Sambhar is a mandatory dish on any vegetarian South Indian dining table.As with any Indian dish ,sambhar has many avatars.It can be made sweet,spicy or sour.You can add any combination of vegetables depending on your taste.We usually make ladies finger and drumstick sambhar(you can also add potato,carrot etc.).The preparation time is about 20-25 minutes.
What you need :
- Toor Dal - 1/2 cups
- Onion or Shallot(chinna vengayam/cherriya ulli)- 1 big onion or 6 shallots atleast
- Tomato - 2 ripe ones
- Ladies Finger - 5 or 6 chopped into halves
- Drumstick - 1 chopped into small pieces(as shown in the picture)
- Curry leaves - a few leaves
- Turmeric - 1/2 tbsp
- Mustard Seed - 1/2 tbsp
- Hing or Asafoetida - a pinch
- Green Chilli - 2
- Tamarind or Puli - a small piece(add more to increase sourness).Soak the tamarind in small bowl of water.We will need the tamarind juice in sambhar.
- Sambhar Powder - home made (ask mummy) or use any store product (we used Eastern Sambhar powder)
- Salt - as per taste
- Pressure cook toor dal with tumeric powder and salt to taste for about 3 whistles.
- Take another cooking vessel.Heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil to it and add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Sauté hing,nicely chopped onion,green chilli,curry leaves and the vegetables(ladies finger and drumstick in this case).
- Ensure the above mixture is well sauted and then add the finely chopped tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes are well cooked , add some water and mix in about 2-3 tbsp of sambhar powder.Cover the vessel with a lid , if you have added any vegetables which takes a long time to cook(eg potato).
- After 5 minutes,ensuring the vegetables are well cooked,add the tamarind juice and cook for few more minutes.
- Finally , add the pressure-cooked toor dal to this.Cook for few more minutes.Garnish with coriander leaves
- Your sambhar is ready to be served with rice / idly / dosa / pongal !!!
Our sambhar looked like this :