South Indian cuisine is one of my favourite Indian cuisines, and I especially love it for their delicious, easy and wholesome breakfast recipes. Being a North Indian, I grew up knowing only about Dosa, Idli, Sambar and Chutney, which has become very popular in North India with the span of time.
But when I shifted to Bangalore, I came to know about so many recipes associated with this cuisine, and each and every dish is different from each other depending upon which state of South India it belongs to.
The same goes with Sambar, though it is a common dish in South India, each sambar taste different from each other due to the use of local spices and variation in the style of cooking.
So, today I will be sharing a Kerala Style Sambar, that will surely make you have more Idlis and Dosas along with it. Yes, its that good!
Made with freshly ground spices and coconut, learn how to make Kerala Sambar which can also be served with steamed rice for your everyday meals. Here is the recipe of easy and homemade Kerala Sambar.
What is Kerala Sambar?
Kerala Sambar, traditionally called as Varutharacha Sambar is a popular recipe that is made in almost all the Kerala households for their everyday meals. To make this Sambar, tuvar dal is cooked along with vegetables with a tadka of coconut oil.
But there are three essential ingredients that brings the real flavour in this Sambar – freshly grounded sambar masala, coconut and tamarind that gives this sambar a robust, coconuty and earthy flavour. Tangy and spicy, this Sambar Kerala Style is a burst of flavours in the mouth.
This Kerala Sambar is easy to make and uses some everyday ingredients such as chana dal, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, whole coriander seeds, dry red chillies, hing, onion, curry leaves and coconut. You can avoid adding onions and coconut in this masala, to store it in an airtight container for about 3 to 4 months.
Which vegetables can be used to make Kerala Sambar?
I have used carrots, drumstick, potato, brinjal and pumpkin, but you can add any vegetables of your choice to make this Sambar such as cauliflower, bottle gourd etc.
Kerala Style Sambar
- Tuvar dal - 1 cup
- Water - 4 cups
- Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Vegetables - 4 cups (I used carrots, drum stick, potato, brinjal and pumpkin)
- Tomato - 1 cup (Chopped)
- Tamarind - lemon sized ball
- For the sambhar Masala
- Coconut oil - 3 tbsp
- Chana dal - 2 tsp
- Urad dal - 2 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
- Whole coriander - 2 tbsp
- Dry red chilies - 5-6
- Heeng - 1/2 tsp
- Onion - 1 cup (Sliced)
- Curry leaves - 15-20
- Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
- For the Tadka
- Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Dry red chilies - 3-4
- Curry leaves - 10-12
- Soak tamarind in a cup of water.
- Wash the dal and add it in a pressure cooker along with 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.
- Pressure cook till done.
- Let the pressure release.
- Open the lid of the cooker and add the chopped vegetables and tomatoes and again pressure cook for a whistle.
- Remove from heat and let the pressure release.
- Mean while, heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add chana dal and urad dal and fry till they turn golden brown.
- Add fenugreek seeds, whole coriander, dry red chilies, heeng, onion and curry leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add grated coconut and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the masala cool for a while.
- Once the masala is cooled, grind it to make a smooth paste.
- Use little water if required.
- Add the masala in the dal.
- Squeeze the tamarind and strain it.
- Add the tamarind water in the cooked dal.
- Mix well.
- Cook the Sambhar for 2-3 minutes.
- For the tadka, heat coconut oil in pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
- Pour the tadka over Sambhar.
- Serve hot with rice.