Sambar Powder (Sambar Masala, or Sambar Podi) is a South Indian condiment or spice mix which is added in sambar to give it a delicious flavor. Use it to make a kickass sambar or add it in a simple stir fry, this is going to make your recipes a keeper.
Add Bengal gram lentils and split and skinned black lentils to a pan. Roast on medium heat until they’re golden brown in color and a nutty aroma starts to emit (8-10 minutes). Keep stirring frequently while roasting. Transfer the roasted lentils to a large bowl and set them aside.
Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and black peppercorns to the same pan and roast on medium heat until they are browned (6-7 minutes). Keep stirring continuously. Transfer the ingredients to the large bowl and set aside.
Add Kashmiri dry red chilies to the same pan and roast on medium heat until they are crisp (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring continuously. Remove them in the bowl and keep them aside.
Add curry leaves to the same pan and roast on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they are crisp. Keep stirring continuously while roasting. Remove them in the bowl and set them aside.
Cool the roasted ingredients completely.
Add the roasted ingredients to a grinder along with asafetida and grind to make a smooth powder.
If your grinder is small or is not high-powdered, then grind the ingredients in batches and then mix them together once ground.
Store the sambar powder in an airtight container and use it as required.
Some people roast the ingredients individuallyand that is how it was done traditionally. It was also because this powder was made in bulk and roasting everything together was anyways not possible. But you can roast the ingredients with similar roasting time together like I have done to save time. I assure you there won't be any difference in the taste or quality of the sambar powder.You can easily, half, double, or triple the recipe.You can roast ½ cup grated fresh coconut and add it to the recipe for a coconut-flavored sambar powder.Use fresh and high-quality ingredients to make sambar podi for the best taste and flavor.Different ingredients have different roasting times. So do not roast them all together. Roast the ones with similar roasting time together and others separately.The color of the sambar powder depends on the variety of chilies used. If your powder is dull in color, add some Kashmiri red chili powder to enhance the color. You can also add some turmeric powder for a brighter podi.Let the roasted spices cool down completely before grinding so that there is no moisture left in them.