20 November 2014

Sambhar (Type I)

Sambhar, the ultimate accompaniment for Dosas and Idlis. Sambhar, a lentil preparation that's prepared in so many forms across South India. Some use tamarind, some use only tomatoes, Udupi style, made with ground spices or just ready-made Sambhar powder, the list is almost endless and delicious.

Following are 2 variations that we usually make at home, one by grinding fresh spices and the other slightly simpler as it uses Sambhar powder.

TYPE I (Using Ground spices)
[Type II using Sambhar powder can be found here]

Ingredients :
Oil - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds (Sabut Dhaniya) - 2 tsps
Dry Red Chilies - 3
Asafoetida powder (Hing) - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsps
Tomato - 1 small
Split Bengal gram (Chana dal) - 1 1/2 tsps
Split Pigeon peas (Arahar dal) - 1/2 cup
Boiled/Blanched vegetables of your choice - typically drumsticks, capsicum, white radish or Knol Khol(Kohl Rabi). If using capsicum, you can directly cook it in tamarind water, no need to pre-cook.
Tamarind - lemon size portion
Salt to taste

Tempering :
Mustard seeds (Rai) - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek (Methi)seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame (Til) Oil - 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder (Hing) - pinch
Curry leaves - as required

Method :
1. Pressure cook arahar dal with a little turmeric powder. Extract tamarind juice using water as required, we need about 1 1/2 cups.

2. Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small pan and roast coriander seeds, dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds and chana dal till golden brown. Take care not to over-roast.

3. Now add hing and coconut bits. Stir once and remove. Let cool. Grind in a mixer along with 1 small tomato. Keep aside.

4. Use a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the tamarind extract to it. Add salt to taste, curry leaves and if using capsicum, add it as well. Let simmer on low flame till raw aroma leaves the tamarind extract. (roughly 7-10 minutes). If using other cooked vegetables(minus capsicum) add them at this point.

5. Add the ground spices paste and stir. Check salt. Now add the cooked pigeon peas/Arahar dal and stir well so it becomes a homogeneous mixture.
Note : If consistency is slightly runny, dissolve 1 tsp rice flour in 2 tsps water and add to the sambhar. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes more and switch off the gas flame.

6. For tempering, heat 1 tsp oil and add mustard seeds, let crackle. Add methi seeds and give it a very quick stir taking care not to let the methi become too brown else it will spoil the overall taste. Add hing and curry leaves. Remove and pour over the sambhar.

Transfer Sambhar to the serving bowl and garnish with dhaniya leaves. Serve as desired.


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