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Sambar is a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and Thuvar Dal/ Split Pegion Pea, and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Each state in South India prepares it with a typical variation, adapted to its taste and environment.

Even every family makes it differently. Here is my mom's recipe which we all love and relish.

  1. Thuvar Dal/ Split Pegion Pea: 1/2 cup
  2. Channa Dal: 1/4 cup
  3. Potato: 1 medium cut into cubes
  4. Okra: 4 medium cut into half
  5. Indian Eggplant: 2 slit into 4 with the steam attached
  6. Drumstick: 5-6 frozen thawed
  7. Sambar onion: 8 whole peeled
  8. green chillli: 2 whole
  9. Curry Leaves: 1 strand
  10. Mustard Seed: 1 tsp
  11. Red dry chilli: 2 whole
  12. Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
  13. Sambar powder: 1tbsp
  14. Tamarind: size of a lemon
  15. Water:  4 cup
  16. Salt: as per taste
  17. Oil: 1 tsp

Soak the tamarind in some warm water.
In a pressure cooker boil Thuvar Dal/ Split Pegion Pea, channa dal and potatoes along with 1 1/2 water and turmeric powder till 2-3 whistles.
Turn of the heat and let the pressure release naturally.
Remove the lid and add rest of the water mix well till the dal is mixed well but don't mash up the potatoes.
Put it back on the heat on medium heat and let it come to a boil
In another pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, dry red chilli and as the mustard seeds stop cracking add the curry leaves. As the curry leaves stop cracking add the tadka to the boiling dal and mix well.
Add the rest of the vegetables (okra, eggplant,drumsticks, onions and green chilli) to the boiling dal along with salt to taste.
Cook on medium heat till the vegetables are cooked through.
In the meanwhile mash the soaked tamarind into a pulp and drain the juice.
When the vegetables are cooked through add the tamarind juice and sambar powder to the sambar and bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.

Serve it hot with vada, idli, puma or dosa and enjoy.
Till then happy blogging.


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