Lekha Sreekumar shares easy tips to make a delicious sambar

It is no big secret that sambar is an unavoidable item in a sadya or the traditional vegetarian feast. Interestingly, the sambar that is prepared for the sadya is different from the one that is often served with breakfast dishes like idli and dosa. Lekha Sreekumar in her latest Youtube video shares the recipe of thick, fragrant and tasty sambar that could be prepared without adding roasted coconut paste. Actor Maniyanpillai Raju too joins her in the video sharing his unending love for sambar. In his opinion, the sadya could be deemed a success only if the sambar is delicious.

“I have always enjoyed the sambar that was cooked by my mother. When I was at home, I would ‘secretly’ drink some sambar in a glass even after enjoying it with rice for lunch. It was really delicious! My mother used to add a pinch of sugar or jaggery in the sambar right before she took it off the flame. If we give the same sambar recipe to ten people, it would still turn out differently. The most unique item that I have had is the mutton sambar. I had tried it from the Ambalakkara restaurant in Kottarakkara. I also enjoy the pachakothamalli (coriander leaves) sambar very much,” says Raju in the video.
Here is the pretty simple recipe of special sambar by Lekha Sreekumar.

¾ glass dal
2 ½ glasses water
½ tsp turmeric powder
Drum stick
Egg plant
Lady finger
Taro (cut into small pieces)
5 -6 shallots
3 green chilies
1 tsp fenugreek
1 small piece jaggery
Coconut oil as required
5 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
8 tsp coriander powder
Gooseberry sized ball of tamarind
Salt as required

For the tempering
Coconut oil as required
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried chilies
Coriander leaves as required
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tsp asafetida powder
Curry leaves as required

Wash the dal and boil with some turmeric powder and salt
Set it aside to be used later
Heat coconut oil in a stone vessel
Lightly sauté shallots, some fenugreek and split green chilies
Add the tamarind water (soaked in lukewarm water) and 2 ½ cups more water
Boil the gravy
Into it add a small piece jaggery and salt as required (jaggery is optional)
Now add pumpkin and drum stick
Add hot water if required (do not add regular or cold water)
When the pumpkin is almost done add the taro pieces and egg plant
Add the boiled dal and some asafetida too
Lady finger should be added when all these are cooked and mixed well (or else the lady finger would be overcooked)
Into it add 5 tsp Kashmiri chili powder and 8 tsp coriander powder
Add tomatoes too
Allow this to boil well
When the gravy begins to bubble up add fenugreek powder
Mix well
For the tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan
Splutter the mustard seeds
Sauté dried chilies and some curry leaves
Now add some asafetida powder
Roast until this mix turns fragrant
Add this tempering into the sambar
Mix well
Add some more asafetida for that extra zing
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Add 2 tsp ghee (optional)
Delicious sadya special sambar is ready!

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