- 1 1/2 cup of small onions peeled (shallots)
- 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
- 1 small gooseberry size tamrind or tamrind paste. slightly lesser than the ball of tamrind. Extract juice and keep aside.
- 1/2 cup of moong dal or a combination of toordal and moong dal...I prefer moong dal only.
- 2 long dry chillies
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- 1 tbsp of any sambar powder you are already using for daily preparation.
- 1 tsp mustard seeds,2 or 3 tbsp of oil,
- Some curry leaves pinch of asafoetida/hing,1 tsp turmeric powder, and coriander leaves for garnishing
To roast and dry grind separately
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
1 tsp chana dal
2 tbsp gram dal( puttani )pottukadalai....no need to roast
1 tomato chopped ( to be added while grinding not roasted.)
1 green chilli
1 tsp rice to be roasted with roasting ingredients.
pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 dry red chilli and 2 tsp of home made sambar powder
3 tbsp of fresh grated coconut or dry grated coconut.
Coconut is optional but tastes great when added .
As we are adding dry red chillies while tempering and again for grinding the paste besides adding sambar powder, you can decide on the no.of dry chillies you want to add.
Tip: If you wish you can add small sliced shallots about 4 samll ones, too to the above while grinding , am told it gives most amazing flavor too.
- First take a spoon of oil or two in a pan and dry roast all the dry ingredients given under to roast and dry grind heading till a fine aroma wafts
- When cooled ,grind in a mixie with little water to get a paste. Keep aside
- In a pan put some oil and let the mustard pop,add the methi seeds,dry red chillies and add the small onions and stir them till the onions turn pink.When they are translucent ,add the chopped tomatoes and then add the tamrind water previously extracted from the ball of tamrind.
- Add the sambar powder given in ingredients list,salt,hing,curry leaves and let boil for sometime til the onions and tomatoes are cooked well and a sambar aroma starts to waft, the mixture will thicken.
- Take the cooked moong dal.mash well and add the ground paste also to the boiling sambar.The whole mixture will thicken .You need to add little water to prevent from too much thickening.
- Let the sambar boil on a low simmer for sometime as the raw smell of the ground paste has to go away.
- After adding the mashed dal and the ground paste you will notice the sambar colour texture changing to a typical hotel style and also the aroma further enhanced as the ingredients in the ground paste blend well with the dal and veggies.
- Remove from stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
- No need for tadka / tempering as it has been tempered previously.
- Some add a bit of jaggery to give a hint of sweetness to sambar but I avoid this.Instead you can add some yellow pumpkin pieces along with tomatoes and onions to get the sweetish taste.
- Some recipes have other vegetables too but tiffin sambar tastes good with only onions and tomatoes.
- Do not overdo the sambar by adding too many vegetables.If you ave noticed the hotel sambar has few vegetables but more gravy.
This sambar is somewhat similar to the aachavitta sambar, sambar made using roasted ground condiments with onions and tomatoes.or other vegetables.