The way we have lentils or dals in the north India, in the southern parts of the India they have sambhar. Sambhar is a lentil soup made from tuvar dal, mixed vegetables and assorted spices. Sambhar is one accompaniment they have with their breakfast, lunch and dinner as well. Though north Indians are very much aware of the south Indian food and love to have it on a regular basis. But when they try to make it at home it may get a little difficult to get the authentic taste. But today I have come up with a recipe which is probably one of the easiest recipes to make authentic sambhar at home. So without any further exaggeration let’s get started with the recipe.
- Arhar or tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils- 1 cup
- Mixed chopped vegetables- 1 cup (French beans, small onions, tomatoes, okra and pumpkin)
- Tamarind or imli- 1 tbsp. seedless (soaked in water) or 2 tbsp. tamarind paste
- Sambar powder- 1 tbsp.
- Red chili powder- ½ tsp.
- Turmeric or haldi powder- 1.2 tsp.
- Asafoetida or hing- a pinch
- Water- 3 cups. + 2 cups
- Salt to taste
- For tempering or chhaunk-
- Oil- 2-3 tbsp.
- Dry red chili- 2-3
- Mustard seeds or rai- 1 tsp.
- Asafoetida or heeng- a pinch
- Curry leaves- 12 to 15
1. Soak the tamarind in water and keep it aside for 25-30 minutes.
2. In a pressure cooker boil the dal in 2.5 to 3 cups of water for 7-8 whistles. The consistency of the dal should be mushy and very soft.
3. Let the pressure in the cooker settle down and then open the lid. Add the mix vegetables, red chili powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt along with the remaining 2 cups of water to the dal. Mix everything really well and cook for until 1 whistle on medium flame.
4. Let the pressure settle and open the lid. Now add the tamarind pulp and the sambar masala. You can also add some more water at this time if you think that the consistency of the sambar is too thick.
5. Simmer the sambar for 10-15 minutes on a low flame. Don’t forget to stir it at regular intervals so that the sambar does not stick at the bottom. Now turn off the heat.
6. In a small pan, heat up some oil. Add the mustard seeds to the oil. When the mustard seeds start to splatter, add the red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Cook for 7-10 seconds and then add the tempering to the sambhar. Give the sambhar a final stir and your sambar are ready.
7. Serve your sambhar with idli, vada, dosa or steamed rice.