Varatharacha sambar

Tired of the same old sambar? Try the sambar that the northern Keralites prefer, with added dry-fried scraped coconut.

½ cup toor dal/split red gram
2 cups water
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp pepper powder
1 small lemon-sized tamarind
1 cup shallots
4 green chillies, slit
½ cup scraped coconut
2 dsp ghee and oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
3-4 red chillies
½ tsp asafoetida powder
Salt, as required

Light the stove and place the pressure cooker on it
Add washed toor dal to the cooker
Measure two cups water and add to the cooker
Add turmeric powder and then put the lid on the cooker
Let it cook for 20 minutes in medium flame, or till 4 whistles
Make a cup of tamarind water
Once the toor dal is cooked, open the lid and pour in the tamarind water
Add the shallots to the cooker
Drop the chilli powder, coriander powder, pepper powder and asafoetida powder
Add the green chillies and finally the salt
Mix it well, and keep in low flame
Heat another pan
Add the scraped coconut directly to the pan and dry fry it
Saute until the coconut turns a deep shade of brown
Pass it to the mixer, blend well and keep aside
In another hot pan, pour the ghee-oil mixture
Add mustard seeds and then the fenugreek seeds
Drop the red chillies and then the curry leaves
Pour the boiling sambar into the pan
And finally add the fried coconut mixture to the sambar
Blend well and let it boil
Varatharacha samber is steaming hot and ready to be served

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