Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brinjal Sambar Recipe | Vankaya(Kathirikai) Sambar | South Indian Sambar Recipe

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brinjal sambar
Sambar is the most popular south Indian accompaniment which pairs nicely with rice as well as the breakfast  idli/dosa varieties. The preparation process of Sambar slightly differ  for breakfast varieties and rice because of the combination of vegetables and also the sambar masala used in the recipe. A freshly ground Sambar masala is used in breakfast variety sambar where as we use Sambar powder with/without coconut in the sambar recipe which is paired with rice.
brinjal sambar
Few varieties of vegetables  go well with Tiffin Sambar and few varieties go well with sambar variety for rice. This Brinjal sambar pairs nicely with breakfast varieties or rice. I like to prepare this sambar slightly thick and also with less tamarind in the recipe which makes it taste delicious to pair with idli or dosa.You can adapt the same process of preparation for preparing sambar with other vegetables like drumstick, brinjal, yellow cucumber,potato and radish. I have used Andhra style Sambar powder in this recipe which makes it suitable for both rice and breakfast varieties. The preparation process for Karnataka style sambar is slightly different because of the addition of ground paste with freshly roasted spices and fresh coconut, which I would post some time later.
Check out other Sambar recipes in my blog here - Gummadikaya(Red Pumpkin) Sambar and Mullangi(Radish) Sambar-with freshly made masala.

kathirikai sambar

Brinjal Sambar Recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time: 40 mins
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Side dish for Rice - Main Course
1/2 cup Toor dal
5-6 small or 2 large Eggplants(Brinjals)
1 large Onion, diced or 7-8 Shallots
1 large Tomato, finely chopped
a small gooseberry size Tamarind
1/2 tsp grated Jaggery,optional
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp. chopped Coriander leaves
2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

to temper:
2 tsp Ghee/Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1-2 Red chillies
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of Asafoetida

  • Wash and soak toor dal for 10 minutes in 1.5 cups of water. Add turmeric powder and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Once the pressure drops slightly mash the dal with a wooden ladle.
  • Cut Brinjal into four quarters or if you are using long variety ones cut them into 2" long pieces and split into four pieces. Immerse them in salted water for 10 mins.
  • Soak tamarind in water for some time and extract pulp from it and keep it ready.
  • Heat oil in a big kadai/pan and add diced onions and fry until they turn translucent. Add brinjal pieces and fry for 4-5 mins and then add chopped tomatoes and fry until they become pulpy.
  • Add 1 cup water roughly and boil it for 2-3 mins. Now add tamarind pulp, salt, sambar powder( mix it in 2 tbsp. water before adding to avoid forming lumps), jaggery and mix nicely and boil it until the raw smell of the sambar powder is gone and the vegetables are cooked nicely.
  • Add cooked and slightly mashed dal and add some more water if required. Boil it for 3-4 mins until the sambar thickens. Taste the sambar once and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sambar thickens slightly when it sits, so adjust the consistency according to your requirement. Add coriander leaves at the end.
  • Heat ghee/oil in a small tempering pan and crackle mustard seeds and add red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and fry for half a minute and add the tempering to the sambar at the end and mix well.
Serve it hot with steamed Rice and fryums and a vegetable stir fry. You can even serve it with  Idli/ Dosa.
brinjal sambar
  • One can follow the same recipe and prepare sambar with various vegetables like Drumstick, Radish,  Potatoes, Carrots, Sweet Pumpkin, Yellow Cucumber and Bottle gourd.
  • After you fry the vegetable pieces you can add tamarind pulp and pressure cook for 1 whistle if you want to make it quick.
  • Always add tempering at the end to retain the flavour of sambar and close it immediately.
  • I prefer to add ghee for tempering as it lends a nice flavour to sambar.
brinjal sambar


Torviewtoronto said...

sambar looks wonderful

Indian Khana said...

One of the fav. sambar ...looks so yum with that spread

great-secret-of-life said...

my fav sambar.. looks great

Anusha said...

I m curious about that curry in the background Prathy- looks mighty yum to me. The sambar is calling out to me esp. the eggplants in it.

Unknown said...


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