Tangy Sambar Andhra Style

Tangy Sambar Andhra style

I love Sambar! A bowl of piping hot sambar is such a treat.
There is this delicious no- oil ‘Tiffin Sambar’ that I often make with idlis. I wanted to try out a different variety and requested my friend Sushma for her recipe. She very sweetly shared it along with a smart tip that the quantity of vegetables needs to be almost as much as the dal/lentils. We are looking for a soupy consistency. So here is Tangy Spicy Sambar- Andhra Style! I made my own Sambar Masala powder. If using store bought, try and look for the MTR brand of masala. Thanks for the wonderful recipe Sush ❤
So here goes (Serves 4)

½ cup tuwar/arhar dal/pigeon peas split legumes
¾ cup of chopped mixed vegetables, carrots, drumsticks, bottle gourd, shallots and tomatoes
Salt to taste
¼ tsp sugar (or a little more if you like)
¼ tsp turmeric/haldi
A small ball of tamarind, soaked and strained to get about a tbsp puree
1 heaped tbsp sambar masala powder ( I make my own. Find the recipe here)
1 Tbsp oil
¼ tsp asafoetida
½ tbsp mustard seeds/rai
10-12 curry leaves
2 whole red chillies
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut (may use desiccated coconut if fresh not available)

Pressure cook the dal with the mixed vegetables, salt and turmeric.
Open the cooker and mash the dal with the back of a ladle. Avoid mashing the vegetables.
Add the tamarind puree to the sambar.
Mix sambar masala in 4-5 tbsp of water and add to the sambar.
Boil together till the masala aroma is released ( 5-6 minutes).
For the tadka- heat oil and add asafoetida. Crackle the rai and add the curry leaves.
Take off the heat and add the whole red chillies and grated coconut.
Add the tadka to the sambar and serve hot.

If adding bhindi/okra to the sambar put all the veggies in the tadka, cook them and add to the boiled dal. In this case boil the dal only with salt and turmeric.
Later in 2 Tbsp of hot oil, add asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves and then cook the shallots (use onions if shallots not available) and all the vegetables apart from tomatoes. Once vegetables are done, ass the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes and add to the dal. Delicious sambar ready!


Oil free Sambar

I love my visits to the Bombay Airport. The Shiv Sagar outlet there does a mean Sambar with some delectable mini idlis. Their sambar is one of the best I have ever had and I have been attempting to recreate that. My friend and co-blogger Sujatha Arun does a delightful tiffin sambar and the basic idea for this oil-free sambar was born there. I wanted the Shiv Sagar taste but no oil. So after a few attempts I got it just as I wanted it. The sambar masala is home- made and makes all the difference. A big shout of thanks to my buddy Priya Arun for sharing her family recipe!
It also hides  a cupful of  Lauki (bottle gourd) or kaddoo (pumpkin) in it’s delicious depths and the boys down bowlfuls without a fuss. Sneaky mommy at work 😛
For the sambar masala
Akkha/Sabut Dhaniya (whole dry coriander) – 100 gms ( ½ cup)
Jeera (Cumin seeds)- 25 gms ( 1 ½ Tbsp)
Daana Methi (fenugreek seeds) – 10 grams (1/2 Tbsp)
Kashmiri red chillies,whole- 25- 30 (can use byadgiwhole chilies and some kashmiri chilli powder in case not available)
Heeng (asafetida)- a heaped tsp
Curry leaves- 25-50
Raw rice- 1 Tbsp
Tuar daal- 1 tsp
Brush a skillet/heavy bottomed pan with 2 drops of oil and roast the sabut dhaniya for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
On the same skillet roast the following one at a time
Jeera- roast and remove
Daana methi- roast and remove
Whole red chillies+ curry leaves- roast and remove.
Rice and tuar daal- roast and  heeng at the end. Remove in a minute as the heeng tends to burn fast.
Cool completely and grind.
Store in an airtight container.


For the Sambar
Arhar/Tuar daal (Moong daal works well too) – 1 cup
Lauki (Bottle gourd) or kaddoo (pumpkin),cubed- 1 cup
Onion,cubed- I
Garlic,mined- 1 tsp
Ginger,grated- 1 tsp
Green chillies,chopped fine- 1 or 2
Tomatoes, pureed- 2-3
Sambar masala- a heaped tbsp
Tamarind pulp/tamarind chutney- 1 tbsp
Kashmiri red chili powder- a heaped tsp (or less as per taste)
Curry Leaves 7-8
Salt- 1 tsp (adjust to taste)
Turmeric- ¼ tsp
Wash and soak the daal for an hour.
Rinse the daal and pressure cook it with the bottle gourd/pumpkin, onion, garlic,ginger,green chilly, salt, turmeric and enough water till well cooked.


After a whitle,lower the flame and cook for ten minutes on low heat.Open and whisk well with a balloon whisk.Keep some pieces of the vegetable out before you whisk in case you like some chunks in the sambar.


Adjust the consistency by adding more water, if it is too thick.
Add the curry leaves, tomato puree, Kashmiri red chilly powder, sambar masala and boil for 10-12 minutes on low heat.


Add the tamarind pulp/tamarind chutney and boil for another 5 minutes. (if using  tamarind pulp, add a tsp of sugar)

Serve hot with idlis ( find the recipe here )or rice.
If desired, the sambar can be tempered with a tsp of mustard seeds and some curry leaves  after crackling them in a tsp of hot oil. But one doesn’t really miss it.