Kerala Style Sambar / Lentil based Spicy Vegetable Soup / How to Make Kerala Style Sambar / Kerala Sambar without Coconut.
Sambar, every South Indian’s weakness!! Isn’t it? My husband is a core fan of kerala style sambar. He will eat four or five idlis and a full bowl of sambar for a breakfast!! Because of that reason once in a while I make this dish. I remember in Delhi, Bangalore and other cities people visit South Indian restaurants to drink sambar. Some restaurants in Bangalore serve three or four idlis in a sambar bowl with a spoon.
Kerala sambar is made with so many vegetables where as in some parts of South India, they use only one vegetable for sambar. It’s a healthy accompaniment with rice and a good option to make kids eat some vegetables.
I had been waiting since long to make this dish one day for my blog, but all veggies were not available, especially yam / chena. My in-laws sent yam / chena and my mom sent good quality fresh chembu / coclocasia from her garden when my husband returned after his last India visit.
My sambar recipe is an adapted version of Mrs. K M Mathew`s recipe. This recipe I have learned from the Pachaka Rani Recipe book of Mrs. K M Mathew which I got as a wedding gift. This is one of the recipes I have learned by heart after my marriage. Since then I have not altered the recipe. Why should I change it since that recipe is a perfect one and it satisfies our taste buds? I don’t have that recipe book with me now. I made this last week and was so happy with the outcome.
Every region in Kerala has its own way of making Sambar!! You can have a look at my Kerala Aviyal too..
There are number of ways one can prepare sambar. The procedure will not be the same in every part of Kerala and in India. Every family has their own way of making sambar. But since I am happy with this recipe, the basic sambar recipe I am not planning to change. I know that learning how to make sambar would be one of the initial recipes any South Indian newly wedded bride go for immediately after her wedding.. I am sure that my sambar recipe will be helpful for all newbies..
Sambar is one of the main traditional vegetarian feasts, ‘sadya’ dishes for festivals like Onam and Vishu, served on plantain leaves. It brings so many nostalgic memories.. Sadya always displays the splendour of cooking skills. As a child, I loved it and still love to see and have so many colourful dishes around the plantain leaves. Sambar’s place is not on the sides of the plantain, but on the top of rice which is served on the middle of the plantain leaf.
We use so many different vegetables to make sambar, like drumstick (muringakka), ladies finger (vendakka), raw banana (pachakka), brinjal (vazhuthananga), potato (urulakizhangu), pumpkin (mathanga), onion (ulli), tomato (thakkali), elephant yam (chena), beans (French payaru), cluster beans (kothamara), cucumber (vellari), colocasia (chembu), carrot etc.. etc.. Each vegetable gives us a unique taste and flavour. We use Sambar Powder to give sambar it’s authentic taste. I used readymade sambar powder to make sambar. One can make sambar powder at home too. It’s a mixture of chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and fenugreek powder. I would be adding the recipe of ‘how to make homemade sambar powder’ later.
This sambar recipe will be good for all house wives, bachelors, spinsters and working women who wants to finish cooking fast in the busy morning hours. . This sambar can be done in 15 or 20 minutes if you plan it in advance and make all the necessary arrangements. Some people have the habit of storing cooked dal (lentil) in the freezer. In such case, just before cooking sambar, you can keep it in the room temperature for minimum 2 hours.
Here comes the recipe of Kerala Style Sambar..
Ingredients for Sambar:
Toor Dal (pigeon peas spilt & skinned) – ½ cup;
Masoor Dal (pink lentil) – ¼ cup
Water – 2 cups,
Salt – 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
Vegetables I used:
Ladies Finger (വെണ്ടയ്ക്ക) – 3 ,
Drumstick (മുരിങ്ങയ്ക്ക) – 2 ,
Carrot (കാരറ്റ്) – 2,
Raw Banana (നേന്ത്രക്കായ) – 1,
Yam (ചേന) – 1 small piece,
Cucumber (വെള്ളരിക്ക) – ½ of one medium sized,
French Beans (ബീൻസ്) – few,
Cluster Beans (ചീനി അവരയ്ക്ക) – few
Potato (ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങു) – 1,
Jack Fruit Seeds (ചക്കക്കുരു) – few (optional)
Onion (സവാള) – 1,
Taro (Chembu / ചേമ്പു) – 1
Raw Mango (പച്ച മാങ്ങാ) – 1 (I didn’t use tamarind paste)
Or Tamarind paste (പുളി) – 1 tsp.
Salt – to taste
Sambar Powder – 2 tbsp.
Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tbsp.
Corriander Powder – ¾ th tbsp..
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds powder – ½ tsp.
