This Sambar goes super well with Idli. I make this sambar whenever I make idli for breakfasts. I also make Tomato Sambar on “NO onion No garlic” day. For that we grind the tomatoes, mix them with dal and cook with other ingredients.
In this particular recipe I have used the sambar powder which my mother made. You can use any sambar powder of your choice. This is a tangy sambar as we add both tomatoes and tamarind paste to this. I have also added little bit of roasted jeera powder to enhance the taste. If you find shallots, please use them instead of the regular red or white onions. I could not find them here and I made this sambar using my regular onions. But the shallots give the sambar a very unique flavour.
To be cooked in the pressure cooker:
Tur dal/ Arhar dal – 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
To be made into a smooth paste:
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp (leveled)
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Roasted jeera/cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Tamarind pulp – little
For seasoning :
Ghee/Clarified butter – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Tomatoes – 3 medium (chopped fine)
Onions – 2 medium( cut lenghtwise)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves – finely chopped (also use the tender stems)
Part 1 : Cooking the lentil
Part 2 : Making a Sambar paste
Part 3 : Mixing both the above
Part 4 : Seasoning
Part 1 : Cooking the tuvar dal
- In a pressure cooker, add cleaned and washed dal.
- Add turmeric powder and asafoetida to it
- Add water. Approximately twice the quantity of dal
- Pressure cook till dal is cooked well
- Mash it with a masher
- Set aside
Part 2 : Making sambar paste
- In a bowl, mix sambar powder, red chilli powder, roasted jeera powder and tamarind pulp
- Add little water and make a smooth paste out of it
- Set aside
Part 3 : Mixing both
- In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the mashed dal
- Add 1/2 cup water if required
- Turn on the gas stove
- Gradually add the prepared sambar paste
- Mix well
- Add chopped onions and tomatoes.
- Add salt
- Add coriander leaves and its tender stem
- Bring this to boil.
Part 4 : Seasoning
- In a tadka pan, add ghee/clarified butter and allow it to heat
- Once hot, add mustard seeds. allow them to crackle
- Add curry leaves and wait for it to curl
- Turn off the gas
- Add asafoetida
- Add this seasoning to the prepared sambar and mix well
- You also can add slit green chillies when you add onions and tomatoes.
- If you are using shallots, pressure cook them with the dal
- You can also replace tur dal with moong dal or masoor dal.
- You can use oil instead of ghee for seasoning.
- You can also mix other vegetables with this. In that case cook the veggies with the dal. Some veggies are an exception. such as baingan. If you are using eggplant/Baingan, do not pressure cook.
- If you are on a “No onion No garlic” day, blindly eliminate onions from the recipe and you can make delicious tomato sambar 🙂
- I have used the tender stems of coriander leaves because they give out nice flavour to any of your sambars or rasams 🙂