Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sambar - My favourite

Wow....This is one of the perfect dishes for a Weekend. In fact this is one of my Husband's fav dishes(ofcourse among those that I make). I still remember my childhood days, when my grandmother almost used to make this every night for dinner. All summer holidays were spent at my ammamma's place. There used to be power cut from 6 to 7.30 in the evenings...(oh that was horrible to have power cut during that time) and that was the time when I used to have my dinner. Hot steaming rice + mouth watering Sambar with Pappad / vadiyam.....Ooooooo......excellent combination.....

Here goes the recepie.....

Ingredients: -

1 cup Toor Dal
1 - 2 Juicy tomatoes - cut in big pieces
1 carrot cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium size brinjal cut length wise
2 big drumstick - cut into 3 inches length
medium chuncks of bottle gourd pieces
two medium size onions cut into big chunks
1 lime size tamarind soaked in hot water
4 - 6 green chillies slit length wise
ginger + garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Sambar powder 1 tbsp
Popu ingredients(chanadal, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli pieces and curry leaves)

Procedure: -

1. Wash Toor Dal in water and pressure cook for 4 - 5 whistles. This makes Dal very soft. Let the Dal be cooled

2. Soak one lime size tamaraind in hot water about 1 cup. Leave it for 10 min so that tamarind pulp can be extracted easily.

3. Select the vegetables as per the taste and cut them into desired sizes. Usually I prefer the pieces to be cut into big chuncks. I used tomato, brinjal, carrot, drumsticks and bottle gourd pieces. I see to that atleast tomato, brinjal, carrot vegetables are there when I am making Sambar. Infact onion and chilles also should be by default.

4. I also pressure cook drumsticks for only one whistle. This makes them soft enough for the Sambhar so that inside of it is properly boiled.

5. Make ginger garlic paste. Take 1/2 inch ginger and two cloves and grind the combo to a smooth paste using a mortar. I prefer home made ginger garlic paste than the packeted one since the aroma of home made is so different from the other.

6. One take a big pan, heat oil and add the (chanadal , urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli pieces and curry leaves. Now add onion pieces, green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Saute it for two min. Add carrot / brinjal / bottle gourd piece / drum sticks and saute for 5 - 10 min on low flame until the veggies are half cooked. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, salt per desired taste.

7. While the veggies are getting cooked, extract the tamarind puld by squeezing of the soaked tamarind. And put the extracted tamarind water into the half boiled veggies. Also add tomatoes at this point and it boil for 10 - 15 min on medium flame.

8. I mash the dal that was already cooked in a mixie putting 1/ cup of water. Some prefer to smash the dal using hand......

9. Once the veggies along witht the tamarind water is boiled properly, put the dal water also and let it boil for 10 more min on medium flame. Add one 1tbsp of Sambhar powder. This will bring the real aroma of the Sambhar......Also add chillie powder if needed....Just before putting off the heat, add the coriander leaves.......Excellent with rice / idlies / vada...

How is my Sambhar looking ;-) Ofcourse I cannot ask for the taste of it......Probably you should try it out and tell me how it goes....