For Seasoning / tadkka Sambar:
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp.
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp.
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp.
Shallots (kunjulli), sliced- 3
Green Chilly, slit – 1
Red Chilly Broken – 1 or 2
Curry Leaves – 4 sprigs
Asafoetida powder – 3 pinches
How to Make Kerala Style Sambar:
Wash and chop all desired veggies in to I” pieces.
Wash dal several times and Pressure Cook both lentils / dals in a pressure cooker by adding the ingredients given under section ‘cook lentils’ for 2 or 3 whistles on medium flame. Remove from heat and let it cool down. When the pressure goes off, transfer it to a mixer bowl and grind it to ensure the consistency of a thick soup. Keep it aside.
Take another heavy bottom wide pan and add 5 cups of water. Half Cook Carrot and potato first. Add more boiling water to this and add the rest of the veggies to this as per the time required for cooking each vegetable. Cover with a lid and cook for few minutes. After the veggies are half cooked add little salt. Now in a bowl take all the ingredients given under the section, ‘Sambar Masala’. Mix it well with a spoon. Take few spoons of vegetable broth from the pan and mix it well without forming lumps. Add this masala to the veggies. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Next add the tamarind paste and mix well. (Remember, I didn’t add this since I had raw mangoes and I love its taste in sambar). Add the ground or mashed dal and mix it well to blend the dal with water. Let it come to a boil. Remove from heat. Do a salt check and add if required.
Heat oil in another small pan. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add cumin seeds. When it begin to sizzles, add sliced shallots and fry till it gets golden colour. Add slit green chilly and broken red chillies. Add curry leaves and mix well till it turns crispy. Do a salt check as per your taste. Switch off the heat, remove from the stove and add asafoetida / hing powder. Mix well. Pour this seasoning in to the sambar. Mix it for a while. Close the lid immediately and let it rest for a while on your kitchen counter top.
Your yummy and aromatic Kerala Style Sambar is ready to be served. This sambar goes well with Idli, Dosa, vada, Rice etc. In fact sambar is so essential for these dishes.
Wash and chop all desired veggies in to I” pieces.
Measure Dal / Lentils
Take all Ingredients required for Sambar Masala and Seasoning..
When the pressure goes off, transfer it to a mixer bowl and grind it to ensure the consistency of a thick soup. Keep it aside.
This sambar is too good with Idli, Dosa, vada, Rice etc. In fact sambar is so essential with these dishes.
My Recipe Notes on Kerala Style Sambar:
1. Can add vegetables like red pumpkin, tomatoes, ash gourd, ivy gourd etc.. Adding vegetables is your choice. You can even make sambar with only one vegetable!!
2. You can use Toor dal alone. I usually use both toor dal and masoor dal since it gives a good taste. The taste of the sambar depends on the kind of dal we use. Dal can be cooked in a pot too.
3. I usually grind dal to smooth in a mixer bowl. You can mash it with a potato masher or with the back of a ladle.
4. If you are not using raw mango or readymade tamarind pulp, take a goose berry volume of tamarind and soak in ½ cup of water. Before using, squeeze it, take the pulp and discard the chunks. Adding ¼ cup of lemon juice in ¾ cup of water is a substitute for tamarind pulp.
5. Do not cook drumstick in the pressure cooker (if you are cooking sambar in the same) or with other veggies. It will become mushy and your sambar will be full of drumstick fibres. Cook it separately and add it later.
6. Do not add tamarind before all veggies are cooked completely. It will slow down the process of cooking veggies.
7. I have used readymade sambar powder. If you don’t have this at home, you can make it by dry roasting ingredients like, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp. chana dal, 1 tbsp. urad dal, ¼ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. methi seeds (fenugreek seeds), 5 red chillies. Cool them and then grind it to fine powder.
8. You can use more or less chilly powder depends on your tolerance level.
9. You can add coriander leaves towards the end.
10.The sambar will get thick after getting cooled, so add enough boiled water if you want your sambar a little more thin.
11. After pouring the seasoning into the sambar, closing the pan with its lid gives the sambar a nice aroma.
12. You can cook vegetables in the pressure cooker along with dal, but I never do that way. For time saving, it is a good method.
Serve Sambar with Red rice to your loved ones..
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Hope you all try this and let me know what you think.. If you make this recipe, take a picture and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to see your creations..
Sambar Without Coconut Recipe / Kerala Sambar Recipe / How to Make Kerala Sambar / കേരള സാമ്പാർ റെസിപ്പി.
Kerala Style Sambar.
Sambar is a South Indian Sauce made with Toor Dal / split pigeon peas and vegetables. It is a vital dish for Kerala Sadya Onam, Vishu and other functions.