Sambar is a South Indian staple dish which is served for all the meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a stew of yellow lentils with vegetables and spices added to it. Here is my easy recipe to make it at home.
Wash the dal and add it in a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.
Cook the dal until it is softened.
Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release.
Remove the lid of the cooker.
Add tamarind paste in the dal and whisk until smooth and keep aside.
For the vegetables
Add all the vegetables along with water, salt and turmeric powder in a pan.
Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are softened.
Do not over cook the vegetables otherwise they will become mushy.
You can cook the vegetables in a pressure cooker as well.
For the masala
Heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until they turn translucent.
Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes until their are mushy and everything comes together.
Now add sambar powder and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add some water if the tempering is too dry.
Add the cooked dal and veggies in this pan and mix everything well.
Now add more water to adjust the consistency of sambar.
Cook the sambar for 10-12 minutes on medium low heat.
Heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Pour the tempering over the sambar and serve hot.
Always use a homemade Sambar powder to use in your recipe, as it lends a fresh taste to the same, that the store-bought powders will not provide. Do not add random vegetables to your Sambar. Choice the right combination of vegetables to go with the Tuvar Dal. Sambar is traditionally a little thick, but you can add in water depending on the consistency you like. Use tamarind water rather than using the store-bought tamarind paste, as homemade ingredients are always better. Do not overcook the veggies, otherwise, it will become mushy and won't taste good.Use gingelly oil or coconut oil to make it, if you don't have any of these, you can use any vegetable oil or even ghee. If your Sambar tastes sour by chance, you can add a little jaggery to make it taste better.