Sambar (Spicy Indian Lentil Soup)Prep: 20 min Cook: 40 min Servings: 6by Chitra Agrawal2 recipes>
Sambar is a staple in most South Indian homes. It is a spicy lentil and vegetable stew. On most days, we had some kind of sambar for dinner when I was growing up. You usually eat it with rice.
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 medium red potato
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup masoor dal (red lentil)
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sambar powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons frozen fresh coconut (optional)
- cilantro leaves for garnishing
- salt to taste
- For frying:
- 3 teaspoons oil or ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4 fresh curry leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 dried red chili (broken into pieces by hand)
- 1/2 red onion
- Wash masoor dal until water is clear, drain and set aside.
- Heat ghee or oil in a pot at medium heat and put in carrot and potato. Coat with oil and stir a bit. Add in drained lentil and sautee for a few minutes. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil under medium/high heat. Ladle out any foam that comes to the surface. Once foam stops, add turmeric and mix up. The dal and vegetables take about 30 minutes to cook.
- Add sambar powder and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to your taste, tamarind and coconut and mix well. Turn off heat.
- In a separate small pan, heat 2 teaspoons of ghee or oil and put in mustard seeds. Wait for them to pop a bit. To help this happen, you can put a lid over the pan. Once its popped for a few seconds, turn the heat down a little and put the curry leaves and broken up chilis. Coat the leaves and chili with the oil and fry for a few seconds. Pour this oil mixture over the lentils and vegetables and mix well.
- In the same small pan put a teaspoon or 2 of ghee or oil and fry onion until they are fragrant. Add these onions to the sambar and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- You can serve with rice and some yogurt on the side.
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