Vengaya Sambar and urulaizkizhangu curry are a classic combo. It is no doubt our family favorite too. This combination is usually a weekend special in our house. And I must say that this sambar will taste even better in the night. So whenever you make this sambar try to keep a tiffin like Idly or dosa so that you can enjoy the sambar with it in the evening. :)
The shallots/chinna vengayam, have a flavor of their own. Together with the freshly ground spices, the Sambar tastes just heavenly.
I learnt a few tip from my mother, like sauteing the onions in a tsp of ghee. This improves the flavor of the sambar. One more thing i would like to share here is that my mother never adds asafoetida/hing/perungayam when adding onions in a dish. That's why you won't find Hing in my list of ingredients here. Now off to the recipe.
Serves – 3 to 4
What you’ll need
- Shallots/Chinna Vengayam – about 25 to 30
- Tuar Dal – 1/3 cup
- Tamarind – big gooseberry size ball
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
- Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)
- Ghee/Clarified butter – 1 tsp
To roast and grind
- Coriander Seeds/Dhaniya – 1.5 tbsp
- Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tbsp
- Methi Seeds/Vendayam – ¼ tsp
- Dried Red Chillies – 3 to 4
- Coconut – 1/3 cup, scraped, fresh or frozen
- Oil – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Curry leaves – few
- Coriander leaves – few sprigs for garnish
- Peel the onions and keep ready.
- Pressure cook the dal until it turns soft and mushy. Whisk well and keep aside.
- Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes, squeeze and take out the extract. Add water and make the tamarind extract about 3 cups
- Heat a kadai with ½ tsp oil add the channa dal, dhaniya, methi and red chillies and roast by constant stirring, on medium flame till the dal turns golden. Take care not to burn the spices. Transfer to a plate and cool.
- In the meanwhile, in the same kadai, add a tsp of ghee, and fry the onions with a little bit of salt. Fry till the onions turn light brown.
- Cool and grind the above roasted ingredients along with the coconut and a couple of onio into a paste using about 1/3 cup of water.
- Take the tamarind extract in a vessel, add the sautéd onions, turmeric powder, salt to taste and jaggery and bring to a boil.
- Let it boil for 6 to 7 minutes on medium heat or till the raw smell of the tamarind disappears and the onions.
- Now add the mashed dal, mix well and again bring to boil.
- Finally add the coconut spice paste, mix well. Add another ½ cup of water to adjust the consistency of the sambar. Bring to boil and remove from heat.
- Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour over the sambar.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with plain rice and Potato fry or with your favourite tiffin item like Idly/dosa/vadai or pongal.