♧ SAMBAR | ARACHIVITTA SAMBAR | HOTEL SAMBAR | TIFFIN SAMBAR ♧

Sambar, the grand dish of South Indian cusine is a brimful of spicy goodness. Prepared with red gram lentils and assorted vegetables, it tastefully reflects, the broad and ancient tradition of lentil based vegetable stews of Southern India. It is a versatile, nutritious, everyday fare. Sambar is had along with steamed rice as a main course, for lunch or dinner.

Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar, a fine variation, goes well as a side dish with idli, dosa, vada, upma, pongal….the list is endless! To put it simply, say just about any south indian snack | tiffin item.

Here I share with thee, 3 recipes for Sambar

  1. Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar made with a lot of spices. Fabulous tasting and popularly served in restaurants. The inevitable use of good quality and fresh spices at home, will make this sambar, a lot more flavourful than in restaurants. ‘Hotel Sambar at a Hotel’ is overrated! recreation of this spicy sambar recipe, by a jubliant you will lead to the dawn of this realisation!
  2. Arachivitta Sambar meaning Sambar with ground paste of coconut and spices, generally made for special occassions, functions or festival days and 
  3. Sambar  homestyle, a near daily fare in most South Indian homes.

“Aaha! Inda kaikhuzlku thanga valayal senji podulam” (voice it like Tamil cinema’s, king of melodrama – Nadikiyar Thilakam Shivaji Ganeshan! ‘Orai the feels, eh?!’ No offence to his fans and pardon ‘the local Tanglish baashai’, the situation calls for it!) – a filmy tamil compliment which is received when a lip-smacking dish is prepared and served well. Literally meaning “Hands that made this dish deserve gold bangles!”.

Must try recipes! Go on work your Midas touch! Hail the yellow metal! Aim for the ‘Naghazha Kadai Thanga Maligai’ a.k.a ‘The whole jewellery showroom’!

HOTEL SAMBAR | TIFFIN SAMBAR

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

S2
Yummy delicious ‘ The Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar’
Ingredients for the Hotel Sambar :
  • 3/4 cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups  of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 6 cups  of water to be added later
  • 3 small onions or 15 – 20 shallots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 250 gms of assorted vegetables (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment) like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd.
  • Gooseberry sized,seedless tamarind
  • 1  tsp of sambar powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of powdered jaggery
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of curry leaves

 for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds | dhania
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 2 – 3 whole red chilies
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion or 3 – 6 shallots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 of a fresh coconut

for garnish :

  • 3 sprigs of coriander leaves

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils in water well. Boil the lentils in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The lentils should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop all the vegetables to be added to the Sambar.  Finely chop the coriander leaves. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  4. Next prepare the vegetable ingredients under ‘grinding into a paste’.  Peel and roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic. Then roughly chop the tomatoes and green chilly too.
  5. Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for ‘grinding into a paste’ as per the listed order, till there is no raw smell of the vegetables and they are soft and done. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the onions, curry leaves. Saute well, till the onions are translucent. Now add the finely chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 3 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7. Finally add the pressure cooked lentils, ground paste and remaining 3 cups of water to the stew, salt and jaggery. Cook till it thickens. Check the seasoning, balance the flavours by adjusting salt,  jaggery and sambar powder if required. Let it boil well. Once it is frothy and the fantastic aroma engulfs the whole neighbourhood, be sure it is done. Serve hot.

Dunk any south Indian snack item in the Tiffin Sambar and gorge on this delicious spicy goodness!

S3
‘Mini idlis float’ – Mini idlis dunked in ‘Hotel Sambar’
  ARACHIVITTA  SAMBAR
Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6
S6
Arachivitta Sambar made with radish and ground coconut paste is called ‘Rooba kuzhambu’ at our home as the Radish roundels in the sambar, resemble olden days rupee coins. S loves this dish and more so because she is fascinated by the aptness, of this interesting name!
Ingredients for the Arachivitta Sambar :
  • 1 cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups  of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 3 cups  of water to be added later
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or assorted vegetables (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment) like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd, kohlrabi  or even green leafy vegetables.
  • Lemon ball size,seedless tamarind,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sambar powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of curry leaves

 for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds | dhania
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 2 – 3 whole red chilies
  • 1/4 of a fresh coconut

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the dal in water well. Boil dal in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The dal should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Chop any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.
  4. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  5. Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for ‘grinding into a paste’ in the listed order, till lightly brown and fragrant. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the broken red chilies, channa dal and curry leaves. Saute till light brown. Now add the chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 2 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7. Finally add the pressure cooked dal and remaining 1 cup of water to the stew, salt and jaggery. Cook till it thickens. Check the seasoning. Boil well till frothy. Switch of heat.

Note :

If onions | shallots | madras onions are used for the Sambar, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent and followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

SAMBAR 

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

S5
Homestyle daily fare Sambar made with greens and tomatoes.
Ingredients for the Sambar :
  • 1cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups  of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 3 cups  of water to be added later
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or assorted vegetables (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment) like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd, kohlrabi or even green leafy vegetables
  • Lemon ball size,seedless tamarind,
  • 1 1/2 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice flour
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of curry leaves

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils in water well. Boil lentils in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The dal should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Chop any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.
  4. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  5. Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for grinding into a paste in the given order, till lightly brown and fragrant. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the broken red chilies, channa dal and curry leaves. Saute till light brown. Now add the chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 2 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7.  Mix the rice flour well, with about 1/4 cup of water, making sure there are no lumps. Add it to the broth and cook for another 5 – 10 mins.
  8. Finally add the pressure cooked lentils, remaining 1 cup of water and salt. Cook till the stew thickens. Check the seasoning. Boil well till frothy. Switch of heat.

Note :

If onions | shallots | madras onions are used for the Sambar, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil, add the onions and saute them well till translucent followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

S1
‘Rooba Khuzhambu’ Radish sambar with steamed rice. Check out these edible gold coins!

Another way to remember these recipes would be to keep the Hotel Sambar as the base recipe and make the following changes to make Arachivitta Sambar and Plain Sambar.

Arachivitta Sambar

Follow the Hotel Sambar recipe with the respective changes :
1.  Changes in the Ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list :
  • 1 cup Thuvar Dal | Red gram lentil
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder

2. Add the following ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar to the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for tempering :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves

3. Skip the following ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion or 3 – 6 shallots
  • 2 small tomatoes

4. Skip the garnish.

5. In Step 3 of the Method for Hotel Sambar, any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables are to be chopped into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.

6. If using onions | shallots | madras onions, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent and then add then follow with other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

PLAIN SAMBAR 

Follow the Hotel Sambar recipe with the respective changes :

1.  Changes in the Ingredients for Plain Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list :

  • 1 cup Thuvar Dal | Red gram lentil
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder
  • 11/2 tsp Rice flour

2. Add the following ingredients for Plain Sambar to the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for tempering :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves

3. Skip the ingredients for grinding into a paste and garnish of Hotel Sambar for Plain Sambar.

4.  Mix the rice flour well, with about 1/4 cup of water, making sure there are no lumps. Add it to the broth and cook for another 5 – 10 mins at the end of Step 6 of the above Method for Hotel Sambar.

5. If using onions | shallots | madras onions, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

 NF
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