Cook's Hideout: Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)

September 20, 2014

Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)

Saakannam is one of the dishes that is made on the 7th of Navratri/ Dasara. Saakam (shaak) means vegetables and Annam means rice, so it is nothing but mixed vegetable rice. When making any dish on a festival day, we usually refrain from using onion, garlic, garam masala etc. Also using premade or store bought masalas is not preferred.
Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)
I tried looking for an authentic rice recipe that is made for festivals, but I couldn't find anything. I asked one of my cousins and she said she makes a simple mixed vegetable rice with ginger. I went with my instincts and made this dish with what I had in the fridge.
Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)
You can use any vegetable that you have in the fridge or want to eat in this dish. I added eggplant, potato, cauliflower, carrot and green beans. But you can also use other veggies like peppers, cabbage, plantains, sweet potato, green peas etc etc. I added some coconut milk, but it completely optional, I thought coconut milk added a slight sweetness that I really liked.
Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)
Ingredients: Serves 2~3
Rice - 1cup (I used Sona Masoori rice)
Eggplant - 3 medium round (or 1 long Japanese eggplant), chopped
Potato - 1 medium, peeled and diced
Carrot - 1 small, peeled and diced
Cauliflower florets - ½cup
Green Beans - ½cup, chopped
Green chilies - 4~6, very finely chopped (adjust as per taste preference)
Ginger - 2" piece, grated
Coconut Milk - ½cup (optional)
Turmeric - ½tsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Chana Dal - 1tsp
Urad dal - 1tsp
Peanuts - 2tbsp
Cashews - 1tbsp
Dry red chilies - 2~3 (adjust as per taste)
Curry Leaves - 8~10
Cilantro - 2tbsp, chopped
Salt - to taste

  • Cook rice along with a pinch of turmeric, salt and few drops of oil. Once done, set aside to cool.
  • Precooking the veggies makes making this dish really fast. I microwaved potatoes, green beans, carrots and cauliflower until fork tender.
  • Heat 2~3tbsp oil in a big saute pan. Saute peanuts and cashews until golden, remove using a slotted spoon into a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal and dry red chilies. Once the seeds start to splutter add the ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Cook for 1~2 minutes.
  • Now add eggplant and turmeric. Cover and cook for 6~7 minutes. If using raw veggies add them all together, cover and cook for 10~12 minutes.
  • If using precooked veggies, add them after eggplant is more than half cooked. Saute till all the veggies are cooked through.
  • Add coconut milk (if using) and cook for 2~3 minutes.
  • Next add the cooked rice and salt. Mix well to combine and cook for 2~3 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Vegetable Rice for Festivals (Saakannam/ Shakannam)

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge: September -- Week 3'.



  1. Very colourful rice, my kind of food, prefect for festival days.

  2. you had to use eggplant huh? Regardless, I love all the other ingredients and it looks so flavorful

  3. Festival or otherwise, this rice dish looks so good and am sure is perfect for the lunch box too...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


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