Sambhar

Sambhar

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Sambhar is a staple of South Indian cuisine. It is served with variety of dishes like idali (steamed rice cakes), Dosa (crepes of dal and rice), Medu Vada (dal fritters) and Uttapam (rice and dal pancakes with vegetables).
Ingredients
  • 1 cup tuver dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and carrot, diced
  • 5 to 6 pieces of sargavo (drum sticks), See Note.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons sambhar masala, See Note.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For Vaghar:
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal (optional)
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • 1 small yellow or red onion, ¼ inch diced
  • 1-2 dry red chilies (optional)
Directions
  1. Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak dal in about 2 cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional).
  2. Add diced tomato. Cover with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour. Once the dal is cooked, take off the heat.
  3. Add ½ cup of water and mix it with a whisk or an immersion blender until it has a consistency of slightly thick soup.
  4. Start heating the dal on medium heat. Add salt, turmeric, dhana-jeeru and sambhar masala. Add mixed vegetables and drum sticks. Stir dal and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat or a simmer burner. Next, follow step 6.
  5. To cook sambhar in instant pot: Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak dal in about 2 cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (soaking is optional but it will speed up cooking process). Add diced tomatoes. Set instant pot to pressure cooker setting and cook dal for 20 minutes. (for unsoaked dal increase time to 30 minutes). Once dal is cooked, release steam and follow step 3. Next, set instant pot to sauté for 15 minutes and follow step 4. Reduce simmer time to 10 minutes. Next, follow step 6.
  6. For Vaghar: In a separate small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add fenugreek seeds and let them sizzle. Lower the heat, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, red chili and chili powder. Pour oil with everything over sambhar. Mix it with sambhar, add lemon juice or tamarind pulp and let it simmer for two to three minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
Notes
You can get sambhar masala and also mixed vegetables which includes drum sticks for making sambhar in frozen section in Indian grocery store