• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Ordinary Sambar (Kuzhambu)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Indian

 Ingredients List

  • 1/2 c Red Gram Dal (Pigeon Peas,
  • -Toor Dal); Picked Over &
  • -Rinsed
  • 2 c Water
  • A Lemon-Sized Piece Of
  • -Tamarind Pulp
  • 1 c Hot Water
  • 2 Green Chillies (Chili
  • -Peppers); Slit Sideways
  • 1 c Mixed Vegetables; Chopped
  • -(e.G. Radish, Onion, Okra,
  • -Eggplant, Sweet Pepper,
  • -Potato)
  • 1 c Water
  • Salt; To Taste
  • 1/2 ts Ground Turmeric
  • 3 ts Sambar Powder
  • 1 tb Rice Flour; Optional
  • 2 tb Extra Water; Optional
  • 1 sm Bunch Of Coriander Leaves,
  • -Chopped; For Garnish


1 tb Oil (To 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 tb Brown Mustard Seeds
1/2 ts Asafoetida Powder
1/2 ts Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 ts Cumin Seeds
1 Red Chili (Chili Pepper);
A Few Curry Leaves

Wash gram dal well. Drain. Place dal in a heavy saucepan. Cover with 2 cups
water and bring to a boil. When boiling, cover pan with a lid, leaving
slightly ajar. Stir several times during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Set dal aside without draining.

Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Strain the
tamarind water into another container, squeezing as much liquid as possible
out of the tamarind pulp. Discard the pulp. Set the juice aside.

Select enough vegetables to fill approx. 1 cup when chopped. Peel and
prepare as neccessary. Chop into 1/2 in. pieces. Set aside.

TEMPERING: Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the mustard
seeds, asafoetida powder, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, halved red chilli,
and a few curry leaves.

When the mustard seeds splutter, add the slit green chillies and chopped
vegetables. Saute' for a couple of minutes. Add the tamarind juice, 1 cup
water, salt to taste, ground turmeric, and sambar powder. Cover and simmer
over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Add the undrained cooked
dal. Simmer for 5 minutes, until thoroughly blended. If the sambar needs to
be thickened, make a smooth paste of the rice flour in 2 tablespoons extra
water. Add to the sambar and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Notes: When two or three vegetables are used, there is a subtle blending
of the different flavors of each vegetable. For a more distinctive flavor,
make the sambar with only one type of vegetable. If potato is used singly,
reduce the amount of oil added while tempering. Vegetables such as sweet
pepper, onion, eggplant, okra, etc. will require a little more oil.

>From Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine From South India by Chandra Padmanabhan.

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