Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sambar-Tamil Nadu style

I feel like chronicling anything that my mother prepares. It has a unique taste and aroma that is unparralleled. (I guess, everybody feels the same about their mother's cooking)

Today, I am going to post two of the very basic lunch items of any South Indian(especially tamil nadu) home, namely sambar and rasam. When I make these items, I forget the proportions sometimes. So I am documenting the recipe here so that I can turn back to it anytime I want.

This sambar is to be eaten with rice. My mother also makes a different variety of sambar(exactly like the hotel sambar) to be eaten with idli/dosa/pongal. I will post the recipe for this sambar, next time she makes it.

Generally we put atleast one vegetable in sambar. There are different versions of sambar, where a lot many vegetables are used instead of just one or instead of sambar powder, a paste made of coconut, red chilly and gram dal is used. The recipe I am posting here is a very basic version.

Ingredients that serves 4 adults

Tamarind: lemon size ball(around 10 gms) Tuvar Dal: 150 gms Sambar powder: 1 1/2 tsp(I use MTR sambar powder) Vegetable: I used white pumpkin this time. Other vegetables that can be used are ladies finger, brinjal, carrot, raddish, yellow pumpkin and the list goes on.(See Note below) Salt: to taste Seasoning
Vegetable Oil or Ginelly oil: 1 tsp Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds: 10 seeds Curry leaves: 10 leaves Tomato: 1 medium size Green chily: 1 long Procedure
1. Put tamarind in a bowl and add hot water to it till the tamarind immerses.Allow it to soak in water for sometime.(till you start preparing the sambar) 2. In the meantime, pressure cook dal by adding around 400 litres of water. (Allow 2 whistles) 3. When the dal is cooked, extract juice from tamarind(150 to 200 gms) and keep aside. 4. In a pan/kadai, add oil. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add fenugreek seeds, tomato, green chily and curry leaves. 5. Saute for a minute and pour tamarind juice. 6. Add sambar powder and salt. Stir so that everthing is mixed together. Allow it to boil. Once it is boiled, simmer and keep in the stove for 10 minutes. 7. Add the cooked dal and stir. If the sambar is very thick, some water can be added. Heat in high flame for 2 minutes and put off the stove.

Delicious sambar is ready.

Note: I added pumkin along with the dal for cooking. But vegetables that gets mushy when pressure cooked can be directly put along with the seasoning ingredients and sauted. They will get cooked in tamarind water.

Rasam recipe would follow soon.


  1. please correct the quantity of water needed to pressure cook the dal by adding 400 milliliters of water or 0.4 litre and not 400 litres

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