Creamy Nut Sauce

The actual name of this nut sauce is sas. It’s Indian in origin, and the recipe I’m basing this on is out of the Foods of the World – The Cooking of India cookbook.

The sauce is made essentially with nuts and cream and is served with various kababs. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a recipe for Mughlai Kabobs, which are grilled, ground-lamb skewers. The kababs and the sauce together are pure heaven.

My most favorite dishes to order in Indian restaurants are the kormas – meats in creamy sauces made from nuts, although you’d never know it. The sauces are very delicate in flavor, yet scream decadence because of their richness.

So today I’m making this sauce, and tomorrow I’ll post the kababs.

Sas, or Creamy Nut Sauce

Pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon boiling water
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup mixed almonds and cashews, blanched
Seeds of 4 cardamom pods
1 cup milk
1 tablespoons ghee
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt

Place the saffron in a small bowl and add one tablespoon of boiling water; set the bowl aside. Given time, the hot water will leach the beautiful color and flavor of the saffron, which you can see as it changes color.

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I happened to have green cardamom pods, so I peeled off the outer shell to reveal the actual spice pods. (There are also white cardamom pods.). Below I show the difference between the whole pods, the cardamom itself as it occurs naturally inside the pods, lower right, and some ground cardamom, upper right. If you own ground cardamom, you definitely don’t need to buy the pods. Just try to use the equivalent of ground.

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Place all of the nuts, the cardamom pods and one cup of milk in a blender jar and blend until smooth.

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Then place the ghee in a saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Pour in the nut and cream mixture and cook it for a couple of minutes.

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Add the saffron and the water, the half and half and salt, and cook the mixture until it coats the back of a spoon.

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Store the sauce and refrigerate until needed. Stay tuned tomorrow!

By Published On: June 27th, 201320 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

20 Comments

  1. iispixiebeader June 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    I have ALWAYS wanted to use saffron! I even love the history behind it! People would die they’re hair with it..intil they were told to stop by Henry the VIII..? I think it was him.
    Thank you!
    Em

    • iispixiebeader June 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM - Reply

      Dye ..sorry..

      • chef mimi June 28, 2013 at 7:23 AM

        I don’t know about that, but when you see how tedious it is to pluck the flowers, you why it’s so expensive!

      • iispixiebeader June 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I know! Watched a special on it..and then read a book.
        I’m a dork..lol. Can’t wait to make this and the kabobs!! You just completely inspired me!

  2. Sophie33 June 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM - Reply

    A very delectable looking nut sauce! I love the saffron in here too! I Will make this tasty sauce tonight! MMMMMMM!

    • chef mimi June 28, 2013 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      It would be good with just about anything!

      • Sophie33 June 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        Yes!

  3. colormusing June 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM - Reply

    Ooh, can’t wait to try this! I’ve been trying to learn more Indian dishes, and I always have saffron around (mostly for Arroz con Pollo).

    • chef mimi June 28, 2013 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      Saffron is so interesting! There is a specific flavor that is not as subtle as you would think!

      • colormusing June 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        I agree– and the color it imparts is unique! (Hmm, maybe I should create a color palette based on saffron…)

      • chef mimi June 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        A luxurious idea!

  4. lapadia June 28, 2013 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    Wild & Delicious! Hope to try it out with kababs this summer…but I am not a lamb person, so anything but that.

  5. viveka June 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM - Reply

    Here is the sauce … I wonder where I would find it … this goes on file.

  6. Three Well Beings June 30, 2013 at 11:51 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness but this looks rich and delicious! I’ve done some interesting vegetarian dishes with soaked cashews, so I can kind of imagine working with this! And it must be just amazing. :-)

    • chef mimi July 1, 2013 at 9:43 AM - Reply

      Oh, I’ve done some of those, too!!! It’s very subtle and creamy.

  7. abrooke65 July 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM - Reply

    That saffron is so gorgeous. I love Indian food. This looks so good I’d like to reach in and take some.

  8. canalcook July 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM - Reply

    These are my favourite types of sauces in Indian restaurants too. This looks lovely.

    • chef mimi July 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM - Reply

      They’re the best, even though they’re somewhat subtle.

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