Sambar is another spicy vegetable lentil curry very commonly cooked in many South Indian households. Because it is such a basic curry, it will be a shame if any South Indian doesn't know how to cook this!!
Sambar can be served with plain boiled rice, steamed rice cakes ( idlis), fried lentil doughnuts ( medhu vadais), lentil crepes (dosas)- well just about any South Indian snack!! And it is rather nutritious because of the boiled lentils and stewed vegetables.
My girls love Sambar with Grilled Tofu and Okra or Tofu Sambal. The following recipe is for 4 in a household.
Ingredients for Dal Stew
1/2 cup toor dal ( pigeon peas)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
3 cups water
Method for Dal Stew
Boil the toor dal with garlic, onion and tomatoes in pressure cooker for 10 mins till well cooked and mushy. Mash and keep aside.
Ingredients for Vegetable Stew
1/2 radish, cut into half and sliced thinly
4 pieces of 3 inch drumsticks (veg)
10 pieces beans, cut into 3 inch pieces
1 small carrot, sliced thinly
1 tsp tamarind pulp, juice extracted
3 tsp sambar powder ( See Note)
3 cups water
Salt to season
Method for Vegetable Stew
Boil all the vegetables with water, sambar powder, tamarind extract and salt for 10-15 mins till vegetables are cooked.
Mix these vegetables with the Dal Stew and keep aside on low heat.
Ingredients for tempering
5-6 curry leaves
2 dried chillies, torn into 2
1/4 tsp each of fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and coriander seeds
1 tbsp Sesame oil for tempering
Method for tempering
Fry the dried chillies, curry leaves and all the seeds in sesame oil. Pour this tempering oil with all the ingredients in to the pot with the vegetables and dal.
Serve hot with rice, a vegetable dish, mango pickle and pappads.
Many other vegetables can be used too like okra, potatoes, eggplants etc. It is quite a versatile dish.
Sambar powder can be found in many Indian grocery stores. It is made up of ground whole dry spices and lentils. Or you can make your own at home.
Dalcha is an in Indian stew of Hyderabad (the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh) origin. I have made Dalcha all my married life and not once did I know that it is a food of Hyderabadi cuisine! I guess, growing up in Singapore, we didn't really discuss about a particular food's origin.
It is traditionally made with mutton and chana dal and seasoned with ginger garlic paste and tamarind. It serves as a great accompaniment to Briyani, a rice dish made with vegetables or meat. But I believe it goes very well with almost any gourmet rice dishes - Mint Rice , Kitcheri etc...
I have dished out a vegetarian version of Dalcha to accompany Healthy Vegetable Briyani ( I will be posting this recipe soon)which I will be making today.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/3 cup Chana dal ( See Note)
1/3 cup Toor dal ( See Note )
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 pinches of salt
1 medium sized carrot, sliced
1 medium potato, skin scrubbed and cubed medium
3 or 4 French Beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green chilli, whole
1 tomato, cubed medium sized
extract of 1 inch tamarind pulp
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
salt to season
coriander leaves for garnishing
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp ginger garlic paste (See Note)
1 tsp chili powder
1/3 cup plain non fat yoghurt
Soak the dals for 3 hours and boil with salt and turmeric powder till soft and mushy.
Heat another pot of water and add in all the vegetables, spices, tamarind extract and salt. Boil till the vegetables are cooked. Pour in the cooked dals and keep on low heat.
Take a tempering pan. Add the oil and fry the onions, then the ginger garlic paste. Reduce fire to low and add in the chilli powder. Stir and quickly add in the yoghurt. Let it temper for 2-3 minutes. Pour this tempered mix into the dal and stir.
Let Dalcha cook for 5 mins on low heat.
Serve warm, garnished with coriander leaves, with any gourmet rice dishes and cucumber yoghurt mix (Raita).
Chana dal and Toor dal are types of lentils found in any Indian or Asian Grocery stores.
Ginger Garlic paste is a blend of equal amounts of ginger and garlic. Used widely as a seasoning in many Indian dishes.
Other vegetables can be used as well eg eggplants, green mango. If using green mango, watch out for the tamarind because it can get too sour.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.