Monday, September 12, 2011

Hotel Sambar Recipe

Have you tried eating idli-sambar/dosa-sambar or vada-sambar in any of the fast food joints in Bangalore? If yes, you must have gone gaga over their sambar. The sambar provided would be more on the sweeter side & considerably thick. I have tried to recreate their sambar over years & now I can say, I make somewhat similar to what is served in the restaurants!

Here is my version:

Preparation Time: 20mins
Cooking time: 40mins (Including pressure cooking time)

Ingredients: (Yields around 2 litres of sambar).
Moong dal/Split & skinned green gram: 1/2 cup
Salt: According to taste
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Finely chopped potato: 1/2 cup
Finely chopped veggies: 1/2 cup (I normally add raddish, carrots, french beans & yam)
Finely chopped onion: 1/2 cup
Tamarind: 2 tsp, thick extract of the pulp.
Jaggery: 2 tbsp

For spice paste:
Gram dal/Channa dal: 2 tsp
Urad dal/Skinned black dal: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Coriander seeds: 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
Dry red chili: 8-10 nos ( non spicy ones like Kashmiri chilli)
Curry leaves: 10-12 nos
Oil: 1 tsp
Coconut: 1/2 cup, scraped
Asafoetida: a pinch

For tempering:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4- 6 nos
Tomato: 1 no, finely chopped

  • Wash the moong dal thoroughly. Add the finely chopped vegetables, potato & onion to the washed dal. 
  • Add water, turmeric & 1/2 tsp of salt to the vegetables. Pressure cook the dal & vegetable together for 2-3 whistles. Allow the cooker to cool.
  • Meantime, heat a pan. Add oil & roast all the ingredients mentioned for the spice paste (except coconut & asafoetida). No need to roast each ingredient separately. Add channa dal & urad dal first, roast it lightly. Follow it by cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli. Roast it till the dry red chilli become crisp.Finally throw in curry leaves & coriander seeds.  Toss for another minute. The kitchen will smell heavenly by now. Turn off the heat, add coconut & asafoetida to the roasted spices & mix well. Allow the spices to cool down.
  • Make a fine paste of the roasted spices by adding little water. 
  • Heat a broad vessel. Add oil to it. When oil is hot, throw in mustard & cumin seeds. When seeds turn brown, add curry leaves & finely chopped tomato. Saute the tomato until it is mushy & oil separates from it.
  • Add the cooked lentils & vegetables to it. Adjust the salt, add the tamarind extract, jaggery & the prepared spice paste. Allow it to boil for another 10-12 mins. 
  • Yummy hotel sambar is ready. Serve it with vada, idli, dosa or even plain rice!

My sis's mom-in-law adds a tablespoon of roasted gram dal/roasted channa dal/hurigadale/kadala pappu while preparing the spice paste & adds only 1 or 2 tbsps of grated coconut. I have tried the sambar this way too! It taste's good.

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