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Sambar

A delicious and internationally popular sambar recipe everyone will love.


Sambar is a popular South Indian vegetable soup-like curry that is now eaten all over India and the world.

The base of this vegetable soup involves dhal (or split peas) making this vegetable soup full of protein and a very nutritious meal on its own. Sambar does require a two step process of cooking the split peas first and then adding the vegetables and seasoning.


What makes this recipe great is there are no set rules on what vegetables to use except avoid vegetables that get overcooked or slimy when boiled. To save time, soak the dhal the night before.


You can adjust the spice level if this as desired.

 

TIP: If using a pressure cooker to cook the dhal, count to 5 pressure releases to ensure the dhal is fully cooked.

 

Ingredients

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1/2 cup split peas, thoroughly washed (or masoor dhal, or Chana dhal)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 small carrot, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1 inch cube

  • 1 medium tomato, slightly green, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 6 green beans, cut into 1” pieces

  • 2 to 3 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste

  • 2 tablespoons sambar powder

  • 1/2 onion, cut into large chunks

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 or 2 green chilies (adjust to suit spice preference)

  • 1, 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika if you prefer less spicy)

Optional tempering:

  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 curry leaves (optional)

  • Pinch asafoetida

  • 1 dried red chili

 

Directions

In a large pot add 2 cups of water and the split peas, ground turmeric, and vegetable oil. Boil until softened, approximately 30 minutes. adding water as needed to continue boiling.


Once the split peas are softened, mash slightly with back of wooden spoon. Add 2 or 3 cups of water to just cover vegetables, and all remaining ingredients except tempering items. Boil on medium heat, stirring till vegetables are slightly soften, approximately 30 minutes. Vegetable stew will slightly thicken and vegetables will absorb spices darkening in colour.


Don’t over cook. Turn off heat


Optional

Often curries have a final step called tempering. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds, and dried chili. Once mustard seeds start to pop, turn off heat and pour hot oil immediately onto pot of vegetable sambar. Stir immediately.


Ladle sambar into bowls and serve with rice, or enjoy on its own as a spicy vegetable soup. Traditionally this is served with idly, a steamed rice dumpling.

 
 

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 162 | total fat = 2.43g | saturated fat = 0.25g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 615.71mg | net carbohydrates = 25.12g | dietary fibre = 8.65g | sugars = 10.05g | protein = 6.13g

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