A lot of my North Indian friends keep asking me how to make sambar. I tell them, I don’t make my own sambar powder, buy it from the store as most of the people and prepare. But I only use the sambar powder from Mangalore, since I love the flavour it adds to the sambar. I have tried many brands of sambar powder, I gave up because I was not able to satisfy my taste buds with any of them and asked my mum for the powder she uses. Yes, I can get fussy about sambar… and who would have thought I would.. because until the time I set foot into the hostel for my engineering I only had rice with milk.. and side dishes!! shocker isn’t it.. in fact I detested sambar…
Sambar is an integral part of any South Indian’s life, eaten with breakfast/Tiffin dishes like – Idli, Dosa, Vada etc or even with the Famous Mangalorean Buns. It is also eaten with rice for lunch or dinner. Any South Indian Wedding and there would always be Sambar.
This dish is made by different people using different vegetables. I prefer the mix veg sambar as I get to pick what I like 🙂
Steaming hot sambar with a bowl of steamed rice.. and a dollop of ghee over it.. BLISS… before I go on… here is the recipe…
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 25-30 mins
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, Skin peeled & chopped into medium-sized cubes. Forgot to click a picture. Will upload a picture next time I prepare sambar.
Potato – 1 medium-sized, Skin peeled & chopped into medium-sized cubes.
Green Chilli – 2 or 3 medium-sized, slit
Onions – 1 medium-sized, chopped in size similar to the carrots and potato
Drumstick – 1, cut into 3-4 inch pieces
Beans – about 50 gms chopped into 3-4 inch pieces (I did not add beans as I was out of them)
Cauliflower – about 10 medium-sized florets (I did not add beans as I was out of them)
Asafoetida – about a tsp
Shallots/ Sambar onions – 3-4 diced finely
Coriander leaves – 3-4 sprigs, chopped
Curry Leaves – 1-2 sprigs
Tamarind juice – about 50 ml
Tomato (optional) – 1 small, chopped into 4 pieces (I did not use tomato)
Oil – 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Sambar powder – 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – half a tbsp
Garlic cloves – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Chilli powder (optional) – if you want to increase the spice level
Tur dal – about 100 gms washed and pre-soaked for about 15 mins in hot water
Salt to taste
Take about a litre of water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the vegetables like carrots, potatoes and drumstick first as they take the longest to cook. Add salt to taste.
Mean while in a pressure cooker add the soaked tur dal and just enough water so that it covers the top of the dal. Pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles. Keep aside.
When the added veggie’s have just about started getting cooked add the beans, cauliflower, green chilli,tomato and onions.
Once these vegetables are half boiled add the tamarind water. Remember not to add tamarind juice right in the beginning as they will delay the cooking of the vegetables.
Now add the sambar powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
Check if the pressure from the pressure cooker has been released and add the cooked dal to the boiling vegetables and mix well. Reduce the heat to low. Make sure there is enough water because the dal will absorb water and your sambar will tend to get thicker as time goes by. Remember to keep stirring once in a while. Check salt and spice level and add chilli powder or salt accordingly.
Now take a small fry pan to prepare the seasoning. Heat the oil, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add the asafoetida powder and mix. Now add the shallots and fry for a minute or so. Finally add the curry leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Add this seasoning to the boiling sambar.
Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
Goes well with a bowl of steamed rice. Also can be eaten along with a dosa, some hot steamed idli’s or vada.