indosungod said

    I am LOL at Bee’s comment. Well whatever “Sektani Sing No Saas” means it is one tasty looking dish. Kudos to you Linda those skills did not desert you after the long break. Khicree is a comfort dish for sure and with the sing song sauce on top delicious.

    I was laughing at that one too, ISG, and yours too — the sing song sauce :):)
    Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂

  6. Suganya said

    I have never come across a recipe that requires taking the drumstick pulp alone. This is new to me. Thinking abt it, saves time on the table

    Hi Suganya, it is a little labor-intensive at the beginning, and then you can gobble up all the pulp in a hurry 🙂

  7. prema said

    Hey Linda , Drumstick with egg,cinamon and cloves is sure an unique combo..never tasted parsi dishes before. looks good

    Hi Prema — it was a different combination, that’s for sure. Never saw a recipe calling for eggs and vinegar before 🙂

  8. Coffee said

    I can imagine what bee must be doing to her mother in law!!!!
    Thats a very unique dish! The name is a tongue twister for sure!!! It looks great and the combo with khichree sounds nice.

    Thanks Coffee — it was totally new on me. And I’d like to know what Bee is up to! 😉

  9. Trupti said

    Hahha to Bee’s comment.
    Wow, what a great entry, Linda…the stuff you come up with always peaks my interest.
    Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

    Hi Trupti — there are some interesting dishes in that Parsi book, for sure! Been digging outside this weekend — but it’s cold this morning. Hope your weather is warming up! 🙂

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