Sambar is a South Indian staple food which is prepared by cooking lentils and vegetables and blending it with a special spice blend called sambar powder. Almost all vegetables can be used in sambar recipe , but the most popular combination of vegetables in South India is drumstick and brinjal.
Sambar is on every day lunch menu in most house hold in South India and it’s so versatile that it can be used with rice, idli(steamed rice cakes), dosas(Rice flour crepes), chapatthi and roti’s.
Today’s recipe is spring onion sambar.
Toor dhal/pigeon peas – 1 cup
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tspn
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tspn
Garlic pods – 5-6 nos.
Water – 1.5 cups
Cooking oil – 1 tspn(this is for cooking the dhal)
Vegetables – of your choice(I used carrots and ridge guard)
Spring onions – both white and green 1.5 cups
Pearl onions – 8-10 nos.
Tomatoes -1 medium sized
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Sambar powder – 2 tbspn
Red chilli powder – 1 tspn
Tamarind juice – 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Dried red chillies – 2-3 nos
Cumin seeds – 1 tspn
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbspn
Method of preparation:-
1. Soak toor dhal/Pigeon peas for minimun 30 minutes before you cook. Next wash the dhal well and add about 1.5 cups of water, turmeric powder, garlic pods, cumin seeds and oil to dhal and pressure cook it for 2-3 whistles. Adding oil to dhal helps to cook the dhal well.
2. After pressure of the cooker settles down, remove the dhal from cooker and mash it well. Keep aside.
3. While the dhal is cooking you can prep the veggies. Chop the vegetables(I used ridge guard and carrots) and cook them. Once done remove from flame and keep aside.
4. Heat a kadai/wok, add oil to it.TO hot oil add mustard seeds, when the mustard seeds crackle add dried red chillies, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
5. Add white part of spring onions, pearl onions and curry leaves and saute until onions turns translucent.
6. Add chopped tomatoes and saute till tomatoes are soft.
7. Add sambar powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix, let the spice powder cook for about 10 secs. Add cooked vegetables and mix.
8. Add cooked and mashed dhal and mix. Check for salt at this stage.
9. Once dhal starts to boil add tamarind juice and mix. Let it boil up for another 3-5 mins.
10. Finally add green spring onions and mix, let it be on flame for 1 min and then turn off the flame. The green spring onions will get fully cooked with the heat in the sambar.
11. Spring onion sambar is ready. Garnish them with corinader leaves(I did not use coriander leaves garnish, instead used green spring onions). Serve them hot with steamed rice with a side dish like potato fry, beans stir fry/porial, any dish of your choice.