Welcome to my world.Here's my confession...I am a foodaholic.I love good food.I am game for any cusine & am passionate about Indian cooking.Honestly I am not a polished home-maker.I haven't learnt the ropes of the trade the traditional way which is from my mom.I am not very fussy when it comes to food. I would relish & eat simple meal with great delight.Best way to unwind for me is with my family at home, listening to some wonderful music,good food,lots of laughter and possibily some good wine =) Join me as I share with you some wonderful recipes that I have cooked over the years for my family which I usually serve with a large dollop of love ♥.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Palakkad sambar

I belong to God's own country rich in vegetation & ofcourse fish yet neither am I fond of coconut nor fish !(yeah thats right I donot eat fish).Back at my grandmother's home every recipe called for a dash of coconut.I do like coconut but not too much.As far as fish is concerned I have some bad memories of eating fish good enough never to eat them again ;p But I love cooking fish though :).Most of the house holds in kerala have either idlli/dosa/Idiyappam/Kozhukatta/Appam for breakfast.Coconut chutney is a must accompainiment,so is varathuaracha sambar.Here's the traditional recipe which I learnt from my grandmother.
Traditional Varathuaracha Palakkad Sambar:


Toor dhal-1& 1/2 cups
Whole corriander seeds-3 tbsp
Whole cumin seeds-3 tbsp
Dry red chilly-3-4
Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp(divide this into 2 portions one will be used for frying the second portion for tempering)
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Sambar powder-2 tbsp I use MTR sambar powder
Tomato-1 big (preferably the regular one & not the hybrid one)chopped into 1" size
Ladies finger-5{cut in 2" long}
Egg plant/Brinjal-2 diced {2" long}
Hyacinth beans/ Avarakkai-4-5{remove the strings from the sides}
Coconut flower-1/2 cup
Tumeric powder-1 tsp
Green chillies-2 slit horrizontallyFresh corriander leaves-1-2 sprigs(for garnish)
Tamarind pulp-1/2 cup(for this add a lemon-sized tamarind ball into 1&1/2 cups of hot water,squeeze out the pulp,filter & set aside)
Curry leaves-2 sprigs(for tempering)
Cooking Oil-2 tbsp(preferably coconut oil for autheticity of the recipe)
Ghee /clarified butter -1-1&1/2 tbsp
Salt-to taste


In a cooking pan/Skillet roast{fry without oil) corriander seeds,cumin seeds,dry red chillies,fenugreek seeds(one portion) & coconut flowers.Fry them till the seeds begin to change colour(brown).Remove it from fire & transfer it into a blender,you will have to grind this up after it cools down & set it aside.Another check test to know if it is time to remove  from the stove top is when you can smell the wonderful aroma of the spices.That is a speciality with Indian cooking,we use such aromatic spices to our cooking that just the aroma makes one hungry =D.
Ok,next to the same pan(that we used to roast the spices) add oil & fry the vegetables shallots.Remove it from the pan when it is semi-cooked(the shallots will turn translucent).Transfer the vegetables to a platter.Meanwhile cook the dhal,tomato & tumeric powder in a presure pan/cooker with 1&1/2 cups to 2 cups of water (enough to cover the dhal in the pressure pan).Let it cook well(say 4-5 whistles or abt 5-7 mins).Now add the fried vegetables,the ground spices.tamarind pulp,salt & sambar powder & cook till the vegetables are well cooked(not slushy though!)
In another skillet add ghee/clarified butter,mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds,curry leaves & asafoetida.when the mustard starts crakking/spluttering remove from fire & add it to the cooked dhal & vegetales.Give it a healthy stir.Check the taste.Garnish with chopped fresh corriander leaves.Serve hot with rice/dosa/idlli.Yes it takes a while(about 45 mins) but trust me once you cook this for your family they ill never let you cook sambar any other way !

Happy cooking,serving & eating folks !


NB:You will find another variation of sambar here .

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