Friday, August 6, 2010


' Here is Sambar recipe I made to go along with Thosai I made for dinner''

1/2 lime sized ball Tamarind
1/2 cup Toor Dal (or red lentils)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons oil
Salt to taste
5 small dry red chilies (or to taste)
8 Curry Leaves 

1 medium onion (shallots are preferable)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 large tomato chopped
2 tablespoons sambar powder (see note)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (also known as coriander leaves)
1 cup of a vegetables chopped of your choice like green beans, chopped carrots, ladies fingers, egg plant

water 4 cups or more as needed

Soak the tamarind in 1 cup water for 20 minutes. Squeeze it out, adding water little by little to prepare 2cups of juice.

Choose a heavy cooking pot. Wash and clean the dal. Boil 2 cups of water and add the dal, turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of oil. As the dal boils, skim off the foam and discard. Boil until the dal is soft and then mash it coarsely. If needed, add more water as it is boiling but do not let it get too watery. If you use a pressure cooker it will take about 5 minutes. 

In a separate pan, heat to medium and pour in the remaining oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chilies, mustard seeds, fenugreek and curry leaves and saut√© for a minute. Add the onion and brown lightly. Add the tamarind extract and let boil lightly until the onions are cooked. Add this mixture to the dal with tomato, vegetable of choice and sambar powder. Adjust salt to taste. Allow this to boil for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with cilantro. 

Sambar Powder
High quality Sambar powders can be bought pre-mixed at the store. If you do not have that available you can make it yourself by adding the following ingredients: 

1/2 cups coriander seeds
1/2 cups red chilies (or to taste
1/8 cup Bengal gram
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. pepper corn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch ground clove
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder

Traditionally, these ingredients would be broiled separately and ground and stored. Use pre-ground if you desire.

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