Sambar is the most popular side dish for idli, or dosa (particularly masal dosa) all over India. But it is typically prepared by south Indians; others used to feel that their sambar is not as delicious as the one prepared by south Indians.
So here is the recipe for simple and delicious sambar that is a perfect accompaniment for idli, dosa, vada, vennpongal or kichadi:
Cooking Time: 30 min
Serves : 3
- Split green gram (moong dal or paasi paruppu) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
- Onion – 1 No.
- Tomato – 3 Nos.
- Green chilli – 1 or 2 No.
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Red chillies – 2 Nos
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves – few sprigs
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Slit green chillies, chop onions into long slices and chop tomatoes into small pieces.
- Wash green gram & add water (300 ml) into it.
- And then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, green chillies, onions & tomatoes.
- Pressure cook this lentil mixture (simmer for 7 min. after bringing to high pressure).
- Mix sambar powder with water (1/4 cup) and keep aside.
- Heat a cooking pot (with heavy bottom) with oil, add mustard seeds when they start crackling, add snapped red chillies & asafoetida powder and fry for 5 sec.
- Pour the water mixed with sambar powder and bring to a boil.
- Mash the cooked lentil mixture with the back of a ladle nicely.
- Add mashed lentil & sufficient water to get pouring consistency and bring to a boil.
- Close the pot with a lid and simmer for 5 min and turn off the stove.
- Garnish with coriander leaves & serve hot sambar with any tiffin.
Tips for making restaurant style delicious flavorful sambar:
- Red chillies & sambar powder are important ingredients for restaurant style taste & flavor.
- You can add shallots (sambar vengayam or chinna vengayam) instead of onion.
- You may use masoor dal instead of moong dal but you have to reduce lentil by 10% as it adds more viscosity than other lentils and follow the same recipe above.
- If you want sambar to be more flavorful you can use roasted asafoetida (hing) block in place of hing powder.
- You can add curry leaves and/or coriander leaves.
- If you want to add tamarind juice, you may have to reduce tomatoes accordingly.
- If you allow sambar to boil after adding coriander leaves, coriander leaves may start to taste bitter.
- Sambar gets thickened after a while, so it is better to make it little watery.
- You can also add steamed (or cooked) vegetables like drumsticks, red pumpkins (manjal poosani), ridge gourd (peerk/ peerkangai), eggplant (kathrikai), carrot, beans or potato; sambar prepared with vegetables goes well with pongal or kichadi.