Tuesday, December 10, 2013


South Indian Dal

Sambar the South Indian Dal Curry, the most common food prepared in every household. It is prepared using Lentils, main source of protein for the vegetarians. Every mother has her own recipe and method for cooking sambar, there are several variations. The below recipe is a simple and basic one which is prepared using sambar powder, cooked lentils and vegetables.

Ingredients: Quantity
Toor Dal/Red Gram Dal 1 cup
Onions Chopped 2 nos
Tomatoes Chopped 2 nos
Vegetables Chopped** 1 cup
Tamarind Paste 1-2 tbsp
Sambar Powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt To taste
Oil 1-2 tbsp
Oil/Ghee 1/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Dry Red Chili Halved 2 nos
Curry Leaves 1-2 Strands
Fenugreek Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
Coriander Leaves Chopped To Garnish

1) Clean and soak the Dal for 30 min's. Add two cups water, Dal, salt, half of the turmeric powder, Asafoetida and cumin powder in a pressure cooker and cook up to 2-3 whistles.
2) Meanwhile heat oil in a sauce pan and sauté the chopped onions and sauté until the onions caramelize, then add vegetables (if using) and fry for a couple of min's .
3) Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for a min and then add the remaining turmeric powder and sambar powder and let it cook until the tomatoes soften.
4) Add the tamarind paste and a cup of water and cook covered until the raw smell of the tamarind disappears and vegetables are well cooked.
5) Let the pressure release and then add the cooked Dal into the pan and cook for a couple of more min's for the Dal and tamarind mixture to blend in well.
6) Meanwhile heat oil/ghee in a small pan and add all the ingredients for tempering. Once the mustard sputter, add it into the saucepan. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice or Idly, Dosa or Upma.

Variations - * The sautéed onion and vegetable mixture is pressure cooked along with the Dal or half cooked Dal and then the tamarind is added to the pressure cooked mixture.
* The sautéed onion and vegetable mixture and Dal are pressure cooked separately and then mixed together along with the tamarind and cooked.
** Any vegetable such as Brinjal/Baby eggplant, drumstick, Radish, Turnip, Squash, Pumpkin, carrot, beans or potato or mixture of any of these vegetables are used. Usually Brinjal and Drumstick make a tasty combination. Carrot, beans and potato are used too. Kadambha Sambar has mixture of 4-5 vegetables.

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