Sambhar is a lentil curry that is often served with Idly. There are many different variations, using different lentils and vegetables. Styles normally differ by what part of the country you live in. This, is the closest recipe I have found, to what I am familiar with. It can be eaten with Idly or with Masala Dosa (Planning on making this soon). For my Indian “junk food night,” I served Idly and Sambar, with Bhel and Pani Puri. Bhel is a mixture of spicy puffed rice and many other different chips (made from chickpeas) and nuts. It is normally mixed with Tamarind-Date Chutney, Coriander Chutney, onions, tomato, parsley and potatoes. Pani Puri, is one of my husband’s favorite treats, is a puri, a small round hollow ball that has been deep-fried, that is filled with potatoes, onions, chickpeas, lentils and tamarind chutney, then dipped in a sauce cause “Pani” or water. This pani is a spicy green sauce that has the consistency of water. If you go to Indian stores, they sell kits with many of these ingredients, already prepared and all you need to do is add water. Hope you enjoy this meal!
1/2 a lime sized ball of Tamarind (or 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice)
1 cup of toor dal, washed
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 green chili, cut into thirds
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
vegetables of your choice
(I used zucchini, bell peppers and carrots)
salt to taste
- In a separate cooking pot, boil 2 cups of water with toor dal and 1 teaspoon of oil.
- As the dal is boiling, skim off any foam and discard (add water if needed)
- Cooking until dal is soft and mash
- Meanwhile, saute chili, mustard seeds and onions until onions are browned
- Add add tomato, vegetables and spices and mix to combine.
- Add mixture to dal and add water if needed (mixture must be pourable)
- Cook for about 15 minutes and then remove from heat
- Garnish with cilantro