Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Drumstick & Brinjal Sambar !

Sambhar / sambar is one of the indispensable recipes of Tamil nadu. Most people think sambar is same across the whole south india which is very untrue. Sambar preparation varies from state to state in south india. You wont get the same taste of sambar from Tamil nadu in Karnataka. (I knw it personally :)) And sambar in a brahmin household in Tamilnadu itself is prepared differently called Arachivitta Sambar. Vj is not a big ban of sambar as he is used to the Pappu recipes  of A.P. 
One of the classic combo of vegetables is Brinjal, drumstick and Raw mango. Each of them adds a distinct flavor to the sambar making it absoultely delicious with hot rice and ghee.
I couldn't get raw mango here so made with other two veggies.

  • 2 Drumsticks (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 5 Brinjals (cut lengthwise)
  • 1/3 cup toor dal
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Sambar powder (I use MTR)
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • tamarind (amla size or 1 tsp tamarind paste)

For Tadka
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • a pinch of asafoedita
  • 2 dry red chillis
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • few coriander leaves

  • Pressure cook toor dal for 3 whistles and mash it well  / whisk it to make it to a smooth puree/paste.
  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract the juice.

  • Heat little oil in a pan, add onions and saute them.
  • Then add the vegetables and saute them for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes.

  • Add 2 cups of water, salt, sambar powder and red chilli powder and mix well.
  • Now add in the mashed toor dal and the tamarind extract and give a stir.

  • Transfer everything to a cooker and pressure cook for one whistle.
  • Wait for the pressure to release and then open the cooker.

  • In a small tadka pan, heat oil and mustard seeds.
  • Once they crackle add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves , asafoedita and broken red chilis.
  • Pour this tadka to the cooked sambar and give a mix.
  • Add coriander leaves at last.


  • There are so many methods and ways to make sambar.Traditionally the toor dal is cooked and mashed in a earthern pot , and the veggies are boiled in water with spice powders separately. Once the veggies are almost cooked, mashed toor dal and tamarind extract are added. But nowadays pressure cooker makes the job easier.
  • Instead of pressure cooking the sambar for one whistle you can also cook them in a vessel/kadai on stove top, but it takes time. In that case, add salt and tamarind only after the veggies are almost cooked.
  • You can skip the tadka given at last and instead add the tadka ingredients in the beginning itself before sauting onions. But adding tadka at last gives a nice flavor.
  • The basic procedure is given and you can add choice of your veggies.

With Love,

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