Kerala Sambar, Kerala Sambhar with Coconut
by Tarla Dalal
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The Kerala Sambhar is a rich and flavourful version, which is made of toovar dal and mixed vegetables like brinjal, ladies finger and red pumpkin, laced with tamarind and flavoured with a spicy masala of coconut, onion, coriander seeds and other spices like pepper, fenugreek and cumin.
The flavour of coriander seeds is a bit stronger than that of other spices, and this makes the sambhar very aromatic and flavourful.
It is important to prepare the tempering fresh and pour it over the Sambhar at the end, after the cooking process is over. You must not temper at the beginning because that will change the taste.
Although we have used the ideal amount of red chillies, you can vary that to your preferred spice level. Enjoy the Kerala Sambhar with hot rice and ghee.
- Combine all the ingredients in a broad non-stick pan and sauté on a medium flame for 7 minutes.
- Cool and blend in a mixer along with ½ cup of water till smooth. Keep aside.
- Combine the toovar dal, turmeric powder, asafoetida and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
- Whisk the dal well using a whisk.
- Transfer the whisked dal into a deep non-stick pan, add all the vegetables, salt and 3 cups of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 20 to 22 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the prepared sambar masala, tamarind pulp and ¾ cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a small non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.
- Pour this tempering on the prepared sambar and mix well.
- Serve hot.
Kerala Sambar with Coconut Video
Kerala Sambar, Kerala Sambhar with Coconut recipe with step by step photos
- In a broad non-stick pan, heat a little coconut oil. Once hot, add the grated coconut.
Then add the roughly chopped onions to the pan. For a better taste, use shallots or pearl onions as they are ideal for this Kerala style sambar.
- Now add the whole coriander seeds and whole cumin seeds. Both these spices give a very earthy taste to the sambar. We do not use the ready coriander-cumin seeds powder because roasted fresh spices and then blending them always tastes better.
- Also add the whole black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
- Now add whole dried Kashmiri red chillies.
- Finally add the chana dal.
- Mix well and sauté the ingredients for 7 minutes till they are all golden and start emitting a fragrant aroma.
- Set this aside to cool completely before we can grind it into a masala.
- Blend in a mixer along with ½ cup of water till smooth and keep aside. This is the fresh masala we will use to make the sambar.
- Put the toovar dal in a pressure cooker. This dal is thoroughly washed, then drained and then used in the sambar.
- To this, add the turmeric powder and asafoetida (hing)
- Also add 2 cups of water to it.
- Mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Alternately, you can cook the dal on stove top by boiling it but it will take more time to cook.
- Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. This is a very important step. If you do not let the steam release naturally or hasten the process, the dal will not have cooked properly.
- Now whisk the dal well using a whisk. Alternately, you can use a hand blender for this as well.
- Transfer the whisked dal into a deep non-stick pan for cooking.
- To it, first add the shallots. These are also called sambar onions.
- Now we will add other vegetables one by one. Add the ladyfinger (okra/bhindi).
- Then add the cubes of brinjal.
- Add the potato cubes.
Now we will add the tomato cubes to this. All these veggies are important to make authentic Kerala Sambar recipe.
- Finally add the pumpkin cubes and drumsticks.
- In the end add salt and 3 cups of water. Since there are a lot of vegetables in this sambar, we need to add a little more salt to that the veggies don’t remain bland.
Mix well and cook on a medium flame for 20 to 22 minutes, while stirring occasionally. The kerala sambar is cooked for so long because all the veggies need to be cooked properly in order to get the taste. Let the sambar rapidly boil, while stirring it in between occasionally. After 22 minutes the kerala sambar would have reduced in a little in quantity.
- Now add the prepared sambar masala paste that we had keep aside.
- Also add tamarind pulp. To make tamarind pulp, soak the imli in water for 30 minutes and then squeeze out the water. This water is known as tamarind pulp. Here is the detailed recipe on how to make tamarind pulp.
Finally add ¾ cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally. This water is added to thin out the kerala sambar a little as it has reduced in quantity. Keep aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds. South Indians mainly use coconut oil for cooking their dishes. See the benefits coconut oil. If you do not have it, you can use any regular cooking oil.
- Also add the curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute till the mustards seeds start spluttering.
Pour this tempering over the prepared kerala sambar and mix well till just incorporated.
Serve kerala sambar hot with medu vada, dal vada or even boiled rice.
Nutrient values (Abbrv) per serving
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