• Thoor dhal – 1/2 cup(cook with a pinch of turmeric and a tsp of castor oil to get a well mashed dhal)
• Vegetables of choice – 1/4 kg (Drumsticks/Brinjal/Chow chow/Yam)(diced)
• Sambar onions(shallots) – 6 – 10 nos(peel but do not chop)
• Ripe tomato – 1 no(diced to large pieces)
• Green chillies(slit) – 2 nos
• Tamarind pulp – 2 tsp
• Curry leaves – 1 sprig
• Coriander leaves(chopped) – 2 tsp
• Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
• Dry red chillies – 2 nos
• Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
• Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
• Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
• Salt – As reqd
• Groundnut oil – 3 tsp
Dry roast and grind to a fine paste:-
• Black gram – 2 tsp
• Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
• Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
• Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
• Dry red chillies – 4 nos
• Grated coconut – 1 cup
:- You may also make this powder in large quantity without the coconut and store in air-tight container for future use. Just dry roast coconut and grind along with a couple of spoons of this sambar powder whenever needed.
• Heat oil in whichever vessel you want to make the sambar.
• Add asafoetida followed by the onions, green chillies and half the curry leaves, and sauté until the onions become a little transparent and glossy.
• Add the vegetable of your choice and turmeric powder.
• Cook covered until the vegetable is cooked with enough water to cover the veggies.
:- If not adding any veggies, then add more onions.
• Add the tamarind pulp and cook covered until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
• Add the ground paste, jaggery and salt to taste. Add more water if necessary.
• Once the mixture comes to a boil add the cooked thoor dhal, mix well and check for salt.
:- The sambar should not be too thick nor too watery.
• When the sambar just begins to boil, switch off the stove.
:- Make sure you don’t boil the sambar after adding the thoor dhal coz the dhal will lose its soft texture.
• Heat a tsp of oil in a small kadai/wok.
• Add the mustard seeds and once they pop, add the remaining curry leaves and the dry red chillies.
• Pour this over the sambar.
• Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
:- Serve hot with idli, dosa or plain rice.