Saturday, 8 June 2013

Amma's Sambar

Till this very day I think that my mum makes the best sambar ever. I bet everyone thinks the same about their own mum's cooking. Anyhow, when my mum was away for holidays the other day, I wanted to have sambar and I had to make it all by myself from scratch. I've only assisted my mum when she makes sambar, and never tried making it on my own. So, when I was left on my own, I had to recollect how my mum made sambar and just hoped that it would turn out well, or at least edible.

I started off by pressure cooking rinsed toovaram parapu/toor dal with cubed potato, garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and water for 30 minutes in an electrical pressure cooker. 

Meanwhile, prepare all the other ingredients for the sambar.

Once it is done, remove the potatoes and keep aside and pour the cooked dal into a different pan and gently simmer it. 

In a separate pan, temper the ingredients which is to be added to the dal. Heat some oil and add mustard seeds and cumin. Then add the green chillies, curry leaves, tomato and carrot and fry for a minute or two. 

Remove the tempered ingredients from heat and pour it into the simmering dal and mix well.

Add some salt and water and cover the the pan. Let it cook for 30 minutes until the carrots are cooked.

Once the carrots are done, add the cooked potatoes and tamarind juice and boil for another 5 minutes. Lastly some asafoetida and remove from heat.


To pressure cook:
1 cup toovaram parapu/toor dal
2 potato, peeled & cubed
4 cups water
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder

For tempering:
3 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
2 red onion, sliced
2 green chillies, split
1 tomato
1/2 medium carrot, sliced

4-5 tbsp tamarind juice
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1) Pressure cook rinsed toor dal, cubed potatoes, garlic, turmeric and chilli powder with 4 cups of water for 30 minutes.
*If you don't have a pressure cooker, soak the dal for 2-4 hours and cook it on the stove for about 30 minutes with all the other ingredients.
2) Once the dal is done, remove the potatoes and keep aside.
3) Pour the cooked dal into a different pan and gently simmer in low heat.
4) In a separate pan start tempering the ingredients for the sambar.
5) Start by heating 3 tbsp oil and add the mustard seed and cumin. Fry for about 15-30 seconds.
6) Add the green chillies and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute.
7) Add the sliced onions and fry for 1-2 minutes till soft and fragrant.
8) Go on to add the tomato and carrot. Fry for another minute.
9) Remove the tempered ingredients from heat and pour it into the simmering dal.
10) If the sambar is too thick at this stage, add about another cup of water.
11) Add some salt and cover the pan. Gently simmer the sambar on low heat for 30 minutes until the carrots are soft.
12) Add the cooked potatoes and tamarind juice and boil for another 5 minutes.
13) Lastly add the asafoetida and mix well. 
14) Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or chapathi.

*This recipe serves 4-6  


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