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Sambar I



  • Tuar dal or yellow split peas - half cup
  • Onions - 2 - medium
  • Okra - 10 or 12 (fresh or frozen) (optional)
  • Tomatoes - 3 large (or one can) - quartered
  • Tamarind extract (available in Indian stores) - 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
  • Chili powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Methi powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Methi seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Veg. oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, chopped - 4 Tablespoons
  • Curry leaves - a few (optional)


Cook the dal with chopped onions, turmeric powder, chili powder and sufficient water. Cut the okra in two inch pieces and sauté them in a frying pan with one teaspoon oil till dry and slightly browned. Mash the cooked dal with a wooden spoon and add the salt, coriander powder, methi powder, hing and the tamarind extract.

Simmer for a few minutes and add the tomatoes and okra and half of the coriander leaves. When the vegetables are cooked ,heat oil in a fry pan with a splatter screen or a lid and pop the mustard seeds. Remove pan from the fire, add the curry leaves and methi seeds. Add this seasoning to the sambar and garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves.

Hint. Other vegetables that can be added to sambar are potatoes (which do not freeze well) ,shallots, pearl onions (available frozen), cucumber, Indian or oriental eggplant (baingan), beans, carrots, lima beans or squash.