Monday, April 16, 2012

Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar is one of the favorites in our home. Ideal to be eated with rice, idlis and dosas it is hard to stop drinking the sambar literally. I had cut an onion a day before and preserved half of it. (And I used the remaining half to garnish Pav Bhaji). My Mom and Grandmom make the best arachivitta kuzhambu. I used their recipe to recreate the taste (close to it , but not quite there). The sambar masala is a blend of very simple spices that gives a fresh taste. Tonight we are going to have this tasty sambar with idlis.


For the Sambar masala:

  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Chana Dal - 2 tsp
  • Urad Dal - 2tsp
  • Curry leaves -1 sprig (fresh or dry)
  • Grated coconut - 1/4th cup (fresh /dessicated)
  • Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/4th tsp
  • Black pepper - Few corns
  • Dry red chillies - 3-4
For the Smbar:
  • Red Onion - I medium sized - Cut lengthwise
  • Cooked Toor dal - 1 cup
  • Tamarind Pulp - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - To taste
  • Asafoetida - A pinch
  • Water - As needed
  • Curry leaves - For Garnishing/ tempering
  • Cilantro - For Garnishing
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4th tsp 
  • Firstly, cook 1/2 cup of toor dal  in a pressure cooker until soft and mush and keep aside.

  • In a pan, add all the dry spices like coriander, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, black pepper, curry leaves, red chillies and grated coconut in a pan and dry roast them till a nice aroma comes from them.

  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool down. Grind all the spices until it is all crushed. Keep the consistency somewhere between fine and medium coarse (not too fine or not too coarse).
  • In another pan, add ghee, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds pop up and then add the cut onions.

  • Once the onions have softened and become translucent, add 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp.
  • Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and asafoetida and allow it to come to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling and starts frothing from the sides, add the ground sambar masala.

  • Mix it in well and add another 1/2 cup of water and allow this mixture to boil for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Then add the cooked toor dal and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro, curry leaves and add 2 tbsp of ghee over the sambar and serve it hot with rice, dosas or idlis.
  • Enjoy the sambar and I am sure you will love this.

  • You can use any type of onion. Red onions taste the best. Even pearl onions taste very good in this recipe.
  • I used dessicated coconut and dry cilantro as I ran out of fresh ones. Fresh is always the best.


Aruna Manikandan said...

flavorful and delicious sambar :)

Priya said...

My kind of comforting food, love it..

Vimitha Anand said...

Thats my comfort food. Yummm