Sunday, April 24, 2011

South Indian Sambar

This is a staple dish in a South Indian home and I love it in fact its more tasty than dal to me, Its my first time successfully making it I know that's bad considering my hubby is from Tamil Nadu South India but the other day I saw a wonderful step by step post on Shrivalli's blog Cooking 4 all seasons. She is the wonderful blogger I got to meet in Chennai when I was there last year and for great South Indian recipes she is my go to :-)

Sambar based on Shrivalli's but I maybe simplified it a tad you all know me and added more vegetables, that's the dietitian in me!


  • a green chilli's is sliced in half
  • some dried tamarind about a hand full from Indian store to soak in hot water
  • about 6 small Indian eggplants/brinjals cut into quarters
  • 1/2 a bottleneck squash cubed 
  • about 5 drumsticks - this Indian vegetable is hard to get fresh except from Indian stores, but can also be found frozen in an Indian store
  • 1/2 a red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • sambar powder to taste I use about a teaspoon
  • cumin powder about 1/2 a teaspoon
  • coriander powder about 1/2 a teaspoon
  • about a cup of yellow lentils, dal called toor dal to add to pressure cooker and cook till soft
  • a few curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of mustard seeds
  • a pinch of chili powder

  1. heat some oil in a pan and saute the chili, onion, brinjal/eggplant and bottleneck squash for about 5 minutes
  2. then add the tomato on a medium to high heat and let it reduce down, add cumin seeds
  3. now add the coriander powder and a touch of chili powder
  4. meanwhile add the tamarind to hot water about a cup to get tamarind water, key to a good sambar to give that sour flavor, also add the drumsticks at this point
  5. add tamarind water to vegetables with salt to taste and let it boil for 10-15 minutes 
  6. meanwhile pressure cook your Dal ready to add
  7. add the cooked Dal to the pot with desired about of water, sambar powder and boil
  8. finally heat a little oil and pop some mustard seeds and curry leaves and add to pot 
  9. voila an amazing South Indian classic enjoy great with rice :-)

Anyone had this before? if not give it a try its delicious 

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