Shallot Sambar


cup water divided
teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon oil plus
1 teaspoon oil divided
teaspoon tamarind paste
1 cup quartered peeled shallots
2 teaspoons Sambar Powder (see below)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons chana dal
2 teaspoons urad dal
1 teaspoon toor dal
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon oil
6 dried red chiles - (to 8)
teaspoon asafetida


For the Sambar Powder: Place the chana dal, urad dal, toor dal and cumin seeds in a small skillet and toast over medium-high heat until the dals turn a few shades darker and release their aroma, about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat and add the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, chiles and asafetida. Stir constantly until the spices release their aromas and turn brown, 1 minute. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
Grind the spices and dals to a coarse powder and store in an airtight, clean and dry jar away from direct light and heat. This mixture should keep its potency for at least 6 months. (Makes 1/2 cup)
Wash the dal thoroughly until the water runs clear. In one saucepan combine the dal, 1 1/2 cups water, the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the dal is soft, about 30 minutes. Mash with a wire whisk until softened.
In another saucepan, dissolve the tamarind paste in the remaining 3/4 cup water over low heat for several minutes. Add the shallots and simmer until the shallots are tender, about 15 minutes. Mix into the cooked dal. Add the sambar powder and salt and simmer over low heat just until heated through.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a small, shallow saucepan over high heat until it almost smokes. Add the mustard seeds. When these start spluttering, add the curry leaves and immediately empty the mixture into the simmering sambar. Turn off the heat and garnish with the cilantro. Serve hot. The sambar is a mainstay of the South Indian daily diet and is eaten with rice, dosas or idlis (dumplings).
This recipe yields 2 cups.
Comments: In this version, I use shallots, which lend a slightly sweet taste to the sambar. You could also use vegetables such as potatoes, onions, green beans, eggplants, radish, carrots and tomatoes.




12.0 servings


Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 3:18pm



Related Cooking Videos