Sambar is a lentil based dish popular in South India made of toor dal. Each state in South India prepares it with a typical variation, adapted to its taste and environment. Basically toor dal are cooked in pressure cooker along with turmeric powder, salt and water. After that vegetables, sambar powder, tamarind are cooked, lentils are added, allowed it to boil for sometime. Then cooked sambar are tempered with curry leaves, mustard and urad dal , finally garnish it with coriander leaves. Fresh curry or coriander leaves may be added at the very end to enhance the flavor.
This is a basic sambar recipe. You can use any vegetables to this sambar like carrot, brinjal, drumstick, radish, okra, mango or potato. Coming to this sambar recipe, addition of green onions or scallion are so flavorful and aromatic. Spring onion is a nutritious plant, and therefore it provides a host of health benefits to us. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals which aids in curing the various ailments. Try this flavorful and nutritive sambar for rice or idly or dosa.
1/2 Cup of Toor Dal
1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp of Oil
1/2 Tsp of Salt
Pinch of asafoetida
2 Cups of Water
3 Tsp of Oil
1 Red Chilly (Big)
1/2 Tsp of Fenugreek
1 Tsp of Mustard
1 Tsp of Urad Dal
Few Curry Leaves
Pinch of Asafoetida
1 Bunch  of Green (Spring) Onion
3 Small Onion (Shallots)
1/4 Cup of Sliced Red Onion
1 Large Tomato
2 Green Chillies
2 Tsp of Sambar Powder
Gooseberry size of Tamarind
Handful of Coriander Leaves or Cilantro
Water as needed
Salt to taste
- Wash and peel it, chop the small onions and spring onions tomato into small pieces, slit the green chilly lengthwise, and finely chop the coriander leaves.
- Soak the toor dal for 30 mins and wash it cold tap water.
- Soak tamarind in hot water, roughly 1 cup and squeeze out the juice. Keep this aside.
To Pressure Cook
- Pressure cook the dal by adding 2 Cups of water, salt, turmeric, oil and asafoetida for 5 whistles. Turn off the stove. Keep this aside.
Tempering and Sauteing
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add all the ingredients under ” To Temper “list, one by one. After mustard seeds crackles and urad dal changes color, add small onions, green onion both white and green part, sliced red onion and salt, saute this for 2 – 3 mins until it changes golden brown color.
- Add green chillies and tomato, fry this for 1 min.
- Add sambar powder, saute this for a min.
- Add tamarind juice and mix well. In a medium high flame, bring it to boil for 3 mins until raw smell of tamarind and sambar powder goes.
- Add the cooked dal, bring it to boil, add chopped coriander and cover the pan with a lid and simmer it for 5 mins.
- Finally add chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves and turn off the flame.
- Serve it with hot rice or any side dish of your choice.
- Serve it with idly or dosa or rice.
- You can add any vegetable to this sambar to enhance the nutrition.
- Adjust the spicy taste according to your taste buds by increasing the amount of sambar powder or green chilly.
- You can add tempering either way that is before sauteing the veggies like I did or at the end.
- If you use ghee, sambar would be more flavorful and tasty.
Health Benefits of Sping Onion / Green Onions
- Spring onion lowers the blood sugar level.
- Good source of vitamin A, B, C, k, minerals and flavanoid antioxidants.
- It is a support against gastrointestinal problems.
- It is often used as a medicine for common cold.
- It is used as an appetizer as it helps digestion.
- Prevents ovarian cancer.
- Allicin in this vegetable is good for the skin as it protects from skin wrinkling.
- It speeds up the level of blood circulation in the body.