Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mixed Vegetable Sambar ~ Day 38

Sambar is an ultimate comfort food of South India.  This vegetable, lentil stew is made with tamarind juice and spiced with sambar powder.  Sambar powder is a blend of roasted lentils, dried red chilies, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds, ground into a fine powder.  
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

  • Toor dal - 1 cup
  • Tamarind - 1 lemon sized, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Mixed vegetables - 2 cups, roughly chopped (I used Green pepper, Carrot, Purple radish, Eggplant and Chayote squash) 
  • Small onions - 10, peeled
  • Tomatoes - 2, small, chopped
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Sambar powder - 3 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Fresh coriander leaves 
  • Oil - 2 tbsp

  1. Pressure cook toor dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder in enough water for 4 to 5 whistles.
  2. Extract the juice from the soaked tamarind and discard the pulp.  You need about 3 cups of tamarind juice.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan.  Splutter mustard seeds.  Add the curry leaves and small onions and fry until slightly golden and soft.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes.  Cook for until soft. Add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt. Mix well and saute for 1 minute.  
  5. Add the tamarind juice, mix well.  Bring it to a boil, simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Mash the cooked door dal and add it to the boiling sambar.  Stir well.  Let it come to one boil and remove from the heat.
  7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Serve with steamed rice, idli or dosai.

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