Monday, May 6, 2019



The popular South Indian accompaniment called Sambar made with lentils and vegetables can be prepared in different ways. Sambar, which is served with steamed rice, forms an integral part of the traditional South Indian meal.

One method of making sambar is by adding the sambar powder ( which in turn can be either made at home or bought out) while the other is by freshly grinding the spices and coconut gratings to be used in the sambar.

The second type of sambar in which the masala is made with ingredients that are freshly ground is called Arachuvitta Sambar in Tamil. This can be made with one or more vegetables.

Today's recipe has been adapted from Arachuvitta Sambar from the popular website Subbu's Kitchen.

  • Split Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal), 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind, size of a small lemon 
  • Sambar Onions/ Baby Onions, peeled, 10-12
  • Small-sized Tomato, 1
  • Drumstick, 1
  • Carrot, 1
  • Potato, 1
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Asafoetida, (Hing), 1/8 tsp 
  • Coriander Leaves, 2 tbsp for garnish
To Be Roasted & Ground To A Paste : 
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 tbsp
  • Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal), 1 tbsp
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Byadgi Red Chillis, 6
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Oil, 1 tsp
For Seasoning: 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Slit Green Chilli, 1
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Oil, 1 tbsp 

Wash the vegetables. Cube the carrot and potato, chop the tomato, and peel and cut the drumstick into 1" pieces
Soak the tamarind in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes and extract the juice. Keep aside
Wash the toor dal and pressure cook adding a little turmeric powder and the required amount of water for about 3-4 whistles or till the dal is fully cooked
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and mash it. Keep aside
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and on medium heat roast the Coriander Seeds, Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal), Peppercorns, Fenugreek Seeds, Byadgi Red Chillis, till the dal changes colour and the chillies become crisp
Allow them to cool and transfer to a small mixer jar
Grind these roasted ingredients along fresh coconut gratings to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside
In the same pan, heat oil again and on medium heat add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the slit green chilli and the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
To this add the sambar onions, and saute till they turn translucent
Now add the chopped tomato, potato, carrot and drumsticks
Saute for a couple of minutes, add water and cook till they are half done
Add the tamarind extract and the asafoetida and cook till the raw smell goes
Next add the mashed dal, mix well, and bring to a boil
To this, add the ground paste and mix well
Adjust the consistency of the sambar by adding water as required and cook for another 2 minutes
Lastly, garnish with coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed rice and pappadams

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