The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Such a Simble aase pimble.. recipe! No grinding, no coconut, no drama; plus you will look like a cookery export in front of guests & gaddhas. Khamaan, let us do the needful I say!

Wash 3/4th cup of tuvar dal. Soak for 15 mins if you have the time. Put it in a pressure cooker, along with 2 slit green chillies, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 small sliced onion (5-6 sambar onions, each slit into 2, will taste better), a cup or so of assorted vegetables {potatoes/ beans/ carrot/ drumsticks (extremely yum! But boil separately otherwise you'll be eating fibre-sambar)/ mooli, almost any vegetable will do}, 1/2 tsp of haldi, 4-5 small cloves of garlic, a string of curry leaves, & water that stands roughly 1 inch above this whole mixture.

(Note:-Its a good idea to put the dal+vegetables in a smaller vessel & lower it into a pressure cooker which holds some water at the bottom)

Soak a small ball of tamarind in a bowl of warm water & keep aside.

Let the dal & vegetables cook for 5 whistles (if its on high heat). Open the lid & let it simmer on a low flame, while you add a tsp of chilly powder, roughly a tsp of any store-bought sambar powder (MTR is very good, but nettthhing can beat your Mummy's home made sambar powder, frankly I'll tell you) & the squeezed-out tamarind paste. Stir only when you see the tamarind paste coming to a boil & let the flavours seep through. Add salt & roughly a cup & 1/2 of water, cover & let it boil awhile.

Side-by-side, heat 2 tbsps of ghee in a little pan. Splutter a tsp of mustard seeds, 2 strings of curry leaves, 2 red chillies (cut it out if you dont like spicy. Or better still, cut down the green chillies you added earlier in the pressure cooker to just 1. The flavour of fried red chillies is so much better!), & a dash of hing powder if you have it. Pour this glorious, bubbling, spicy, mustardy ghee on the simmering sambar! & mix gently.

Now take out a tiny spoonful, blow to cool, pour on the palm of your hand & slurrrp to check seasoning. Too much salt? Add a pinch of sugar, it'll balance it out. Do the same if its too spicy also. (Sambar purists (mostly Tamilians & Mallus) indha steppe konjum ignore pannungo please. I know that sugar-giggar and all, that too in your holy SAMBAR, will be one thara assault on your delicate sensibilities. Forgyu me this trespass.)

Garnish with lots of chopped corriander leaves. Serve with rice, idlis or dosas.

When people cry with joy & give you cash-prize after eating this sambar, please to be letting me know.
Very much happy will visit my heart.


Amma, please no, today make some sambar!.. Ive been eating sushi & burgers everyday for a week now & want some REAL food!!
Added 2011-09-22 by poori




Indian Recipe


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