Sambar recipe with step by step photos. Sambar is the most important dish in south India, every state here has its own signature sambar recipe. In Tamil nadu cuisine there are many types of sambar recipes, the one I am sharing today is called varutharacha sambar recipe, varutharacha- roast and grind.
In this south Indian sambar recipe, a freshly roasted and ground spice powder is used instead of regular sambar powder. The fresh spice powder makes this sambar recipe so fragrant and tasty,perfect to serve with steamed rice. Here I have used carrot and capsicum in this sambar recipe, I just love these two vegetables in any sambar. You can also add vegetables like potato,ladies finger (okra), eggplant, cluster beans, broad beans, french beans etc in sambar recipe. You can serve sambar with steamed rice, dosa, idli, rava idli, arisi upma.
To make south indian sambar recipe, use good quality toor dal (the one that is not shiny), the dal should be completely cooked and mashed. If the dal is not thoroughly mashed, the consistency and texture of sambar will be affected. The color of the sambar greately depends on the type of tamarind you use. We use dark tamarind called “pazhaya puli” (aged tamarind) for kuzhambu and sambar recipes. This kind of tamarind is more sour and deep in color. If you use light brown tamarind, it will be less sour and the color of the finished dish will be light.
It is best to use small or pearl onions for making sambar recipe, as they are more flavorful and tasty. If you prefer you can leave out tomato and increase the amount if tamarind. Do try out this south Indian sambar recipe and enjoy :).
How to make sambar – step by step sambar recipe.
1. Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and extract thick juice. Peel the onions, chop carrot, bell pepper into big pieces and tomato finely.
2. Pressure cook 1/2 cup toor dal with 2 cups water until completely mushy. Once pressure is released mash the dal very well. Use the back of ladle or a mashed and mash the dal until very smooth. This is very important for making perfect sambar. You can mash the dal only if it is completely cooked. Adjust water and cooking time according to the quality of your dal.
3. Heat a pan and dry roast channa dal, coriander seeds, dried red chilies, fenugreek seeds in low flame. Roast till the dal and spices turn aromatic, take care not to burn the spices. Switch off the flame and add the grated coconut. Mix well and allow to cool. Grind everything to a coarse powder.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons in a kadai or thick pan and temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
4. Add pearl onions and saute till it changes color slightly.
5. Add all the chopped vegetables and saute well for 3-4 minutes. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Saute well.
6. Add 3/4 cup water and cook the vegetables for 3-5 minutes. Add the thick tamarind extract and mix well. Cook well for 5-7 minutes.
7. Add the mashed dal and mix well. Cook in mdeium flame for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add salt, ground spice powder and cook for 3-5 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve sambar hot with rice and potato fry.
Sambar recipe card below:
- For sambar:
- ½ cup toor dal
- Tamarind, small gooseberry sized ball.
- 10-12 pearl onions.
- 1 small carrot,peeled and chopped
- ½ green bell pepper,cubed
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- To roast and grind:
- 1½ tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon channa dal
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 3-4 dried red chilies
- 1 tablespoon urad dal (optional)
- 2 teapoons grated coconut
- To temper:
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Pressure cook toor dal until very soft. Mash the cooked dal thoroughly and set aside.
- Soak tamarind in water for 15 minutes and extract thick juice.
- Peel the onions, chop the vegetables.
- Heat a pan and add 2 tablespoons oil to it. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Add pearl onions and saute well.
- Add the veggies and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add turmeric powder and saute well. Add ¾ cup water and cook the veggies for 5 minutes.
- Add tamarind juice and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cooked dal and mix well. Add salt and ground spice powder. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add cilantro leaves and serve sambar hot with rice or dosa.
2. Use sesame oil for authentic flavor and taste.
3. If your dal is not very smooth after mashing, you can use a grind it before adding to the sambar.
4. The vegetables should not be over cooked, the shape and crunch should be slightly retained.