The first dish I cooked without any supervision from my mom or any adults in that matter is SAMBAR! She was out and I was asked to prepare lunch for four. Back then I didn't have my mom’s sambar recipe and I followed a recipe from a random cookbook. Well, it was edible but “not sambar”!
You may think am over exaggerating, but the most flavourful “vegetarian” dish (all meat dishes are flavourful to me ;) to me is sambar. You have so many elements playing in it, so many spices. And the taste varies for every vegetable you put in it. I have always enjoyed cooking sambar, beautiful aroma coming from it and the tempering is my most favourite part. Pssst, you make ask me what’s the “Big Deal” in this, its just sambar! Yeah, but it is to me. Sambar originates form South Indian Tamil cuisine. Its a staple in almost every house in South India. Everyone have a variation to this, and I promise no two sambar from two houses will taste the same. Even my mom’s and my granny’s.
Best Served hot with rice and this version (My Tiffin Sambar is another version of this) also compliments well with Idly / Dosa.
You Will Need:
1/2 Cup of Toor Dal, Soaked for 10 – 15 mins
2 Cups of Water + Additional of 3/4 Cup to be Added Later
1/4tsp of Turmeric Powder
A tsp of Gingelly Oil
A Cup of Shallots / Sambar Vengayam
2 Medium Sized Tomatoes
2 Long Green Chillies, Broken
1 Small Carrot, Sliced
1 Drumstick, Chopped
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves, Loosely Packed
1 Raw Mango / Maangai, Quartered
1 1/2 tsp of Sambar Powder
Salt to Taste
A tbsp of Tamarind Water (Lime Sized Tamarind Soaked in 2 tbsp of Water)
A tbsp of Gingelly Oil
1/2 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp of Urud Dal
Few Curry Leaves
2 Dried Red Chillies, Broken
1/4 tsp of Fenugreek Powder / Fenugreek Seeds
1/4 Tsp of Hing
In a pressure cooker place the toor dal, water, oil and turmeric powder. Cook on high until 2 sounds, turn off and wait till the pressure releases.
Heat in high add the other ingredients except the raw mango. If you feel the sambar is thick you can add required water. Put the lid on and cook on high till one sound. Now turn off the heat and remove the pressure weight from the cooker. let all the pressure release from the cooker. Open the lid and add the raw mango pieces. Keep the heat on medium low and cook half covered till the raw mango pieces become soft.
For tempering, heat a kadai / wok with oil. Crackle mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, dried chillies, hing and fenugreek powder. Pour half of the sambar into the tadka and stir. Then pour back into the remaining sambar and mix well before transferring to a bowl.
- The reason why you shouldn't add the raw mango along with all other veggies is, raw mango cook easily. When added before itself the raw mango will just melt into the sambar and all that will be left are their skins
- Add water according to the consistency you want the sambar to be. Sambar needs to be bit thick when you serve it with rice. For idly and dosa a bit runny.
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