Monday, March 23, 2015

Tiffin Sambar

Idly and dosa are the most common breakfast or tiffin items in a south Indian household, and it is no different at my home as well. Once I grind the batter for idly/dosa, I feel as if a big task is done – the task of thinking what to prepare for dinner. Yes we usually have it for dinner. Though the main item is gets decided, but what do you serve it with? I usually end up making either the coconut chutney, tomato chutney or  Sambar. This Tiffin Sambar is loved by all at home and my kids end up eating an extra idly or dosa. What more can I ask for?

The recipe for this sambar is quite similar to the Archuvitta Sambar, with a few extra ingredients in the spice paste. Also the amount of tamarind used is very little in this. The slight variations in the spice mix, does give a very different flavour to the Sambar and makes it perfect  as a side dish for idly/Dosa or Pongal. In the recipe I have mentioned cooking a few pieces of pumpkin along with the dal. I learnt this from one of the TV shows, and it gives that very slight sweetness, which balances all the flavours. It also gives a little thickness to the sambar. If you don’t have pumpkin, or forget to cook along with dal, use a tsp of powdered jaggery.

What you’ll need
Serves – 4
  1. Tuar Dal – 1/3 cup
  2. Tomatoes – 2 big
  3. Chinna Vengayam – 10 or replace with 1 – medium sized onion
  4. Pumpkin – ½ cup, chopped into cubes
  5. Vegetables of your choice – like Carrots, potatoes, and drumstick. I used only drumstick
  6. Tamarind – a marble sized ball
  7. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  8. Asafoetida Powder – a generous pinch
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Curry Leaves – few
  11. Coriander Leaves – a few sprigs

To roast and grind
  1. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
  2. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – ½ tbsp
  3. Urad Dal/Ulutham Paruppu – ½ tbsp
  4. Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam – 1 tsp
  5. Dry Red Chillies – 3 to 4
  6. Coconut – 2 tbsp

For tempering
  1. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

  1. Pressure cook the dal along with the pumpkin pieces, little turmeric powder and a spoon of oil. Once cooked, mash well and keep aside.
  2. Soak the tamarind in a cup of hot water. Squeeze and extract the juice and keep aside.
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed vessel with oil, add mustard seeds, once it splutters, add curry leaves.
  4. Next add the chopped onions and sauté a few minutes, until the onions turn translucent.
  5. Now add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until it turns mushy.
  6. Add the tamarind extract along with the vegetables, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt to taste. Also add another cup of water.
  7. Let this boil until the raw smell of the tamarind disappears, for about 7 to 8 minutes.
  8. In the meanwhile, heat a small pan, with a tsp of oil, add the Kadala paruppu and roast, for a minute, next add the ulutham paruppu, and fry, once the dals start changing color, add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies. Lastly, add the coconut and fry on till the coconut changes to a light brown color. Do the entire frying on a low to medium heat. Take care not to burn any of the ingredients else the entire taste of the sambar will change.
  9. Grind this into a fine paste using a little water.
  10. Once the vegetables are cooked and the raw smell disappears, add the mashed dal and let it for 2 to 3 minutes, finally add the ground paste, add some water to adjust the consistency. Let it come to a boil. 
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Remove from heat, cover and keep until use.
Serve hot as an accompaniment with idly/dosa/Pongal. Drizzle some melted ghee on top of the Sambar before serving.

  1. Use vegetables of your choice, like mentioned above, carrots, potatoes, drumstick. But don’t use too much. I personally prefer drumstick as it gives a good flavour.
  2. Prepare the sambar at least 2 to 3 hours before serving to allow all the flavours to mingle well.
  3. If you miss out on the pumpkin, don’t miss the jaggery.
  4. Also a drizzle of ghee before serving enhances the taste and flavour a lot.


Farin Ahmed said...

Love this anytime... Perfect to go with hot hot idli's and dosa's

Rafeeda AR said...

this sambar looks delicious... it is so intriguing of how many types of sambaars are there...

Torviewtoronto said...

looks wonderful delicious flavour

Anu Shoj said...

wow awesome yummy sambar

nandoos Kitchen said...

loved the wonderful clicks and those soft soft idli's. Tempting idli sambar..

Sathya- MyKitchenodyssey said...

Yummy sambar.It looks really delicious

kitchen queen said...

delicious lip smacking sambar.

kitchen queen said...

delicious lip smacking sambar.

Radha Natarajan said...

lovely yummy sambar...can never tire of making this and this sambar sounds very delicious with clear instructions.

specs buffy said...

Hello Swapna...Its been a while..
Read the feature about you in Indulge edition of The New Indian Express - kochi edition...congrats and keep blogging on the mouth watering delicacies as always!
For idlis, nothing to beat this sambar !
I do make the typical Bengaluru style sagar Sambar....

Veena Theagarajan said...

this looks amazing perfect for idli/ even rice

Gloria said...

this sambar looks so delicious dear..happy to follow you

Hema said...

That bowl of mini idlis with the sambar looks so tempting..

Maha Gadde said...

Looks hot n tempting. ..missing it lot .

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