Sambhar is a lentil-based vegetable stew made with tamarind popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines, adapted in each to its taste and environment.
|Preparation Time:||30 minutes|
|Arhar Dal||1 cup|
|Red onion||1 cup chopped|
|Tomatoes||1/2 cup chopped|
|Carrots (gajar)||1 cup chopped|
|French beans||1/2 cup chopped|
|Tamarind paste||1 tsp|
|Sambhar powder||1.5 tsp|
|Butter or clarified butter (ghee)||1 tsp|
|Mustard seeds (sarson)||3/4 tsp|
|Heeng (asafoetida)||A pinch|
|Red chilli powder (lal mirch)||1/2 tsp|
|Whole Red chilli (lal mirch)||2 to 3|
|Kari patta||8 to 10|
- Wash dal a few times in running water.
- Pour it into a pressure cooker. Add 5 cups of water, haldi, salt. Close the lid and wait for the whistle.
- When it starts whistling, reduce the heat. Wait for 5 more minutes. You may have to fine tune the time because it depends on your pressure cooker.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the heat.
- In the mean time, chop the vegetables. Peel and cut drumsticks in 2 inch pieces. Chop onions coarsely. Cut carrots in slices. In a small pan, heat ghee. If using butter, add a few drops of oil to prevent butter from burning.
- Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Wait till they puff up.
- Break whole dried red chilies in 2-3 pieces and add to the butter.
- Quickly add coarsely chopped onions and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add rest of the vegetables and cook till carrots are slightly soft.
- Add chili powder, sambhar powder, kari patta and tamarind paste. Mix them up and turn off the heat.
- Open the cooker after all the steam dies down.
- Pour the vegetable mixture into the cooker and mix. Cook for a couple of minutes till it starts boiling. Turn off the heat. Sambhar is ready. If you want, you can top it with a tadka of ghee and mustard seeds.
- Serve hot with plain boiled basmati rice.
- Some people don’t like the strong aroma of asafoetida. You can always leave it out but it’s very good for digestion.
- Sambhar becomes a little thicker after it cools down.