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