Sambar Recipe

Sambar is the heart and soul of South Indian cuisine. Its rich, aromatic flavors and versatility make it a favorite across the country. In this article, we'll take you on a culinary journey to create the perfect South Indian sambar in your own kitchen.

Sambar is more than just a dish; it's a cultural icon. It has its roots in South Indian heritage, with each region adding its unique twist to the Sambar recipe.

Sambar Ingredients

To prepare authentic South Indian sambar, gather these essential ingredients:

  1. Toor Dal (Pigeon Peas): The core of sambar, it provides a creamy texture.
  2. Mixed Vegetables: Common choices include drumsticks, eggplant, carrots, and okra.
  3. Tamarind: For that signature tangy flavor.
  4. Sambar Powder: A blend of spices like coriander, cumin, and fenugreek.
  5. Turmeric Powder: Adds color and flavor.
  6. Asafoetida (Hing): A pinch for its unique aroma.
  7. Curry Leaves: For a delightful aroma.
  8. Mustard Seeds: For tempering.
  9. Oil: For cooking and tempering.
  10. Salt: To enhance the taste.

Now, let's dive into crafting this delectable dish.

Step 1: Preparing the Dal

Wash 1 cup of toor dal thoroughly and cook it until soft and mushy. You can use a pressure cooker for this step.

Step 2: Tamarind Extract

Soak a small ball of tamarind in warm water and extract the juice. Set it aside.

Step 3: Cooking the Vegetables

  • In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Allow them to splutter.
  • Add the mixed vegetables and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

Step 4: Preparing the Sambar

  • Add the tamarind extract to the cooked vegetables.
  • Stir in the cooked toor dal.
  • Add sambar powder and salt to taste.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Step 5: Tempering

  • In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of oil.
  • Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Pour this tempering over the simmering sambar and mix well.

Serving Suggestions

Sambar is best enjoyed with:

  • Idli: Soft, steamed rice cakes.
  • Dosa: Thin, crispy rice crepes.
  • Rice: As a main course, served with plain rice.

In conclusion, sambar is not just a dish; it's a symphony of flavors that celebrates the diversity of South India. By following this recipe, you can recreate the magic of South Indian sambar in your own kitchen.