Yes. Be it with Idly, Dosa, Pongal or plain Rice, its the Sambar that makes you lick your finger. It’s the rich aroma of Sambar that makes you wait at the authentic TamilNadu restaurants. I tell you what? it’s easy to make that same sambar with that same rich aroma and taste, may be even tastier, at home.
I would say, other than the spices, one main ingredient that makes Tamilnadu Sambar unique in taste is Shallots (small onions). In Chennai, people simply call this onions Sambar Onions as if they are born to be used in Sambar. Shallots have a unique flavor than the regular onions. I do not get it in all the shops here in Hyderabad. I get it in one or two hypermarkets. I do visit those markets just to buy Shallots for the week. Seriously, it does worth it.
If I get guests who are vegetarians, I always make Sambar for them because it can never go wrong with my own way of making it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, it suits all.
Also, with all these good veggies loaded with vitamins and protin packed Dal, it sure is a dish that can serve all the nutrients your kids need for the day. If I have served my kids Sambar or Sambar rice with a dash of ghee a day, that means I can peacefully go to bed not worrying about their nutritional needs.
Now, here i present you my own way of making the ever yumm Sambar.
Prep Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 6 to 8
- Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
- Vegetables – 2 cups (Drumstick slit, Carrots, Beans, Brinjal and Cucumber cut into cubes)
- Shallots (Small onions) – 10 in count
- Tomatoes- 2
- Green chillies – 4
- Garlic – 6 to 8 gloves
- Curry leaves
- Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tea spoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tea spoon
- Sambar Powder – 2 Table spoons
- Coriander leaves.
To fry and garnish:
- Mustard seeds – 1 tea spoon
- Shallots (Small onions) – 5, cut into small
- Dry red chillies – 2
- Curry leaves
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Sambar powder – 1/2 tea spoon
- Oil or Ghee
- Take all the cleaned vegetables in a big vessel in which you are going to make the Sambar.
- Add enough water to it. Also add 2 green chillies, 1 tomato and the required salt to this and cook in medium high flame.
- Meanwhile take washed Toor dal, Shallots, 2 Green chillies, 1 Tomato, Garlic Gloves,Curry leaves and hing in a Pressure cooker.
- Add 2 cups of water and close the lid. Leave it for 4 to 5 whistles.
- When the cooker settles, the veggies would also be ready cooked in the vessel. Smash the cooked dal with a ladle and add this to the vegetables.
- Add Turmeric powder and Sambar powder. Add some more salt as we have added earlier only for the veggies.
- Keep this in medium low flame for 5 mins.
- Meanwhile, take oil or ghee in a small fry pan. Add Mustard seeds, sliced shallots, Dry red chillies and Curry leaves one after the other.
- Just when you feel this is ready add the hing and Sambar powders and off the flame.
- Pour this to the Sambar. Add chopped Coriander leaves and switch off.
The rich Sambar you always craved for, is ready, homemade.
I have presented it here with Idlis and Coconut chutney. The best ever combo, you always order first at your favorite restaurants.
Here, with the one and only Pongal!!!
And here, some Ulundhu vadais nicely getting soaked.
Watever it is, I bet you wouldn’t help licking your fingers!!!