My dad's first line when mum starts cooking sambar is ' sambar inge ukkarungo' :) He is the biggest sambar fan in the planet. He appreciates me trying new versions of the classic like palakkadan, kozhikkodan etc etc. My son has taken to his appappan's palate and luvs sambar esp if it's with dosa. I can virtually eat it with anything at all - rice, dosa, idli, upma, idiyappam and chapati.
A variety of vegetables can be used in an avial, which includes drumsticks, yam, raw banana, ash gourd (kumbalanga), aubergine (vazhuthananga) and more recently carrots, potato and cucumber.
Ideally sambar needs to be cooked in an open pot which takes a lot of time. I go for the quick pressure cooker version when I have less time. I know daddy this version is not ur favourite. :(
Presented here is a simple lazy version of sambar featuring Ann's kerala sambar powder. For more recipes about how to prepare home-made sambar spice mix, watch this space.
Vegetables - 250 g
Tomato - 1 large cubed
Shallots - 5 - 6 whole
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Daal/ lentils - 1/2 cup, sambar parippu is ideal but any daal would do
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp if india-made or 2-3 tsp of uk-made
Sambar powder - 3 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp if recently bought or 1 -2 tsp if old :)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Dried red chilli - 2
Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
- Cook daal in about a litre of water with turmeric and salt in a pressure cooker. Turn off heat at the first whistle. Wait till pressure reduces and open the cooker.
- Add the veggies with tomatos and shallots to it, turn on heat and again switch off heat at the first whistle. Wait till pressure reduces and open the cooker.
- Heat sambar powder with asafoetida in a small pan till aroma of oils hit ur nose. Remove, mix it in a little water with tamarind and add it to the cooked veggie-lentil mix.
- Heat oil in a small pan and splutter mustard seeds and dried red chilli. Pout this on top of ur sambar.