Pinkie is a laid-back cat. He never seeks the spotlight — and hardly ever looks twice at toys. Not a bit like flighty little miss Daisy, always underfoot and looking for attention — she loves to play and will sit with her toys, gazing up at you pitifully until you satisfy her whim.
One thing Pinkie does like is string, so last night while he was lounging around the kitchen, I tried to entice him with a new toy. If you have a rambunctious kitty like Daisy, you may not think this looks like ‘play’ — but for Pinks, it’s a regular party! For more kitty commentary, hover over the photos…
I had planned to spend this weekend in Michigan, but something came up and plans changed at the last. Of course in my disappointment, I went looking for some comfort, and what better comfort food than sambhar?
I have tried dozens of sambhars and never met one I didn’t love. I could have sambhar daily, and then to change things up a little, for a few days I might eat *only* sambhar.
Last night I happened upon this mouthwatering recipe at Suganya’s yummy blog. While the vadai looked melt-in-your-mouth delicious, I was not of a mind to start deep-frying late at night. The sambhar however… it was too much to resist. The recipe called for grinding the paste with onion and tomato — something I have never seen before. I had to try it at once!
(Incidentally, this is the first time I have not used ISG’s magic sambhar powder since I can’t remember when. I almost felt guilty! 😉 )
I noticed that my tolerance for heat has come a long way in just a couple of years.
I used every last dried chile called for in this recipe — a first for me.
This is is one fragrant and fiery sambhar!
I followed Suganya’s original recipe almost exactly — I added drumsticks to the dal and garlic to the tadka, and prepared it just a little differently.
Here is how I made it:
For the dal:
1/2 c toor dal
1 TB washed moong dal
2 tsp tamcon
1/2 tsp turmeric
10 2″-3″ pieces drumstick (I have to use frozen)
For the paste:
1 tsp canola oil
2 TB coriander seeds
1 1/2 TB chana dal
1 tsp raw rice
1/4 tsp methi seeds
2 TB grated coconut
8 dried red chiles
2 TB chopped red onion
1/4 c chopped tomato
For the tadka:
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chopped garlic
6-8 curry leaves
1/2 c coarsely chopped red onion
salt to taste
chopped tomato for garnishing
ghee for dolloping
Pressure cook all the ingredients for the dal with 2 1/2 c water. I don’t have a whistling cooker — I cooked about 8 minutes. Remove and reserve the drumsticks, and mash the dal well.
Toast the spice paste ingredients in oil until fragrant. Cool slightly and grind to a paste with the onion and tomato. I added about 1/4 water to get a smooth paste.
Toast the mustard seeds, garlic, and curry leaves in oil. Add the onions and cook just until they begin to change color. Remove the onions and hold aside. Add the ground paste and cook 2-3 minutes — by now a heady aroma will be filling the kitchen and you will be praising Suganya to the stars! Add the cooked dal, drumsticks, and 2 cups water. Stir well to blend, then simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste, and you’re ready to serve.
Find your favorite bowl. Pour a big ladle of the cheerfully bubbling brew over plenty of steaming hot sona masuri rice. Top with a few of the reserved onions and chopped tomato. Add a healthy dollop of ghee (hey, it’s comfort food, right!), find your spoon and take the whole kit and kaboodle to your favorite comfy chair.
Sit back, relax, and take a deep breath. Let the mysterious power of sambhar wash away the worries of your day. Then savor each and every bite 🙂
Thank you Suganya, for this fabulous recipe!
Oh, and ISG — you didn’t really think I could make sambhar without you did you? 😉
using a kadaisal gives any dish that ‘extra something special’…
And now it’s time for summertime dreaming… of home sweet Michigan in all her June glory…
misty sunrise over Glen Lake ~ Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
near Empire, Michigan