Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Varutharacha Sambar


Sambar 1

Ingredients (Serves 10 - 12):

Toor dal                    --   1 cup
Hing / asafoetida  --   ¼ tsp / ¼ inch piece

Tamarind                 --    a lime - sized ball.

Turmeric powder --   ¼ tsp
Potato                       --   2 medium sized
Winter melon         --   a small piece,½ cup cubed
Carrot                       --   1 medium sized
Brinjal                       --   1 large
Drumstick               --   1
Lady's finger          --   6
Green chilies         --   2
Tomato                    --   2 medium sized, well ripen

Coriander leaves --  4 - 5 sprigs, chopped into big pieces
Salt                            --  To taste

To roast and grind:

Gingelly oil            --   1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds --   ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds         --    ¼ tsp
Split urad dal        --   1 tsp
Coriander seeds  --   2 tsp
Whole pepper      --   ½ tsp
Dry red chilies     --  7 - 8, medium spice level, adjust the nos according to the spice level
Pearl onions         --   2 , slit
Garlic cloves        --   6 - 8 medium size cloves, with skin
Curry leaves        --   1 sprig

Grated coconut --   ½ cup

For seasoning:

Coconut oil -- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds --  ½ tsp
Dry red chilies --  3
Curry leaves --  1 sprig

Sambar 2


Heat the gingelly oil in a skillet. Reduce the flame to low. Add all the ingredients except the coconut and roast for few minutes until they turn light brown. Make sure they are not burnt. Add the coconut at this stage and fry until the coconut is dark brown in colour. Keep stirring to fry the coconut evenly and make sure the flame is low. Keep aside and let it cool. Grind this into a smooth paste. Try not to add water, but if your mixer takes a long time, add water little by little until the mixture is smooth.
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract its juice.

Wash the toor dal in water twice or thrice. Add the dal, turmeric and hing to the pressure cooker and cook(2 - 3 whistles) adding enough water. If using solid hing, fry it in a tsp of oil for couple of minutes before adding it to the cooker.

Meanwhile chop the veggies; Cube the potatoes, carrots, winter melon, brinjal. Cut the drumstick into 2 inch pieces and the lady's finger into 1 inch pieces. Cube the tomatoes. Keep aside the lady's finger and the tomatoes.

When the pressure is completely released, open the cooker and add the cut veggies. First add the potatoes and when they are half cooked add the carrot, brinjal, wintermelon and drumstick. Add water if required and let it cook. This need not be pressure cooked, the veggies might get over cooked.

Meanwhile saute the lady's finger pieces in little oil until they are a bit firm.

Add salt and the fried lady's finger pieces.

Add the ground mixture to the tamarind extract and add to the sambar. Add more water if required.Bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling add the cubed tomatoes.(If the tomatoes are not well ripen, add them along with other veggies.)

Let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes.Add the chopped coriander leaves.

Heat coconut oil in a small pan.  Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies the curry leaves. Pour over the prepared sambar.

Serve hot with rice / idly / dosa.

Recipe Courtesy: Amma


  1. what an amazing sambar. will try it some time soon

  2. Wow.. Looks so tempting and delicious.. Love it!