Sambar is made regularly in most South Indian homes. Of course, you can easily make sambar with a few ingredients. Let us proceed to the recipe.
Ingredients: (serves one)
Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon
Sambar powder – 1 teaspoon
Toor dhal – ½ teacup or 75ml measure
Onion – small, 1 no, chopped
Tomato – 1no, cut into cubes*
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
Curry leaves – a few (optional)
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 teaspoon (if available)
*You may use other vegetables such as brinjal (egg plant), carrot, beans, capsicum, drumstick or ladies finger instead of tomato.
Method: Wash dhal well and add to the cooker. Add 2 teacups (300ml) of water. Cover the lid and cook on medium flame. Check if the steam escapes through the nozzle, and then place the weight. After pressure builds up and the cooker starts to whistle, keep the fire on for 6 whistles. Switch off the fire. Wait for the pressure to subside and then open the lid. Mash the dhal with a ladle and keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok, add mustard seeds and when they start to sputter add chopped onion. Fry till onion pieces turn transparent. Now add tomato pieces (or the desired vegetable) and sauté for a minute. Add little salt and water. Cover and cook on a low flame till the vegetables are cooked.
Dissolve tamarind paste well in one teacup (150ml) of water. Add sambar powder to the tamarind water and mix well. Pour this mixture into the kadai. Add salt and bring the mixture to boil. Add the cooked dhal, mix well and simmer for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves. You can eat sambar mixed with rice along with plain potato curry. Sambar makes a great accompaniment to dosa, idly and pongal.
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