Friday, 2 May 2014

Arachu vitta sambar (அரைச்சு விட்ட சாம்பார்)

Arachu vitta sambar (அரைச்சு விட்ட சாம்பார்) is a traditional sambar preparation that is different from the standard recipe. Ground masala paste gives a specific flavor to this sambar. 

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Tamarind – the size of a small lemon
Toor dhal – ¾ of a tumbler or 150 ml measure
Vegetables – cut into large pieces *
Sambar powder – 2 tablespoons
Jaggery – half teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds, split urad dhal – ½ teaspoon each
Methi seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few
Coriander leaves – finely chopped, 1 tablespoon 

To be ground into a fine paste:
Bengal gram – 1 teaspoon
Coriander or dhania seeds – 2 teaspoons
Coconut – grated, 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida – a pinch

*Ash gourd (white pumpkin), yellow pumpkin, brinjal, drumstick or sweet potato may be used, either alone or in desired combinations. It is preferable to use radish alone as it has a specific flavor.
Arachu vitta sambar (அரைச்சு விட்ட சாம்பார்) made with radish and chow-chow
Method: Wash toor dhal well, add 400 ml (two tumblers) of water, and pressure cook for 6-7 minutes (6-7 whistles). Soak tamarind in warm water. Heat little oil in a kadai and fry Bengal gram dhal and coriander seeds till the gram turns golden brown in color. Add asafoetida to the kadai and switch off the stove. Once cool, grind the fried ingredients with coconut into a smooth paste and keep aside. 

Heat remaining oil in the kadai, add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter add split urad dhal, methi seeds and fry till the dhal turns golder brown. Add the cut vegetables and required salt. Cover and cook on low flame. Meanwhile, squeeze the tamarind and extract the juice. Add the sambar powder and jaggery to the tamarind juice, mix well and keep aside. Once the vegetables are done, add the tamarind juice mixture and bring it to boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 1-2 minutes. Mix the dhal using an ordinary hand blender or a ladle till it is soft and uniform in consistency. Add the dhal to the boiling kuzhambu and mix well. Add salt to taste and bring it to boil. Dilute the ground mixture with little water and slowly add to the boiling kuzhambu, while stirring continuously. Let it boil for a minute or two, and then switch off the fire. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and curry/kootu/ appalam. 

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