Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Super Easy Sambhar

Usually a good sambhar involves grinding fresh coconut to a paste with spices. But I am going to show you my cheat version which will give you the same flavour with less washing up to do.
I wanted find out a way to avoid using my mixer and found my answer in Srilankan food. The srilankans use coconut powder when they make their dal and I thought, what have i got to lose if I try it out... sounds weird, but nothing is too weird in cooking. So here's my foolproof version that tastes amazing..

super easy sambhar
Super Easy Sambhar Recipe

1 cup      tuvar dal, washed n soaked for 15mins
4 cups    water
salt to taste
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 onion chopped fine

1 tsp      Priya's tamarind paste
1tsp       Everest sambhar masala
1 tbsp    Coconut powder mixed in 1 cup of water
1 tomato chopped fine
Drumsticks cut into 3 inch pieces

Tadka (tempering spices in hot oil):
curry leaves
1 dry red chilly
1/2 tsp    Urad dhal
1/2 tsp    Mustard seeds
Edible coconut oil

You need to use a pressure cooker for this; Throw in the dal, water, salt, hing and onion. Put the heat on high till the cooker whistles. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and time it for 15 mins. After 15 minutes let out the steam and add the sambhar powder, coconut milk, drumsticks, and tamarind paste. Cook open till the drumsticks are done for about 20 mins or so. Add more water if you feel it is getting too thick. A good sambhar should not be too thick or too thin.
When the drumsticks are fully cooked, add the tomatoes. I personally don't like my tomatoes all soft in a dal, so I add them last.
In a small pan heat some coconut oil. Watch it at this point because the coconut oil gets hot quickly. Add in the mustard seeds and urad dhal till the mustard seeds start to splutter, and the urad dhal gets a slight brown colour. Then add the chilly and the curry leaves. Leave for a minute and add this mixture to the sambhar.
The secret is the coconut milk in the dal and the tadka with the coconut oil that does the trick.