Thursday, October 25, 2012


This is the main soupy dish that South Indians mix with rice and eat with curries. I have made it a few times now, this is Mahesh's mother's recipe and when I make it it tastes pretty similar to her delicious sambar. 


-- 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
-- 1 cup toor dal
-- 2-3 teaspoons oil
-- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
-- 3 curry leaves (optional)
-- heaping 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
-- 2 big dashes asofetida
-- 2 1/2 - 3 teaspoons Tamarind paste
-- 4 teaspoons or 1 heaping Tablespoon sambar power (a mixture of red chili powder, coriander powder, tumeric, black pepper, cumin, fenugreek, toor dal, and black gram or channa dal)
-- 2 teaspoons salt
-- 2 cups of any vegetables you want, eggplant, okra, buddah's hand (cherimoya squash), onion, radish, carrots, green pepper, etc.
-- 1 handful cilantro
-- 2 teaspoons sambar spice (different from sambar powder, has the following in it: coriander, channa dal, chili, asofetida, cumin)


1. In a medium high-walled metal dish, mix tumeric powder with toor dal, soak it 30 minutes, or 10-15 minutes with hot water. Then, put 1-2 inches water into pressure cooker, add the container with the toor dal, water, and tamarind mixture, cover and cook for 3 whistles or until dal is soft. If it doesn't get soft, grind in mixee.

2. Add oil to pan on stove, heat over medium heat. When hot add in mustard seeds, cook until they pop. Add asofetida powder, curry leaves if using, and methi, cook until methi gets a little brown. NOTE: If you are making onion sambar, you can add in the onions now and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the raw smell of the onion goes away.

3. Add 3 1/2 - 4 cups of water and vegetables to pot, then tamarind paste, then salt, then sambar powder, cook until vegetables are cooked through, maybe 10 - 15 minutes.

4. Add the cooked toor dal (approx. 2 1/2 cups) and sambar spice to the pot. Cook 5 more minutes or until it reaches proper consistency, then add minced cilantro, turn off stove.

forgot to add the cilantro for this photo

NOTE: When making sambar for dosa, don't use as much dal, and less vegetables -- maybe just a little onion, maybe add a tiny bit of jaggery.

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