My understanding of Sambar Dal is that it is a vegetable stew and tamarind juice is used to sort of balance the taste. After learning this, I cooked this once for my better half, who loves Indian food, and I loved it.
1 cup Toovar Dal [Flat Yellow Lentil]
1 Tabsp Oil
1/2 teasp *Mustard Seeds
1/2 teasp Cumin Seeds
8 Shallots/small Onions
2 Green Chilies, slit into half
3 Dry Red Chillies
1 - 2 Tabsp Tamarind mix with 1 bowl of Water
1 sprig Curry Leaves
1/2 teasp Sugar
2 Tabsp *Sambar Powder mix with 1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
1 cup in total of the assorted vegetables:-
Brinjals, cut into wedges
Carrot, cut into stripes
Long Beans, cut into stripes
- Wash & soak Dal for 1 hour then boil till very soft. Remove from fire, strain the dal & set aside.
- Heat the oil then, *reduce fire to LOW medium Heat then saute/fry the* Mustard Seeds till they crackle [start jumping]. Add the Dry Red Chillies & the Cumin Seeds, give it a stir then add the Shallots & keep on stirring on Low Medium Heat for a minute or so.
- Increase the fire then add the Green Chilli, Tomatoes & Vegetables & saute.
- Add the boiled, drained Dal & Salt & let it cook for a few minutes.
- Add the Sambar Powder mixture, stir, then the Tamarind mixture & Sugar.
- Just before adding the *curry leave, crush it with your palm & throw it in.
- Check seasoning.
(a) Sambar Powder - those who want to know about this, I use is Baba's Serbuk Kari Sambar;
(b) A very important tip on *Mustard Seeds - It is important that when you add the Mustard Seeds to take extra care as they burn very easily; thus you make the oil hot then reduce it before throwing in the Mustard Seeds and once you see that popping about, it is done proceed with the next thing. IF your Mustard Seeds get burnt, Throw it away & fry again as it would be bitter;
(c) Another important note, in this recipe, is that each step you add something you bring it to a boil for 2 minutes as it is essential to get the right texture of this Dal;
(d) Curry leaves - We were told that if 1. We add the curry leaves early in the cooking; the aroma would not be strong and if you want a stronger aroma add the Curry leaves half way through the cooking process & to crush it in your palm before throwing in same as more aroma is released this way :)
Enjoy cooking, till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.