For sambhar there probably isn’t a single foodies in India who hasn’t tasted this dish. In fact, given the popularity of South Indian food in Australia, we’re sure foodies there have given it a go more than once.Whether you like your idlis or dosas dipped in this dal, or prefer it on your steamed rice or tamarind rice, a bowl of sambhar is a must on every South Indian platter. The wholesome dal is basically about three things–the toor dal, the tamarind, and the unique spice mix. And of course, you can add as many veggies you want in it.
It is this amazing mix that makes this dish so festive. So if you’re planning a Tamil New year or Vishu feast tonight, make sure you get the sambhar right with our authentic recipe
Sambhar Spice Mix
15 dried red chillies, dry roasted(sookhi laal mirch)
1/2 cup coriander seeds, dry roasted(dhaniya)
1/3 cup curry leaves(kadi patta)
2 tbsp cumin seeds, dry roasted(jeera)
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds, dry roasted(methi dana)
2 tbsp bengal gram or chana dal, dry roasted
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds, dry roasted
1 tbsp black gram or urad dal, dry roasted
1/2 tbsp asafoetida(hing)
1 tbsp black pepper, dry roasted(kali mirch)
1/2 tbsp turmeric(haldi)
Put all the ingredients in a mixie, and ground them to a fine powder. Transfer this powder into a sealable jar, and store it in the refrigerator or in a cool place.
INDREDIENTS FOR SAMBHAR
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup masoor dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder(haldi powder)
4 cups water
5 tbsp sambhar masala
1 medium-sized carrot, chopped
5 small brinjals, chopped(bangan)
1 large onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium-sized potato, chopped
4 drumsticks or sahjan, chopped
1 tbsp tamarind, soaked and pulped
2 tbsp oil
4-5 curry leaves(kadi patta)
1/2 tsp asafoetida(hing)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Salt, to taste
Method to make sambhar
1. Rinse both the dals well, and put them in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and three cups of water. Cook the lentils for 5-6 whistles, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large wok, and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Let the tempering crackle, then add the onions and saute.
3. Now add the other vegetables, and cook them for five minutes. Add salt and let the mix cook for a few minutes.
4. Pour the remaining one cup of water, along with the tamarind pulp, and mix everything together. Bring the broth to a boil, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or till the raw smell of tamarind is gone. The vegetables should also be done by this time.
5. Stir in the sambhar masala and cooked dal, and let the whole sambhar simmer for 10 more minutes, or till you get the consistency you want. Serve the sambhar hot, with rice, idli, or dosa.
Making sambhar is actually very easy, and once you get used to it, you can actually whip it up in no time. You can lessen or increase the number of veggies according to what you have readily, but the tamarind, two dals, and the sambhar masala is a must.
This festive little dal isn’t just going to make sure that you have an auspicious beginning to the year. Have at least one bowl of sambhar every day, and you’ll have a happy new year indeed.