Recipes >> Sambar

Pulses Cooked with Vegetables

Ingredients

1 cup arhar dal, cleaned, washed and soaked in 4 cups water for at least 30 minutes, 10 curry leaves - shredded, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 table spoons oil, 1 whole red chilli, a pinch of asafetida, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, red chilli powder to taste, 1 large onion, sliced, 2 cups seasonal mixed vegetable, 2 tomatoes, chopped, Tamarind, the size of a lemon, soaked in ¾ cup water, 1 teaspoon sugar or jiggery the size of a large lemon, soaked along with the tamarind

Other requirements

a pressure cooker, another pan with a lid, a chopping board and knife, a long-handled spoon, a large plastic strainer and bowl over which it comfortably fits. 

This dish really is a complete meal, served with rice. It has in it dal and all sorts of vegetable and needs no accompaniment other than perhaps some papads. You might like to round off the meal with a simple dessert, though. 
 
Method
 
1. Put the dal into the cooker with the curry leaves, turmeric and salt. Close the cooker. Let it come to maximum pressure. After it whistles, turn down the heat and cook 12 minutes. Let the pressure reduce on its own. Open the cooker, stir the dal and check that it is well-blended. 
2. While the dal is cooking, put the other pan on to the fire with the oil.  As soon as the oil heats up, drop in the red chilli. Let it fizz and turn dark. Remove it from the oil and discard. 
3. Drop in the asafetida, the mustard seeds and after a few seconds, the fenugreek.  Let them all stop spluttering. The mustard seeds are the most noisy and restless!
4. Add the coriander and chilli and after a few seconds, the onion.  Fry it till it just starts turning brown. 
5. Add the vegetables, and the tomato. Stir, cover the pan and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. While it’s cooking you will need to stir a couple of times so the vegetables which are at the bottom do not start burning. You might also need to add half a cup of water. 
6. As soon as all the vegetables are tenderized, you can add the tamarind-jaggery water.  First, however, you have to strain it. Put the strainer over the  bowl.  Pour it all through the strainer.  The liquid will run through  and you will have some seeds and pulp left on top. Mash it with your hand or wooden spoon. Scrape it off the bottom of the strainer and let it fall into the liquid below. Discard the seeds and pour the liquid and pulp into the vegetables. Let the whole mix come to a boil then add to the dal in the cooker. Mix together and check that the consistency is exactly as you like. Add more water or boil as needed. 
7. Check seasoning before serving. You may need to add a little salt. 
 
Serves 2-3
 
Use ‘Daily Delight’  vegetables that are available all year around  – lauki, tori, tinda, potatoes, ladies fingers, drumstick, yam suran, okra, tindora ….. a lot more to choose from.
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