Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mysore Sambar

The specialty of this sambar is the fact that it will be made out of a fresh, homemade ground spice mix and not a store bought one!


10 methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds)Mysore Sambar Podi
2 tbspn coriander seeds (or 1 tbspn coriander powder)
10 curry leaves
15-20 dried red chilies
1 tspn cumin seeds
½ cup fresh coconut
5 tablespoons oil or more
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
6-10 curry leaves
1/4 cup juice of imli (tamarind)
1/8 tsp Asafetida (ing)
salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery dissolved in warm water or 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Add any or all of the following vegetables (up to two cups):
1 cup chopped/diced brinjal (eggplant)
1 cup dudhi (Indian squash)
1 cup finely diced potatoes
1/2 cup finely sliced carrots
1 -1 1/2 cup tomatoes cut into about 1 inch chunks

1. Soak 1/5 block dry tamarind in warm water until step 4
2. Boil 1 cup dhal in 2 cups water until dal is soft, but not pasty
3. Dry fry cumin/methi separately, dry fry chili/coriander separately. Alternatively, if it is sunny, you can keep the spices on a plate out in the sun for 8-10 hours to sundry as the spices photographed in this article were.
Grind these seeds into a powder using a mortar or coffee grinder.
4. Put this spice mix in water and grind in blender with coconut for 15 minutes or until it's puddling-like.
5. Add boiled toor dhal into the blender and blend into a paste. Set this aside. (I believe mashing or grinding the dhal into a paste gives it the thick consistency typical of Udipi style cooking found in Karnataka state, India.)
6. Heat 2-3 tsp vegetable oil in a large pot (5-6 cups capacity). Add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (MS) in the oil, when MS pop, add cut vegetables add 1/4 tsp turmeric and curry leaves. Fry this mix for 10 min.
7. Strain tamarind water, place in pan with two cups of water along with the vegetables. Boil until vegetables are soft.
8. Add one tsp jaggery dissolved in warm water or 1 tsp sugar if desired.
9. Add blended dhal and spice mix and boil on medium for an hour or until tastes mesh.
10. Add salt as per taste.
11. Previous to serving, garnish with coriander.

Eat with rice, idli, dosai, pongal etc.
Makes 10-15 servings.

Note: Because the dhal is blended as a paste, this sambar will become thicker as it cools. If kept in the fridge over night, water may need to be added the next day to make it a stew consistency. To avoid this if you think you will need to store it, do not blend dhal and only cook dhal until it is done and not over boiled.

**Sambar is a type of South Indian vegetarian stew with lentils, a mix of spices (masala) and vegetables).

Updated July 22, 2008
Original posting date January 26, 2008

Amol has showcased the photo of the sambar masala seeds in his posts here and here.