sambar powder

coriander leaf vānghī bāth

25th August 2016


We made this dish in the last ‘Introduction to Meditation & Ayurvedic Cooking’ workshop we held in June.  It is a recipe given to us by Gillian, taught to her by our teacher’s wife – the original recipe uses fresh fenugreek leaves which are hard to come by here in Portugal, so the coriander leaves make a lovely alternative.

The Ayurvedic cooking session is taught in the last part of the workshop, so we all get to share in a blessing together and enjoy the meal we have just prepared.  This Coriander Leaf Vanghi Bath with Indian spices and heaps of coriander leaves is superb, and goes perfectly accompanied by a salad of grated carrot; a big bowl of sliced cucumber and various leaves and flowers picked fresh from the garden. Each workshop is very special and as we partake and teach more and more of them, we become open, confident and efficient in the running of them.  Both days were deliciously warm, sunny and still, so we were able to open up the doors and sit outside during the breaks to enjoy the beautiful presence of nature and the warmth of the sun.

Our next workshop is planned for November and is open to register here.

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coriander leaf vānghī bāth

Use heaped spoon measurements, except when stated otherwise.

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves 3 – 4


1 cup/200g white basmati rice

2 cups/500ml water

3 bunches/155g coriander leaves, chopped

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 tsp sambar powder


¼ cup coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

to serve

raw beetroot, fennel salad with ginger lemon dressing





1.  In a saucepan, wash the rice until the water runs clear, drain and add water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 8-10 minutes, uncovered or until water has evaporated. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.

2.  While waiting for the rice to cool, wash the coriander leaves, dry and chop (including stems) – measuring 3 tightly packed cups.  Measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow the spices to fry evenly.

4. Add the coriander leaves, cook for 1 – 2 minutes, then add coconut, salt, jaggery, tamarind paste and sambar powder, and stir for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. 

coriander leaf vanghibath - 1 (1)

5. Add the cooled rice and combine the rice using a wooden spoon or the right palm of the hand, gently combine, to ensure the rice is mixed well with the spices.

coriander leaf vanghibath - 1

6.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, sugar/jaggery.  Garnish with a handful of extra fresh coriander leaves and serve with a spoon of ghee.


Goodness shared by Stacey

moong dal sambar with green beans

29th July 2015


We have had two teachers here from India teaching the Jivana Yoga Programme which takes part two mornings on the weekends.  They inspire and guide us in the areas of asana, pranayama, Samskrta, Yogic philosophy and Yogic cooking –  but we also learn so much more by just being in their grace-filled presence.

I have enjoyed cooking with Ganapati Aarya (the more senior teacher) as he is very organised and precise, so each recipe we cook is perfected down to how much liquid or grain of salt is required. He also imparts a softness, grace and calmness in any room he enters and in everything he does. At the beginning of each week, we sit and discuss which dish we will be cooking, the benefits of that dish and then a trial of that dish the next day, before cooking it again with the class on Sunday.

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These are just a few things I have learnt in his presence –

– always simmer with the lid off to eliminate any energetic impurities which may have entered the food.

– a pinch of mustard seeds is advised to add to the voggarane to cleanse the food energetically.

– always cook in a state of calm, quiet and good feeling, which will impart the same qualities in the food you will eat and serve to others.

– when passing a knife to others, always place on the ground or table, never directly in their hand as this can create quarrelling.


moong dal sambar with green beans

When we cooked this in the class, the fresh green beans were added at the very beginning to simmer with the dal – I like to add the green beans 10 minutes before the end to keep them vital and fresh.  Any type of green bean can be used.

This dish can be made with seasonal vegetables of choice.  As a guideline, beetroot, cabbage and beans are recommended to be used by themselves, and carrot and capsicum are recommended to be combined with other vegetables.  The mixing of too many vegetables will result in an unsuitable taste when making a sambar.  Instead of the whole mung dal – moong dal split or toor dal can also be used.

This dish is good for all constitutions in all seasons and may be consumed at any time of the day.  It balances kapha, vata and pitta.  Sambar can be eaten with rice, dosa, chapati or pori. 


½ cup/100g whole moong dal 

6 cups water – divided

2½ cups/275g green beans, chopped into small uniformed pieces

1½ heaped tsp fine Himalayan rock salt

2 heaped tsp sugar/jaggery

sambar-coconut paste

2½ tsp sambar powder – moderately spiced

cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp tamarind paste


2 tsp ghee 

½ tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

15 curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  In a medium saucepan, wash the dāl until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 5 cups water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

2.  Add the beans and simmer until the vegetables are soft and dāl has broken down – 30 minutes.  

3.  When the dal has softened, turn off the heat and add salt and jaggery.

prepare the sambar-coconut paste 

4.  Place in an upright blender, the dried coconut, tamarind paste, sambar powder and remaining 1 cup water. Blend into a smooth paste – 1 minute. 

5.  Add the paste to the dal.  Swish the blender clean using liquid from the dal.  


6.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when they turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 1 minute, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly. 

7.  Pour the voggarane into the sambar and allow to simmer for a few minutes. 

8.  Add the coriander and let to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together. Taste adding more sweet, salt or sour. Serve with a drizzling of ghee.


Goodness shared by Stacey

south Indian sambar with vegetables

25th June 2009

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

south Indian sambar with vegetables

Toor Dal is a yellow split lentil with a slightly sweet taste. Try to buy the polished variety, which has a quicker cooking time.  If you do not have toor dal, use split moong dal.  I kept the vegetables chunky to give it real substance. Sambar Powder, jaggery (Indian sugar), fresh curry leaves, and tamarind paste can be bought from any Indian store.

preparation – 45 minutes

serves 3 – 4  


½ cup toor dal or yellow split moong

4 – 6 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)

a handful of beans (finely chopped)

2 heaped Tbsp jaggery/sugar

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

fresh coriander

sambar – coconut paste

1½ heaped tsp sambar powder (or more to taste)

1 tsp tamarind concentrate

¼ cup shredded dried coconut

1 cup water


2 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)


1.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear; add water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, then add the vegetables.

2.  Simmer until the dal breaks down and the vegetables are soft – about 30 minutes.  If it becomes too dry, add a little water.

sambar – coconut paste

3.  Place in an upright blender the dried coconut, tamarind paste, sambar powder and 1 cup water – blend into a smooth paste – approximately 1 minute. 

4.  Pour into the dal and use a cup of the liquid from the dal to swish the blender clean. 


5. Heat the ghee in a small pan; when hot, add the mustard seeds, wait until they splutter and pop, then add the curry leaves and asafoetida.

6.  Pour the voggarane over the dal, add the jaggery, salt – mix and, cover with a lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to come together.

7.  Stir in the coriander. Taste and adjust by adding more tamarind, jaggery and salt.


Goodness shared by Stacey

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