Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sambar (simple and easy cooking)



          Sambar with rice is one of the main courses of both formal and everyday tamilian cuisine. It is also prepared in other parts of southern India with mild variations. Often served by pouring it over steamed rice, best accompanied with curries and appalam.
1 cupToor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu,soak for atleast 1 hour)
1 noOnion (cut lengthwise)
1 cupChoice of vegies (carrots, radish,drumstick,beans,okra,brinjal))
2 nosTomato
1 noGreen chilli
3 cloveGarlic
3 tspTamrind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/4 tsp)
3 tspRed chilli powder
2 tspCorrainder powder
¼ tspTurmeric powder
2 tspSambhar powder (store bought gives good color)
2 tspSalt (or to taste)
2 tbspOil
½ tspMustard
½ tspCumin seeds
¼ tspFenugreek seeds
2 nosDry red chilli
½ tspAsafoetida powder
7 nosCurry leaves
3 cupWater
1 stksCorrainder leaves (chopped for garnishing)


          Wash and soak Toor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu ) in water for atleast 1 hour. Then pressure cook it with little salt until you get 3 to 4 whistles from your cooker. Once done and when the pressure releases, open and mash it immediately with spatula or blend well and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida, let them splutter, then add Onions, greeen chilli , garlic, tomatoes, all the vegies except okra(Ladies finger) and fry them for few minutes. To this add tumeric powder, red chilli powder and dhania powder and pressure cook them with salt and 1 cup of water. Do not pressure cook ladies finger this may turn the sambhar very mushy and sticky, so instead, shallow fry them seperately in a pan and keep aside. Now transfer all the contents to a regular deep sauce pan, mix cooked dhal or paruppu , tamrind pulp , sambar powder and  salt, bring it to a boil and reduce to simmer. When it reaches desired consistency garnish with corrainder leaves.



1 cupDhal water (Boiled dhal water)
1 noTomato (small)
3 tbspTamarind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/4 tsp)
1 tspRasam powder
1 noDry red chili
½ tspCumin seeds
¼ tspMustard seeds
6 nosCurry leaves
1 tspOil / ghee
1 tspSalt (or to taste)
1 cupWater
4 stksCoriander leaves
1 pinchTurmeric
¼ tspAsafoetida


          Crush and squeeze the tomato in one cup of water.  To this, add tamarind juice, pinch of turmeric, asafoetida, rasam powder, salt, dhal water and chopped coriander leaves. Mix everything and keep aside. Now heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chili. Add the roughly chopped pearl onion and fry for few minutes. When they turn translucent, add the pre-mixed tamarind dhal water. Bring it to one boil and swtich off.


          Dhal water (Pressure cook 1/4 cup Toor dal with 2 cups of water. Drain the water and use it for rasam and use the cooked lentil for making sambar). You may also add cooked dhal to this rasam.
Yield 4 servings.
Rasam Powder
2 nos       Dry Red Chili
2 Tbsp     Coriander seeds
1 tsp        Black peppercorns
1 Tsp       Cumin seeds
1 Tbsp      Bengal gram(senega pappu/kadalai parupu)
1/2 Tbsp   Split Red gram(thuvaram paruppu/kandi pappu)
          Dry roast each item separately and ground to a coarse powder. Use just a tsp of this for the above recipe and store the rest for future use. 

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