I have already given the recipe for Sambar Masala Powder in an earlier post. Now it's time to prepare the sambar. South Indian need sambar as an accompaniment with a wide variety of dishes. Most are breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa, Medu Wadai etc. It is also an important part of a meal. The taste of hot steaming rice with the fragrant sambar poured on top is an experience that cannot be put into words.
For some reason Sambar like Ma Ki Dal tastes better when a day old.
Red Gram Dal (Tur Dal) : 1 cup
Fresh Green Chillies (slit) : 2 nos.
Tamarind : 1 Tbsp.
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : 1/2 Tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.
Sambar Masala Powder : 2 Tbsp.
Potatoes : 2 medium sized
Onions : 4 small, peeled and kept whole
Brinjals : 2 medium sized
Drumsticks : 2 nos. cut into 2" pieces
Red or White Pumpkin : 150 gms.
Cauliflower : 100 gms.
Fresh Coriander : 2 Tbsp.
For Tadka :
Oil : As Required
Mustard Seeds : 2 tsp.
Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch
Curry Leaves : 8 - 10 nos.
Wash the dal and then add the slit green chillies to it and cook till done. Cut the brinjals, potatoes, cauliflower and pumpkin into 1" pieces. Then parboil the vegetables and drumsticks in salted water. Take care, so the vegetables are not completely cooked as we have to simmer them in the sambar. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes and then strain it to remove any fibers and pits.
Now in a pot, take the dal and add the tamarind pulp to it. Make a paste of the turmeric, red chilli and sambar powders and add to the dal. Keep the pot on simmer and add the vegetables. Now simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
Tadka : In a tadka pan, add oil and heat it. When the oil is hot, add the asafoetida and mustart seeds and let them crackle. Then add the curry leaves and pour this tadka over the dal. Mix well and remove from heat.
P.S. : Adding a few drops of oil to the dal helps to cook it quickly.