Shital's-Kitchen: Sambhar

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sambhar

While I was checking out my recipes, I realized that I had not published this one! Yes, for most of us Dosas and Idlis are incomplete without Sambhar. So my dosa party series continues :)

Isn't that little copper bucket cute to serve Sambhar?? When we were in Bangalore, we visited a popular restaurant where they serve traditional South Indian food in South Indian style. And, the servers there would carry Sambhar in a stainless steel bucket wandering from table to table pouring hot sambhar on steamed rice.  A delicious comfort food it was! Yes, not just with dosas, but we enjoy sambhar with steaming hot rice and spoonful of fresh ghee. I am sure my South Indian friends would agree to this :)

So what is Sambhar? Sambhar is a lentil soup preparation with veggies and spices. It is not as watery as rasam. As a result, it is a good source of proteins and vitamins and is super delicious too!

I love idlis and wadas soaked in a bowl of hot sambhar.

Ingredients:
1 cup toor dal
1 cup cut drumsticks
1 large potato
1 cup baby onions
1 chopped tomato
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds,
2-3 dry red chillies
4-5 curry leaves
Red chilli powder (to taste)
2-3 tbsp. MTR sambhar masala
Salt to taste.
1 tbsp. tamarind pulp or fresh lime juice.

  • Cut drumsticks into 3 inch pieces and boil with 2 cups of water seasoned with salt and turmeric. I sometimes use cut frozen drumsticks too. Add large cubed potatoes, and baby onions too to cook and get tender. Do not discard this water. It is flavorful and will make your sambhar taste delicious.
  • Meanwhile, wash and pressure cook 1 cup toor dal with 2 1/2 cups water till it is tender. Normally would take up to 3-4 whistles.
  • Blend cooked dal to form a smooth paste. Add smooth blended dal to cooked veggies. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Add 1 chopped tomato
  • To temper: heat 1 tbsp of oil in a tempering pan. Add 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (optional), 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, dry red chillies and fresh curry leaves. Pour hot temper over sambhar.
  • Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of red chilli powder and 2 tbsp. of sambhar powder. Sambhar powder is a mix spice and lentil powder, a specialty from Southern India, and can be purchased from an Indian grocery store. My favorite is MTR brand sambhar powder.
  • Add salt to taste and 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp. I squeeze juice of 2 fresh limes to add to sambhar instead of tamarind pulp. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  • Serve with Idlis and Dosas.
Sambhar and Chutnies: ideal with dosas and idlis.

Drumsticks: are long stalky veggies with rough, stiff outside skin but soft fleshly inside with small seeds. Drumstick with potato curry is always our favorite.
I do like to add drumsticks to my sambhar prep. It adds taste, nutritive value and also improves motor skills as it needs some coordination to break the stacks carefully, and slurp the soft flesh from inside.

Cut into 3 inch pieces and boil with 2 cups of water seasoned with salt and turmeric. I sometimes use cut frozen drumsticks too. Add large cubed potatoes, and baby onions too to cook and get tender.
Do not discard this water. It is flavorful and will make your sambhar taste delicious.




Meanwhile, wash and pressure cook 1 cup toor dal with 2 1/2 cups water till it is tender. Normally would take up to 3-4 whistles.
Blend cooked dal to form a smooth paste. Add smooth blended dal to cooked veggies. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.






Add 1 chopped tomato

To temper: heat 1 tbsp of oil in a tempering pan. Add 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (optional), 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, dry red chillies and fresh curry leaves. Add a pinch of hing/asoefotida. Pour hot temper over sambhar.







Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of red chilli powder and 2 tbsp. of sambhar powder. Sambhar powder is a mix spice and lentil powder, a specialty from Southern India, and can be purchased from an Indian grocery store. My favorite is MTR brand sambhar powder.



Add salt to taste and 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp. I squeeze juice of 2 fresh limes to add to sambhar instead of tamarind pulp. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.


Serve hot with Rice, Idlis or Dosas.
&
ENJOY!

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