I would really call sambar as the ultimate comfort food of a South Indian. Why not? We would have sambar with everything. Recently, I discovered that sambar went amazingly well with porottas too! If you are wondering what a “sambar” is, it is a South Indian stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables and lots of spices.
I had mentioned in this post that I am not fond of store bought sambar powders. Each brand tastes different and somehow I don’t seem to like any. I prefer to make my own little batch each time I make my sambar. When I discovered that we had our own version of making sambaar using roasted coconut paste, my joy had no bounds. Umma was never aware of a version like this, so I never grew up with one. I have adapted this recipe from many sources so can’t pinpoint just one. This is now one of my go-to sambaars whenever we make rice or idlis at home. It is just amazing, so flavorful and has a wonderful aroma.
You can use any vegetables you like, use a single vegetable, or use all that you have leftovers in your pantry. For my little family, a box of precut sambar vegetables off the supermarket aisle serves best. I have tried everything – there are times when I have picked up one of each vegetable to make sambaar. Hehe… 😀 The problem is that way, I end up having a huge pot that doesn’t get over even in three days. That’s why I decided to go this way. Try it out and hopefully you will keep making it again and again. 🙂
Linking this post to the event MLLA #103 happening on the blog till month end, conceptualized by Susan and hosted by Lisa… Do participate by linking your lentil and legume recipes posted this month if possible! 🙂
Varutharacha Sambar ~ Malabar Style Mixed Vegetable Lentil Stew
- FOR LENTIL:
- 1/2 cup toor dal pigeon lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 green chillies slit
- FOR PASTE:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida hing
- 2 dried red chillies
- 3-4 shallots chopped
- 3/4 cup coconut
- FOR SAMBAR:
- 500 gm sambar vegetables okra, tindora, pumpkin, potato, ladyfinger, drumstick, carrot
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 to mato chopped
- 1 lime sized tamarind soaked in 1 cup hot water
- A pinch asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- FOR TEMPERING:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 5-6 dried round red chillies
- Combine all ingredients under "for dal" in a pressure cooker and cook for one whistle on meduim flame. Switch off and allow the pressure to go.
- In another pan, add the vegetables, onion and tomato with a cup of water and salt and cook on low flame till vegetables are 80% done.
- Squeeze out the water off the tamarind and discard the remains. Set aside.
- For making the roasted coconut paste, in a frying pan, heat oil. Fry the fenugreek and coriander seeds briefly.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and fry till the coconut becomes crisp and golden brown.
- Allow to cool and then powder it smooth. Add a little water and make it paste like. Set aside.
- Once the vegetables are almost done, add in the cooked dal, the ground paste, tamarind water and asafoetida.
- Cook on simmer for 10 minutes or till vegetables are completely cooked. Adjust salt and switch off.
- For tempering, In a small saucepan, heat oil, splutter the mustard seeds.
- Briefly fry the curry leaves and red chillies before adding to the sambar.
- Allow it to stay on closed lid for around 10 minutes for flavors to intermingle.