Sambar is such a popular South Indian dish that people from the rest of India tag southies as Sambarwalas. No offense meant, had their elders fed them Sambar right from childhood, I'm sure they'd grow up loving Sambar as much as we do. Such a healthy & finger-licking dish!
At home, I make Sambar with Toor dal as well as Moong dal. For now, as I only have the former's click - posting Toor dal Sambar for now. Though I didn't cook Sambar this Morning, I somehow felt a sudden craving for it while working on a cold afternoon - it's 58F outside. As I'm in no mood to cook now, thought I'd satisfy my cravings by just looking at a picture of it that I have. If you have seen the Telugu movie "Ahanaa Pellanta', you'd already know that you can satisfy your tummy by merely looking at a mouth-watering dish. :)
No more chit-chat. Heading straight to the recipe.
- Toor dal - 1cup
- Onion - 1 medium sized
- Tomato - 1 med. sized
- Boiler onions (optional) - a handful
- Sambar Powder - my vote goes to MTR & MDH brands
- Jaggery (optional) - spoonful
- Tamarind juice - spoonful
- Coconut powder (preferably fresh, dessicated is okay too) - spoonful
- Coriander/cilantro for garnishing
- Popu/Tadka - Fenugreek seeds, mustard, jeera, curry leaves & heeng
- Pressure cook the dal with 2 cups water
- Take a thick bottomed vessel (so that dal doesn't burn) and add a cup of water. Don't add a lot of water. After adding all the ingredients in Steps 3-5 below, this is how the contents should appear.
Water should just be sufficient to submerge all the ingredients. Not more.
- Add about 1.5 spoonfuls of Sambar powder, tamarind juice, salt, pinch of turmeric powder, half teaspoon chilli powder, and jaggery.
- Cut the onions into inch-sized pieces. Also chop the tomato and add them both to the vessel above
- Peel the boiler onions and add them too
- Now bring the vessel to a boil. Once water starts boiling, let it continue boiling for 10minutes or so.
- Now add the cooked dal and stir all the contents. At this stage, you can taste it & adjust any of the ingredients in Step 3. Particulary salt, tamarind, sambar powder. If you find the sambar too thick, add little more water.
- Once the sambar starts boiling again, add coconut powder and let it boil for another 5-10 minutes. Stir in between, or else the dal could stick to the bottom and eventually burn.
- Turn off the gas, and add the popu/tadka
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice or Idly.
If the tamarind juice and Sambar powder are added in the right amounts, the end result would turn yummy. You could also add some vegetables like drumsticks, carrot, potato, okra in Step 4.