Friday, May 16, 2008

Sambar for Idlis

Hello everyone, we are back from our trip home and enjoyed it thoroughly inspite of the unrelenting heat. It was great to be around for the mango season and every variety tasted so sweet and delicious in comparison to the ones we find here, even the ones my mom declared as 'ok, not too good' were received with oohs and aahs by us. We also had massive amounts of mango icecream and refreshing 'ilaneer' (tender coconut water). And during our short trip to Singapore, we sipped (and chewed) cups and cups of bubble tea, attacked the roti paratas, claypot dishes and many of the favorites I missed all these years.

It's good to blog again .... and I intend to blog-hop and catch up on the many posts I've missed...

Coming to the recipe of the day... though my well loved, oft-used sambhar recipe is simpler than this version and requires no grinding, this recipe results in a very flavorful complement to idlis and is worth the extra effort that it demands, so wanted to share this.

This is a Mallika Badrinath recipe with some modifications...



Toor Dhal - 1/2 cup
Small Onions - 1/2 cup, peeled (OR) 1 red onion - sliced thinly into 1 inch pieces
Red Radish - about 8 or so, sliced into thin rounds
Green Bell pepper (capsicum) - 1/2, cut into 1 inch cubes
Tomato - 1 medium
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized, soaked in warm water and juice extracted
Green chillies - 2, slit vertically
Salt, to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Musard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a few pinches
Curry leaves - few

To Roast & Grind:
Coriander seeds - 2.5 tsp
Urad Dhal - 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds - 0.5 tsp
Channa Dhal - 2 tsp
Red Chillies - 8
Fenugreek (methi seeds) - a pinch
Black Pepper - abt 8
Pottukadalai (Dalia) - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 small to medium, sliced
Tomato - 1 small, chopped
Coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp, grated

1) Cook toor dhal in a pressure cooker with some turmeric and asafoetida with sufficient water till soft. I normally pressure cook the sliced radishes as well.

2) Heat a tsp of oil and fry coriander seeds, urad dhal, cumin, channa dhal, red chillies, pepper and methi till golden. Next add the sliced onion and when browned a bit, add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes with a pinch of salt. Finally, grind the above (when cooled a bit) with the pottukadalai (dalia) and coconut to a smooth paste with little water if necessary.

3) In a big pot, heat oil and season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, hing and curry leaves, add the onions and g. chillies and fry till pink. Now add the capsicum with some salt and when tender add the chopped tomato as well.

4) Add some water and allow this to cook till the vegetables are tender. Now add the tamarind exract, mashed dhal, cooked radish and the ground paste with sufficient salt and water. Allow this to boil until thick enough.

5) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and swirl in a tsp of ghee at the end for aromatic, yummy sambar and serve with soft, spongy idlis or crisp dosais for a satisfying meal.


  1. Aaah... Idli and sambar... Perfect breakfast, Laavanya! Looks delicious and comforting. :)

  2. Idli sambar confort food! lovely tiffin :)

  3. Welcome back Laavanya. I came back from the break and you went off. Glad to see you back. My, what fun you have had, wish I could have Elaneeru here, miss it so much.

    Great looking Idli sambhar, smabher looks great. Have a great weekend. I am blogging just 3 days a week (Mon,Wed, Fri) now, relaxing and cooking more from the other blogs in the spare time!:D

    Have a good weekend, see you Monday. Hugs. Tomato dosa was spicy, colorful and delicious btw, thanks!:)

  4. Glad to see you back, Lavanya! I missed your recipes. Good to know that you had a very good time in India. I miss home so much now.

    Sambar looks so delicious. I can see the taste from the picture itself. Expecting more recipes from you. Have a great weekend.

  5. Yay! you're back.:). Rest later...

    Gosh! I cannot remember the last time I had some coconut water. I like MB's recipes a lot. I have 2 kutti books. But there are no pics, so I don't flip thro' them very often.

    With a sambar like this, I might even go for idlis!:)

  6. Hi Lavanya...
    Idly sambar is my fav.... Ur looks so perfect. Nice pictures. So appetizing.

  7. glad that u are back..My alltime fav isly sambhar...

  8. Welcome back Lavanya :)))Idli Sambar yummy yummy, all time fav!!!

  9. Looks chutney can match the sambar-idli combi

  10. welcome back, Laav, nice to see ya! that plate of idli sambar is sooooo tempting, the coconut in sambar is such a fav:)

  11. yaay!! you are back...missed you :)
    and as usual u have managed to make my mouth water....yumm..mangoes..i miss that.

  12. Welcome back to blogging Laav!! Hope both A's are doing good & out of jetlag.
    Sambhar looks delicious & knows its ytum cause i tasted it at your place....I tried it out too & was a hit :-)

  13. welcome back laavanya..the idlis looks very sure those would've gone great with that sambar! you know roti mela is one..:) can send some when are you settled down!

    have a great weekend!

  14. Glad to hear that you had a nice time Laavanya. Breakfast looks very delicious.

  15. Hi Lavanya, welcome back!

  16. Welcome back Laav, you've been gone a long time! Good to know you had a great time...

  17. Thank you ladies for the warm welcome... :)

  18. Welcome back :-) and your idlis and sambar look perfect :-)

  19. Yay, look whose back! Missed you Laavi..more so your posts :D The sambar looks delish and really lucky you for getting a dive at all those mangoes... reminds me of my visit to India last year around this time.

  20. good to have you back and to see that u had a wonderful any sambar with the small onions in it!! :D

  21. Welcome back, Laavanya. I have tried this recipe from the same book. Tastes damn good.


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