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The sweet flavor of the small onions and the sour taste of the tomatoes cooked in a tamarind and lentil gravy with the addition of home made sambar powder is sure to tease those palates when eaten with idli, dosa's, hot rice etc.
Sambar is a very traditional dish served in almost every South Indian household. The lentil based gravy has many different variations in each region. The sambar gets its spice and tanginess from the tamarind extract and sambar powder. The spice powder called “Sambar Powder” that is added is also atypical to every household. Each family, each region has their own subtle variation of this powder that it makes a huge difference to the way sambar tastes.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook the Tuvar Dal until soft. If the cooked dal is thick and mushy, add 1 cup of water and whisk.
Pressure cook the onions and tomatoes in the tamarind gravy along with sambar powder and salt.
If you are not using the pressure cook method - Heat oil in a sauce pan, saute the smalls onions until tender and the sweet aroma is released. Add the tomatoes, the sambar powder and tamarind extract and 1/4 cup of water and simmer until the tomatoes are tender. Set aside.
Mix the whisked and mashed cooked lentils to the tamarind gravy.
Heat oil in a pan; add mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilli. Allow it to crackle. Add the lentil mixture to the seasoning and allow it to come to boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or with phulka’s or with dosa’s.