Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Instant Tiffin sambar ~ No dhal or tamarind sambar ~ Side dish for idlis and dosas ~ With stepwise pics

Does the concept of sambar without tamarind, dhal and even sambar powder seem really odd to you. I know it was to me, way back when I first tried this sambar without tamarind or cooked dhal.  I remember the first time I tried it I was so nervous, especially since R loves his sambar and I was afraid that I would mess up big time. But that version of sambar was such a success in our home that I have since been making many variations of no tamarind, no dhal sambar and it still amazes me how genuinely " sambar - like " it turns out each time :)

This version is something I have been making for a while now. This is a perfect accompaniment for idlis (savory steamed cakes ), dosas ( savory Indian  crepes) or with venpongal ( Indian risotto). Since this sambar does not require any cooked dhal or tamarind juice, this is a remarkably quick and easy version. If you have idlis or dosas on your menu this week or weekend, give this sambar a try to go with it and tell me what you think about it :)
Instant Tiffin Sambar ~ No Dhal or Tamarind Sambar ~ 'Dhal-like'Tomato curry


Ingredients and Method to make Instant Tiffin sambar (adapted from this recipe)
For the sambar
1/2 large red onion cut fine ( pyaaz/ vengayam)
2 medium large tomatoes cut fine ( tamatar/ thakkali) (yielded approx 1 and 1/2 cup of cut pieces)
1 large carrot cut fine.
I Tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai/ sarson/ kadagu)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi / manjal podi)
Salt to taste ( namak/ uppu)

Garnish
8 to 10 curry leaves broken into small pieces ( kadi patta/ karvapillai)
2 Tbsp finely cut cilantro ( coriander leaves/ hara dhania/ kothamalli )

To Roast and Grind
1/2 large Red onion cut fine (pyaaz/ vengayam)
2 medium large tomatoes cut fine (tamatar/ thakkali) (yielded approx 1 and 1/4 cup of cut pieces)
1 Tbsp coriander seeds (dhania/ kothamalli virai)
3 Dry red chilies (or to taste) (lal mirch/ molagai vathal)
2 tsp oil 
2 Tbsp Roasted gram ( chutney dhal / fried chana / pottu kadalai )

Heat 2 tsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add coriander seeds and dry red chilies to it and roast on medium heat for about 30 secs or so until aromatic.  Add onion and sauté until it is translucent. Add two tomatoes cut finely and a pinch of salt and stir until tomatoes are cooked and soft.  Remove from heat.


Cool to room temperature and purée this mixture along with 2 Tbsp of roasted gram adding one or two Tbsp of water as required to get a smooth purée. Keep this purée aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds to it, when it splutters add turmeric powder. Stir once or twice quickly . Add onion and sauté until it turns translucent.  Add remaining tomato pieces , carrot pieces, salt to taste and water as needed and simmer until carrots and tomatoes are cooked.

Add purée to this cooked veggies. Add water as required to achieve required consistency and simmer for another couple of minutes. Garnish with curry leaves and cilantro leaves.


Serve this sambar with dosas / idlis or with venpongal. 
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