Sambhar is a hot favorite South Indian curry which is popularly served with idli (rice dumplings) and dosai (a type of Indian pancake). Sambhar is prepared from Indian lentils and vegetables. It is very easy to make and tastes excellent. All one has to do is gather the ingredients together, and go according to the recipe – step by step. Unsweetened or freshly grated coconut is added to sambhar to enhance its taste. A special masala called sambhar masala is added to toor dal with certain vegetables to prepare sambhar. Sambhar masala is available all over India in local grocery shops. South Indians make sambhar masala at home. Sambhar goes very well with boiled rice for the main meals of the day. Idli and dosai are very nourishing and popular breakfast items.
Toor dal – 2 cups
Sambhar masala – 4 tbsps
Chopped eggplant (into neat 2″ cubes) – 1 cup
Chopped potato (into neat 1” cubes) – 1 cup
Pearl onion (peeled and cored – 10 no
Baby okra – 10 to 12 no
Pumpkin – ½ cup
Drumsticks (3” long pcs) – 10-12
A lump of tamarind – about the size of a small ball
Ghee – 3 tbsps
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 8 to 10 no
Freshly chopped coriander leaves – 2 tsps
Dry red chili – 3 to 4 no
Salt to taste
Boil toor dal with sambhar masala with lots of water till tender and soft. Its consistency should be that of a thick soup.
Leave the tamarind to soak in hot water for 10 minutes at least. Then squeeze it properly and remove all juice.
Add the puree to the boiled lentil and mix very well. Add salt and allow it to simmer. Then add the potato pieces, cook till half done.
Now add other vegetables and cook till all are done. Now heat some oil in a pan and add some mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilies.
Fry till the spluttering stops and add to the boiled dal and mix again.
Garnish with coriander and serve piping hot with idlis dosas, vadas or plain boiled rice.