south Indian sambar with vegetables

25th June 2009

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Sambar is another Indian dish that I regularly make and I serve with dosa or with rice.   You can experiment with any type of seasonal vegetables you have on hand or whatever is abundant in the your garden.  Whole green mung beans can be used instead of the yellow lentils.

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south indian sambar with vegetables

Toor Dal is a yellow split lentil which has a wonderful, slightly sweet taste.  If you do not have toor dal, use red lentils.  I kept the vegetables chunky to give it real substance.  Sambar Powder, jaggery (Indian sugar), curry leaves and tamarind paste (do not use powdered) can be bought from any Indian store.

Serves 3 – 4  

½ cup toor dal

4 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp ghee/oil

1 medium carrot (cut into rounds)

1 medium zucchini (cut into large chunks)

½ red bell pepper (roughly chopped)

handful of beans (finely chopped)

handful of cabbage, roughly chopped

2 tsp sambar powder (or more to taste)

1 tsp tamarind concentrate

½ cup shredded dried coconut

1 Tbsp jaggery/sugar

2 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

salt to taste

fresh coriander

preparation :

Clean, wash and drain the toor dal.  Place the dal, into a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Simmer until the dal breaks down and is soft, about 30 minutes.  If it becomes too dry, just add a little water.   Add the vegetables to the cooked dal and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are soft.

Place in an upright blender, the dried coconut, tamarind paste, sambar powder and the remaining 1 cup of water.  Blend into a smooth paste – approximately 1 minute.  Add this to the dal.  Use a cup of the liquid from the dal to swish around in the blender to clean out any of the remaining sambar – coconut paste.   Set aside.

In a small pan heat the ghee/oil when hot, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida.  Pour the spices over the dhal, mix and cover with a lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to combine.

Add this to the dal with the finely chopped fresh coriander.  If you have kale or spinach in your garden, this is a nice addition as well.  Taste and adjust by adding more tamarind, jaggery and salt.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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