Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sambar ( Indian Dhal Curry)

Always, forever and anytime, Sambar/Indian Dhal curry (Spinach/Bayam Sambar) is the main highlight for a vegetarian meal (Sodhi/Coconut Stew & Indian Vegetable Curry) in every other Indian household. Also, oh-well, at the stalls to high end Indian restaurants. Okay, I must praise the tastes of sambar, but after all these years, especially the growing up years with a typical Indian mum who literally tripped me over sambar, I sometimes, honestly, can't stand sambar. Then again, here I am married to a typical Indian, yes, my Indian half-half who definitely till this day embrace sambar wholeheartedly. So, I make right? Yes, I do for love.

There's millions, in fact zillions of ways to sambar. Don't believe me. Google please to notice the heavy competition in the sambar category. So to say also, we Indians love lentils (Dalca/Dhal Mutton Curry) which obviously is the core ingredient for sambar, and sambar can be paired with rice, roti canai, tosai, idli or whatever-whatever. As for the vegetables in Indian dhal curry, what should I say? Okay, brinjals, carrot, potatoes, long beans and the list goes on. Sambar I bet will be sensational alongside Vegetable Achar/Pickle or Aloo Gobi. This nava-k's sambar is one of a kind you know. Take it as if I'm blowing my trumpet, but let me tell you that its different because of the frying. What frying are you asking me? Go on, analyse this recipe please!

1 1/2 cup yellow dhal/lentils - soaked for at least 1/2 hour and rinsed
1 radish (about 300g)  - remove skin and cut into chunks
8 small shallots - remove skin
6 pips garlic - remove skin and lightly crushed 
1 medium size tomato - cut into 8 pieces
3 dried red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp plain chilli powder (or as preferred) 
1 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tbsp thick tamarind juice
3 sprigs curry leaves
2 stalks coriander leaves - sliced
3tbsp oil
1 litre water
Salt for taste

Simmer dhal with enough water to soften.
Keep it simmering over very low heat.
Heat oil in a separate wok.
When heated, add radish, shallots, tomato and garlic.
Fry and stir for about 5 mins.
Add dried chillies, curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds.
Fry for another 1 min.  
Tip into in simmered dhal.
Pour water (suggested 1 liter), tamarind juice.
Add chilli powder and turmeric powder.
Season with salt.
Stir and simmer until radish becomes soft.
Off heat and combine in coriander leaves.
Don't forget to trend alongside "cook with nava-k" on every other social media please!

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1 comment:

  1. Love the vibrant color......dal looks tasty and tempting too!!


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