Sambar is a popular south indian recipe, made with yellow lentil called toor dal and vegetable. You can include vegetables like potato, brinjal, drumsticks, raddish, carrot, chow chow, turnips etc. This lentil gravy often finds its place in my table as side dish for pongal, idli, dosa, vada, plain rice. My choice is always drumstick for sambar that gives you more flavour and tastes more than the other vegetables and also i prefer shallots to prepare this, that gives an extra taste to sambar. And also I use home made sambar podi, my grandma always packs for me, the home made stuffs always tastes much better. In south india there are variations to sambar recipe, here is the method i prepare.
- Split Pigeon Peas - 1 small cup or 2 oz
- Drum stick - 2, cut in 3 inch size
- Shallots - 10 to 15, peeled
- Tomato - 2, chopped
- Dry red Chilly - 2
- Curry Leaves- few
- Sambar powder - 1 tsp
- Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
- Tamarind pulp - 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Wash and soak toor dhal with 2 cups of water for 20 min's and then transfer it to the pressure cooker. Add 2 drops of castor oil and pressure cook for 2 or 3 whistles.
- Heat oil in a deep pan, add fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
- Next add asafoetida to it. Then add dry chillies and saute.
- Then add the shallots, curry leaves and fry till it turns pink in color.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to it and cook till it becomes soft.
- Add the cooked dal and drumstick with 1 cup of water to it and bring it to a boil.
- Add sambar powder, chilly powder, tamarind pulp and salt and cook till the drumsticks are done, say about for 5 to 10 Min's.
- Serve with hot rice.
- You can also pressure cook vegetables along with the dhal.
- Do not add coriander leaves at the end, it will change the flavour, but if you like you can add it finally.
- The tempering can be added finally for sambar or else start with it.
- Add few drops of castor oil or any cooking oil to the dhal and pressure cook it, so that dhal gets cooked quickly.