Sambar

Recipe courtesy Maya Kaimal MacMillan, Curried Favors (c) 1996 Maya Kaimal MacMillan and Abbeville Press, Courtesy Abbeville Press, New York
TOTAL TIME: 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thoor dhal or yellow split peas
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sambar Spice Blend
  • 1 large boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup cut green beans (1-inch lengths)
  • 1 green chile, serrano, Thai or jalapeno, split lengthwise
  • 5 to 6 sprigs cilantro
  • 10 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
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      Directions

      In a small saucepan combine thoor dhal or split peas, 1 1/4 cups water, and turmeric and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until very soft (about 45 minutes for split peas).

      While dhal cooks, dissolve tamarind concentrate in 1 tablespoon hot water and set aside.

      In a 3-quart covered saucepan over medium high heat, heat mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and asafetida in oil until the mustard seeds begin to pop.

      After the seeds have popped for a few moments, add 2 cups water, salt, spice blend, dissolved tamarind, potato, tomatoes, onion, green beans, green chile, cilantro and curry leaves and simmer over medium low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

      When dhal is cooked and completely tender, mash with a potato masher or back of a spoon 6 to 8 times, to break up roughly. Stir into cooked vegetable and spice mixture in saucepan and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary to attain a soupy consistency.

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