Sambar is a lentil-based dish loaded with vegetables, flavored with spices specially sambar masala, tempered with mustard seeds; curry leaves, red chilies, etc. It is a South Indian preparation and a must accompaniment with idli, dosa, vada, etc. This particular recipe brings to you a sambar that can be prepared when you are in a jiffy. I have not used any vegetables as I use this Sambar Recipe when the refrigerator is empty and the clock is clicking ;). I make Easy Sambar Recipe using this recipe and serve it with idli/dosa made using the ready-made batter easily available at the nearby store or steamed rice. I often make mini rava idlis for kids.
Amy (my 10 years old daughter) never liked sambar. Until one day when she had it at my friend’s place. I asked her “what all did you add to the sambar?” she gave a very cheesy reply “love” :D. Anyways when she shared the recipe I was shocked to see how simple and easy it was! The list of sambar ingredients was so short. And the method was so simple.
Dal: Arhar dal is the basic dal needed to make sambar. Generally, vegetables are added while making sambar. This recipe only calls for dal. However, you can always add in the vegetables of your choice.
Tamarind: I love to use tamarind pulp as the souring agent. You can use kokum, instead. Further, you can add in more or less than the mentioned quantity, depending upon your taste.
Spices: The sambar has been tempered with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. And it has been flavored with the indispensable sambar masala powder.
I love a bowl warm of sambar, along with rice or idli, for my comfort meal. Have you ever tried rasam. It is so soothing. And if you like your curries loaded with veggies, you might like sindhi kadhi recipe.
Serve it hot with soft idlis for a weekday lunch.
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 20 minutes
To pressure cook sambar
1. Pressure lentils with other ingredients
Pressure cook ¾ cup split pigeon lentils along with 2 medium whole tomatoes, salt to taste, ½ tsp turmeric powder, a handful of curry leaves, 1 tbsp sambar masala, 3 cups of water for 1 whistle and thereafter for 10 minutes on low flame. Once the pressure of the cooker releases, the lentils will be absolutely soft and the tomatoes will be mushy.
2. Strain the pressure cooked lentils
Place a sieve on a large bowl. Strain the pulp of the tomatoes. Discard the skin and seeds. Pass the cooked lentils through that sieve and add to the pureed tomatoes. Add 2 tbsp tamarind pulp.
3. Prepare the tempering
Heat 2 tbsp oil. Once the oil is hot add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add ¼ tsp asafetida. Add ½ tsp fenugreek seeds. Once they darken, switch off the flame. Add handfulof curry leaves and 2 whole dry chillies. Put on the flame and add 1 medium sliced onion. Cook till the onion turns brown. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tbsp sambar masala powder. Cook for 30 seconds on low flame. Switch off the flame. Pour hot tempering on the strained lentil mix.
4. Bon appétit
Serve hot sambar with soft idlis, dosa, vada or rice.
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