Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, South Indian

Sambar

Sambar is a versatile dal curry. It tastes good with almost everything. You can have it with rice, dosa, idli, even chapathi!

There are various types of sambar and different styles of making it. This is a simpler version, which can be made even if you do not have whole ingredients or a ready-made sambar powder but turns out equally tasty. Try it!

Ingredients:

Toor dal – 1 cup
Drumstick – 2
Malabar cucumber/ash gourd – 100 gms
Potatoes – 2
Tomatoes – 2
Lady’s finger – 6-8
Tamarind – a lime-sized ball
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp chopped
Salt to taste
Water – 3-4 cups

For seasoning:

Coriander powder – 2 table spoons
Asafetida – 1/4 tea spoon
Red chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
Methi(fenugreek) seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
Oil – 1 tsp

Preparation Time: 15 mins.

Cooking Time: 20 mins.

Method:

Wash toor dal and add some turmeric powder and pressure cook it. Mash the dal and keep it aside.

Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.

Wash, peel, and cut the vegetables in 1/2 inch sized cubes. Put all the vegetables except tomato in a vessel. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables and a pinch of turmeric powder and cook. When the vegetables are cooked, add the tamarind paste and add tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked dal to this mixture. Add salt and mix boil for 2 minutes. Add more water if needed.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and methi seeds. When they crackle, add coriander powder, red chilly powder, asofetida. Take care to not burn the powders. Add half a glass of water and cook this mixture for 2 minutes. Instead of adding these powders, you can buy sambar powder from the market and add 2 tbsps of that. Add this to the vegetables. Add curry leaves and chopped coriander leaves and garnish. Hot sambhar is ready.

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Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, South Indian

Cucumber & Raw Mango Curry

A sour curd curry similar to North Indian kadi.

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Ingredients:

Malabar cucumber* – 250 gm
Raw mango (medium)* – ½ portion
Curd – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Water – 2 cups
Salt – to taste

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For gravy:
Coconut (scraped/cut) – 1 cup
Green chilies – 4-5
Cumin seeds (jeera) – ½ tsp

For tempering (tadka):
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek (uluva) – ½ tsp
Dry red chilies – 2-3
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Oil (preferably coconut) – 1 tsp

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:
You can use ash gourd, squash, or other cucumber variants instead of Malabar cucumber. The taste remains the same. Raw mangoes are available only in the summer season. This curry can be made even without the raw mango, just by doubling the amount of curd to compensate for the sourness. But the taste that you get by using raw mango is simply different and cannot be matched with curd.

Preparation Time: 10min.
Cooking Time: 15min.

Method:
Wash the cucumber, peel, remove the seeds and cut them in 1-inch sized cubes. Similarly, wash the raw mango, remove the seed, take half the portion and cut them into 1-inch sized cubes. Take a vessel and pour 2 cups of water. Add the cucumber into the vessel. Add turmeric powder. Cook for 5 mins. When the cucumber is almost done, add the raw mango pieces and cook for 5 more minutes.

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In a mixer, grind one cup of coconut, green chilies, and jeera to make a fine paste. Add this to the cooked vegetables. Boil this for 2 minutes. Turn off the fire. Beat the curd in mixture and add it to the vegetables. In a small pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. When they start to splutter, turn off the fire and add the dry red chilies and curry leaves. Pour this into the cooked vegetables and mix well. The cucumber and raw mango curry is ready to be served with rice.

List of accompaniments:
Tastes great with rice.

Health Benefits/Alerts:
This is a very healthy dish. Cucumber is fibrous, has high water content, and is low in calories. It’s the best thing that you can have to cool off in the hot summer season.

Click here to view a simpler version of this curry.

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