Wednesday 16 September 2009


There isnt a week which may pass by without preparing a Sambar in any South-Indian home. Its one of those dishes which is complete in nutrition in itself. This is one of the primary dishes in an Onasadhya too. The sambar in Kerala has an unique aroma and distinction to it. The credit goes to the librerally added Asafoetida/Hing and the well roasted Fenugreek/Methi seeds along with Coriander/Dhania seeds. Its truly mouth-watering and very delicious! This recipe which I'm about to share with you has no Coconut...which apparantly is used in every dish of Kerala!!!

Medium sized chopped vegetables- 4 cups (Just about all those vegetables which you may find in the market!)
Cooked Toor dal/Split peas- 1 1/2 cup
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- Few
Tamarind- Lemon sized
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1 tsp (Optional)

For tempering:
Oil- 3 tsp
Urad Dal/Split Black gram- 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly- 1 (Broken into pieces)
Curry leaves- Few
Chopped Onion- 1 large (Optional)

To fry and grind:
Oil- 3 tsp
Methi/Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dhania/Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida powder- 2 tsp
Red Chillies- 3-4
Curry leaves- Few [If you have a tree in your garden, please use liberally :), the aroma which it imparts is irreplaceable ]

In a vessel, heat oil. Add Urad dal, Jeera, Mustard seeds and Red chilly. Once the Mustard sarts to splutter, add the Curry leaves and chopped Onions. Saute them till golden brown. Add all the cubed vegetables. Pour sufficient water for the vegetables to cook. Add Turmeric and Curry leaves and cover with the lid. Let the vegetables cook. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat oil. Add Methi and when they are brown in colour, add Dhania and Red chillies. Fry them for a minute. Now add Hing and the Curry leaves. Fry them well. Grind this into a fine paste. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the Tamarind pulp (extracted in half cup of water), Salt, Jaggery and ground mixture. Let it boil well. Now add the cooked Toor dal and mix well. Let it boil for few minutes. Garnish with Coriander leaves and enjoy this unbeatable taste with hot Rice and Pappadam, Idly or Dosa!

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

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