Most of you may think that it's a good day for me today. But, no. It's quite the opposite. A very sad day for me. Why? Read on.
I love my grandma. She was a small statured, plump woman and the cutest, sweetest and the most warm-hearted little person I have ever known. I loved her cooking. She was a great cook and I don't know how she really did it. It was like as if she had some magic potion which she used in all her dishes to create those wonderful, aromatic and delightful dishes. Anything she cooked tasted like heaven.
She never had recipe books nor did she ever have to measure ingredients. Everything was in her little silver-haired head and the magic at her finger-tips.
Today, sadly, is her first death anniversary and the following recipe,I, fondly, share in memory of the sweetest and most lovable grandma in the world.
This sambar recipe is a bombshell and it comes from her and She didn't forget to hand it down. So, today my mom still makes it for all at home and when we (my siblings and me) got engaged to be married, my mom handed it down to us. It's always been compliments galore for me, when I make this sambar.
I wish my gramma were here today.I miss her ever-so-much.
"Achamma this post is in memory of you. Sure, you are looking down on me now."
I have made this sambar using Okra( Ladies finger). Some alternatives for okra are drumsticks, white pumpkin( winter melon), brinjal( aubergine) or shallots. My favorite is shallot sambar but could not find any this time.
Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
- Toor dal - 1/2 cup
- Tomato - 2 (cut into quaters)
- Ladies finger (cut into 1 inch long pieces)
- Tamarind - size of a bing cherry
- Turmeric powder - 1/8 tspn
- Asafoetida( Hing) - 2 pinches
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tspn
- Grated coconut - 1/3 cup
- Curry leaves - 7-8 large leaves ( plus more for tempering)
- Chopped onions - 1/4 cup
- Coriander powder- 4 tbspns
- Chilli powder - 1 tspn( or to taste)
- Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
- Dried red chillies- 2
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - 2 tbspns
- Wash the dal. Pressure cook it with tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of water. ( 2 whistles will be sufficient)
- In the mean time, take 1/2 tbspn of oil in a pan and saute the okra till the slime disappears. Set aside (If using drumsticks or the other alternatives, avoid this step)
- Add 1/2 cup of water to the tamarind and extract tamarind juice from it and discard the pulp. Set aside.
- In another pan, add another 1/2 tbspn of oil and add Hing.
- Then add fenugreek seeds. When it turns light brown and splutters, add coconut, curry leaves and onions and fry.When the coconut turns a golden brown and a wonderful aroma arises, add coriander powder and chilli powder. Toast well. Stir constantly. ( abt 5-6 mins on medium-low flame) . Then grind this to a fine paste and set aside.
- When the dal is cooked, add the vegetable to the dal and cook along with salt, turmeric powder, tamarind extract and the ground coconut mixture. cook for about 5-6 mins.
- If the sambar is too thick, add as much water as required to make a consistency that satisfies you.
- Finally, temper mustard, curry leaves and red chillies in 1 tbspn of oil and add it to the sambar.
- Serve with rice, idly, dosa or methu vadas.