Posted by Annita on August 30, 2006
As Onam is approaching,I would like to share some recipes that can be used for Sadya.So thought to start with Sambar itself.Kerala Sambar is very much different from that of its neighbouring states.For us,sambar is also a mixed vegetable dish just like aviyal.My amma usually makes Sambar to finish off the leftover vegetables.
The vegetables mostly added to Sambar are the following :
- Snake gourd
- Okra/Lady’s Finger
- Bottle gourd
- Ash Gourd
- Ivy Gourd(Kovakka)
- Brinjal etc
You don’t have to get all these vegetables to prepare Sambar.The combination and choice of vegetables is purely according to the chef’s taste.And here’s how i make my Sambar…
Mixed Veggies cut into bite sized pieces – 3-4 cups
(I’ve added 1 potato,1 carrot,1 drumstick,1/2 plantain,1 small brinjal,4 okra,1 tomato ,some ivy gourd,snake gourd ,and a few bottlegourd pieces)
Toor Dal – 1 cup
Sliced Onion – 1/2
Green chillies slit – 2
Tamarind – gooseberry sized ball
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tsp(Optional)
Asafoetida(Kaayam) – a pinch
Ghee/Oil to add with dal – 1/2 tsp (Optional)
I don’t use any Sambar Masala.Instead i mix all the following powders and prepare my own sambar masala.
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander POwder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder -1/4 tsp(Optional)
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder – a pinch
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 3
Curry Leaves – a sprig
Oil – as needed
Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water for sometime,squeeze and take the extract from it.Keep aside.Cook the dal in a pressure cooker,adding required water,salt,1/2 tsp of ghee/oil,sliced onion and green chillies.When the dal is done ,remove the lid and add in the tamarind juice and asafoetida ,stir and simmer for some more time ,so that the dal is mashed well.Now throw in the cut veggies and cook till they are done adding water if needed.(No need to pressure cook the veggies as it can be over cooked sometimes).Mix in the sambar powder and simmer for 5-10 mts.Check for salt and add if needed.Add chopped coriander leaves and simmer for 2 more mts.Switch off the stove and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and allow mustard seeds to splutter.Add red chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute.Now add the seasoning to the sambar,mix well and serve hot with Idli,Dosa,vada or steamed rice.
Sambar served with Idli and Coconut Chutney
See Indira’s three-step process of making Sambar here.