Sambar in our house is always made the same way. Non-complicated; non restaurant style but something that is light and good with rice/idly & dosa.
To keep it simple, follow the following steps:
- Take a palm full or toor dal, add water & pressure cook the dal. Make sure it is done well.
- Cut vegetables first. The technique of Sambar is that there should be more water and it should not be like a gravy. For this, use very few vegetables so that its wet. Cut 2 okra, 1 onion, 1 tomato, 1 brinjal & 1/5th of bottle gourd. If you have large green chillies, cut one. Cut all vegetables into huge pieces – not small.
- Heat some water in a small cup; take a lemon sized portion of tamarind; wash it and leave it in the hot water.
- Take a huge vessel and pour 4-5 tbs of oil. You will need a little more oil in this step. Heat the oil and when its hot add in the following order – Urad Dal, Channa Dal, Cumin & Mustard seeds. Let these turn golden brown. Lower the flame and now add dhaniya (1tbsp) and just 4 pepper corns. After they cook for a minute, add 4 red chillies and shut down the flame. Remove this onto a plate & let this cool. Leave excess oil in this vessel.
- In the same vessel, with the same excess oil, put in all of the vegetables, a few curry leaves and fry them. Fry for a while to make them mushy.
- After 10mins, squeeze the tamarind juice & without any pulp, pour the tamarind juice into the vegetables. Mix well.
- Now add 2 big glasses of water & let it come to boil.
- Now add the cooked dal and let it simmer for 10-15mins till everything mixes in well.
- Add salt as desired and add 1 tbsp of haldi powder.
- Lower the flame & when you are done simmering the mixture and 5mins before you are done; grind the tadka mixture very fine; add it to the vessel.
- After 5mins, remove the Sambar.