Sambar is made up of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans,cluster beans, drum stick, radish, brinjal, ladies finger, yellow cucumber, pumpkin, chayote squash, white pumpkin, bottle gourd and even greens.Every vegetable adds a different taste to sambar and among all the sambar varieties,I like drum stick , ladies finger and radish sambar as they impart very special flavor to sambar.We used to call radish sambar as 'Rupayila Sambar(which means rupee coin sambar)' as my mom used to cut radish into thin rounds which looks similar to rupee coin and hence the name.Here goes the recipe of radish sambar,this version is quite compatible you can make it as it is or you can even make it rich by adding coconut to the spice mixture,how ever both the versions taste good in its own ways.
1 cup toor dal
1 big radish, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1 big onion, roughly diced or 10-12 small shallots
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green chili,slit
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 amla sized tamarind ball
1/2 tsp grated jaggery
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp chana dal
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
3-4 guntur red chillies
2-3 byadige red chillies( for color)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds(optional)
1/2 tsp jeera
4-5 pepper corns
1 tsp ghee/oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig of curry leaves
a fat pinch of hing
- Wash toor dal and add a pinch of turmeric to it and pressure cook for 3 whistles.Slightly mash it after it cools down.
- Soak tamarind in water and squeeze the pulp and dilute it with water.
- Dry roast chana dal,coriander seeds,mustard,jeera,pepper corns,red chillies and methi seeds separately and grind it to a fine powder.
- Heat a tsp of oil and add diced onions,green chili and fry a little bit and add chopped tomatoes and let it become slightly mushy.
- Add radish rounds and fry a bit and add tamarind water and add more water, salt,turmeric powder, curry leaves, chopped coriander and boil until the radish is cooked well.
- Add freshly ground sambar powder and jaggery to it and boil well and add cooked toor dal and simmer well for 3-4 mins.
- Heat ghee in a small tadka pan and crackle mustard seeds,curry leaves and hing and fry little bit and add it to the boiling sambar and mix well.
- If you want to make this sambar for Idli/Dosa , add 1/2 cup toor dal: 1/2 cup moong dal and pressure cook and follow the same procedure.It tastes best with Idlis and dosas if moong dal is mixed with toor dal instead of toor dal alone.
- I sometimes add 1/2 cup grated coconut to the ground masala and add enough water and grind it to a fine paste.This gives completely a different flavor and taste to sambar.
- Addition of coriander leaves is optional,it tastes different with it and tastes good even with out it.
- You can replace radish with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans,cluster beans, drum stick, radish, brinjal, yellow cucumber, pumpkin, chayote squash, white pumpkin, bottle gourd and even greens.
- For a Vegan version avoid ghee and use oil in tempering.