A popular south Indian dish made with a mix of vegetables and lentils. Roasted spices and tamarind add a unique flavor to this version from Kerala.
Course Main Course
Keyword curry, Kerala, Lentils, south India, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 45minutes
Servings 4- 6 Servings
1/2CToor dal / Yellow Pigeon Peas
1 1/2CMix Vegetables See Notes
1Drumsticks Cut lengthwise
6- 7 Pearl Onions
2 - 3 Green Chilly To Taste
Tamarind - Marble sizedsoaked in half a cup of hot water for 10 mins
FewCoriander Leaves Optional
To Grind (See Notes)
1/2 CFresh Grated Coconut
2Red ChiliTo Taste
For Tempering (Tadka)
3 - 4 ChiliesSee Notes
If using a pressure cooker, add 1/2 C dal along with 2 C water and cook for 3 whistles. If using a regular pan add the cook the dal and 3 C water together for 20 to 30 minutes until the dal is cooked through. When done it should mash easily.
Prep the veggies
Quarter the tomatoes and chop the coriander leaves .Skin the pearl onions. If panning to use regular onions cut 1 medium sized onion into large chunks. Peel the root vegetables and cut into 1 inch cubes. Cut t he drumstick into 3 inch long pieces. Cut all the remaining vegetables into even pieces of about 2 inches in length.
Make Sambar Masala
Dry roast the coconut in a thick bottomed pan or kadai. Stir often and keep the heat at low
to medium until the coconut turns golden. If using whole spices add them now along with curry leaves. Roast till the coconut turns dark brown. Turn off the heat and add the powdered spices. Set aside to cool. Once cooled transfer to a grinder and grind to a fine powder.
Put it all together
In a frying pan drizzle about 1 of coconut oil and add the ladies finger, stir fry for a minute and add the pearl onions. Saute the onions till the outer skins become translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and saute for 1 minute.Add the tamarind water and the cooked dal and 1/2 Tsp of salt . Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and add the spice powder . Mix well , taste and adjust salt. Add the tomatoes and let it simmer slowly until desired thickness is reached. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top.
Make Tadka (Tempering)
In a small pan heat the coconut oil for tempering . When hot add the remaining ingredients listed under tempering. When the seeds splutter and the onions are fried pour the mix over the sambar. Mix just before serving .
A mix of vegetables like carrots, eggplant, cucumber, gourds, and yams can be used in sambar.
When making the roasted masala use either whole or ground spices. When substituting ground spices for whole use double the amount of whole spices.
For tadka often times dried red chilies are used, though I prefer to use green chilies.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/varutharacha-sambar/ .