Friday, June 13, 2008

Mixed Vegetable Sambar

Sambar is a lentil based dish made with split red gram lentil with vegetables and tamarind.It is a staple in most homes in South India and there are many many variations of this dish.Simply put there is no strict way that this dish needs to be made.This tangy and delicious side dish works well when served with rice or savory pancakes or it can be had as a soup by itself.

I tried this particular variation of sambar recently and loved it.The major change from the past was actually a minor one and that was the inclusion of the methi seeds ( fenugreek seeds).That one ingredient seemed to make a lot of difference and provided a subtle flavor that enhanced the taste of this dish enormously.

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make the sambar

1 tbsp channa dhal (yellow split chick pea)
1 tsp methi seeds ( fenugreek seeds)
1 tsp dhania seeds (coriander seeds)
1/4 tsp jeera
4 red chillies (or according to taste)
Tamarind size of gooseberry
3/4 cup of Tur dhal (Red gram lentils)
1 large onion cut into small pieces
1 cup of assorted vegetables cut into small pieces ( I use carrots,peas and beans)
1 1/2 tsp of sambar powder (or according to taste)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 stalk of curry leaves ( optional)
salt to taste
2 tsp of oil
cilantro for garnish.

1.Dry roast the ingredients from 1 to 5 separately until each of them are golden brown.In case of the red chillies until they grow darker red.Keep aside to cool.

2.Once the roasted ingredients are cool,grind this into a fine powder.

3.Soak the tamarind in water for a minimum of about 20 minutes.

4.Cook the tur dhal in a pressure cooker until soft.

5.Extract/press out all the juice/pulp out of the tamarind and throw away the fiber and seeds and keep the juice/pulp aside.

6.Heat oil,add the mustard seeds,when the mustard seeds splutter,add the curry leaves.

7.Add the onion and saute until transparent.Add the rest of the vegetables,the salt and the sambar powder and saute for a minute.

8.Add the tamarind juice and boil until the vegetables are fully cooked.

9.Mash the cooked tur dhal and add to the boiled tamarind juice.

10.Add the ground powder made of the roasted ingredients.Break out any lumps if formed.

11.Adjust water to achieve required consistency.Let it all boil for a minute or two.

Garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with rice and dry curry of choice or with dosa/idli/vadai.Serves about 3-4
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