This is the original way in which sambar is being prepared in tamilnadu. It is served with steamed rice topped with some ghee (clarified butter).
2 tablespoons Tamarind paste
1 tablespoon MTR Sambar powder ( available in indian grocery store). Most south 1/2 CUP Medium sized diced Vegetable ( one of it) of your choice (Onion (you can slice it) ,gre
1 tablespoon fresh shredded coconut
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves
1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing). Please do not use more than a pinch, it can overpower the 1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 TBSP+tsp Cooking oil
Wash the pigeon peas in water like you would wash rice. Put the pigeon peas in the pressure cooker with 1 cup water (for 1/2 cup of the peas), a pinch of salt and tumeric powder. Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and set aside. You can boil the lentils on a stove top with 2 measures water until soft.
Heat 1 TBSP oil in a fry pan and stir-fry the veggie of your choice with a pinch of salt for ONLY 3-4 minutes. This method of preparing is used for onions, bell pepper and okra
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, start by heating the tamarind water on a med-low flame. Add in the sambar powder, curry leaves and asafoetida. Bring to boil slowly and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the stir-fried veggies to the tamarind water.
Open the pressure cooker and mix the lentils with about 1/4 cup water to get a thick batter consistency. Add the cooked pigeon peas to the tamarind mixture while stirring continuously.
Add in the fresh coconut.
In a small fry pan, heat 1 tsp oil on a med-low flame. Add the mustard seeds and wait for it to start crackle. Once it starts crackling, switch off the flame and add to the sambar.
Garnish with cilantro leaves.