Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Idli Sambar Recipe


MMM, the aroma of this dish really is something else!! I really do insist on you making some home made masala powder when you are cooking this dish. I think that it is what makes the difference between home made sambar opposed to restaurant style sambar. Whenever I have eaten restaurant sambar it has always been far too watery and not enough vegetables. To be quite honest all of the restaurant don't really cut the mark for me. I don't want to sound greedy, it's just that there are never enough vegetables and it is always far too thin.... gasp of relief...the rant is over lol :-)

ingredients- For the sambar

To be roasted and then ground into a a fairly coarse powder:-

1-3 dried red chillies,
1 tbs coriander seeds,
1 tsp black mustard seeds,
1 tsp fenugreek seeds,
2 cloves,
2 cardamoms,
a small piece of cinnamon,
1/4- 1/2 tsp black pepper,
1 tsp channa dal,
1 tsp white urad dal,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric

(If you have these spices in powder form then you can add as a short cut but the spices definitely taste better if you use the whole spice.)

1 cup or about 100g toor dal, ( soaked in hot water for at least 1/2 hour in hot water,)
1 white potato, (cubed)
1 red sweet potato, (cubed)
2 carrots peeled and cut into rounds,
a fist-full of washed and trimmed green beans,
2 drumsticks chopped and boiled for bout 10 minutes
3-4 tomatoes puréed,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
about 10-12 curry leaves,
1/2 tsp green chilli paste, or to taste
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp tamarind paste to taste,
1 tbs sugar,
salt to taste,
fresh green coriander.

Directions:-

1) Roast the spices on a low to medium flame until they have turned a shade darker. Leave them aside on a cool plate or bowl to cool down completely. Once they have cooled down, grind them to a fairly coarse powder, but not too coarse.

2) while the spices are cooling, prepare the vegetables and boil or steam until nice and tender. Around ten minutes. Also pressure cook the toor dal for about 4-5 whistles in about 4 cups of water and some salt.

3) In the largest pan you have, heat 2-4 tbs oil and add the mustard seeds. Wait until they pop and then add the cumin seeds and curry leaves.

4) Add the tomato purée, garlic, chilli and ginger paste and cook until you start to see the oil separating from the mixture.

5) Lower the heat to low and add the powdered spices and give it a good stir.

6) Add the dal and give everything a really good mash together until the dal has turned all saucy.

7) Add the cooked veggies and mix well so that the sauce coats everything.

8) Add about 6-8 cups of water and the sugar. This water measurement is a rough measurement. Sambar is supposed to be fairly and soupy, but please, not too thin. Bring to the boil and simmer every thing together for around 20 minutes on a low heat.

9) Check the seasoning and add the tamarind if you think that it needs to be more sour. Remember that it needs to be fairly hot, sour, sweet, salty, so adjust these to your tastes.

Garnish with coriander and serve with idli's or rice. BUT! You really need to try idli once in your life !!! :-)

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