August 22, 2015


Sambhar is a traditional South Indian dish. I am not sure which state it belongs to - Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu seems to have adapted it as per their flavors and taste. It adorns the banana leaf for the festivities in each of the states. Sambhar is a popular dish for Onam as well and again the taste differs from the north to the south of Kerala. Here is an easy recipe for Sambhar, if you are hunting for one. 

The recipe was sent by Vinitha, my cousin. She is a wonderful cook, probably inherited our grandmother's cooking traits. We have had our fair share of cooking experiments together during the summer vacations at school.

Here is the recipe she has for you - 


Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Kaayam/Hing/Asafoetida - 1 small piece
Onion - 1 sliced lengthwise
Lady's Finger - 4 sliced
Potato - 2 medium sized sliced
Brinjal - 1 medium size sliced
Carrot - 1 sliced
Green Chilly - 2 slit
Tomato - 1 medium sized sliced
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized ball
Sambhar powder - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For Tempering 

Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp
Red Chilly - 2
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Shallots/Sambhar Ulli - 2 tsp chopped
Pressure cook the dal with salt and turmeric powder.Soak tamarind in warm water for about 15 minutes and strain the water. Keep this aside.In a skillet, heat oil and saute the kayam for a minute and then add the onions. Once the onions are slightly cooked, add all the vegetables except tomato . Saute it for few minutes and pour the excess water from cooking the dal into the vegetables and let it boil on low flame covered. Add a little bit of salt and turmeric powder to the vegetables. While it begins to boil, add sliced tomato, cooked dal and the tamarind water. Let it boil. Add the sambhar powder, mix well and let it boil. Once the potato is cooked, switch off the flame. In another pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter, add shallots, saute it well till translucent. Then add the red chilly and curry leaves. Pour it onto the hot sambhar and mix it well.Yummy yummy sambhar ready!

You may also note - 
  • Add any veggies as per your choice. Each veggie may have a different cooking time, so you may add the vegetables one after the other. I also love using drumsticks and cucumber in my sambhar.
  • It is a great way to have lot of veggies at one go.
  • Avoid pressure cooking the veggies, it may get overcooked.

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