I am hooked on sambhar — never does a day go by that I don’t crave it.
I took advantage of the long weekend to make several big batches of toor dal in the pressure cooker. I saved them in 1-cup containers in the fridge — not a novel idea I am sure, but I’m happy I finally did it.
Now I can have tasty sambhars in a flash!
Tonight, I made use of that precooked dal and the bounty of fresh veggies from the backyard — deck and garden plot. Imagine how happy I am to be able to say that every veggie in this dish came from my own little plants 🙂
Because I used so much tomato, I omitted the tamarind. The sambhar was not as rich as a result; rather it had a different, lighter, fresher sort of taste which I really enjoyed.
This recipe is a big thanks to everyone who offered advice and encouragement in my quest for a backyard garden (and Bee, I know you don’t love sambhar, but I thank you all the same! Please note I did not put radishes in 😉 ). It’s also for anyone who thinks, as I did, that they don’t have a “green thumb” — if I could get a few veggies, I am sure anyone can!
Garden Veggie Sambhar
This is what I used — you can add any fresh vegetables of your choice.
If you don’t use tomatoes, you’ll want tamarind, of course.
1 c cooked toor dal
1 tsp oil
few methi seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dried red chiles
6-8 curry leaves
2 c chopped tomatoes (I used a mix of red and yellow)
1/2 tsp cumin pwd
1/4 tsp methi pwd
1 heaping tsp ISG’s special sambhar powder
2-3 c water
salt to taste
1-2 long brinjals (or 6-8 small), cut in medium pieces
1 small yellow summer squash, cut in medium pieces
10-12 green beans, broken in thirds
a few okras (I got two — you can use more!)
This is pretty basic sambhar recipe so I won’t detail the whole thing. I am lazy so usually do the tadka first. When the mustard seeds popped, I added the chopped tomatoes, dry spices and sambhar powder. Let that all cook down a bit then added the cooked toor dal and 2 c water. If your tomatoes are watery, you won’t need more — mine were juicy but not overly watery, so I added the additional cup of water. Add in the fresh vegetables and simmer over med-low heat for about 20 minutes, or until green beans are tender but still crisp. Serve hot with rice, or eat as is for a comforting cool-evening soup.