Saturday, June 11, 2005

Coconut sambar

Sambar is a traditional south Indian dish to eat with rice, steamed cakes called idlis, or the crepe-like dosa. This is a variation and the gravy is thickened not with cooked up lentils but with a ground coconut paste. So as you can guess, this has almost half a coconut and tons of calories too. But this is a special occasion dish and my occasion is I have too much fresh coconut, a rather uncommon occurrence here.

This sambar does not need vegetables for flavor. But of course, you can saute up some onions, bell peppers and tomatoes and add it to the simmering sambar.

Coconut sambar
Roast the following in a little oil until brownish but not burnt and grind to a smooth paste:
1/2 a coconut, grated
2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp tur dal
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
4 dried red chilies

Mix 1 tsp tamarind paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric with 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the ground paste, veggies that are half-cooked and a little more water if too thick. Boil again until everything comes together. Splutter 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds and few curry leaves in a little vegetable oil and add to the sambar.

The flavor improves upon sitting and it is even better the next day. Serve it with rice or dosas.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wicked - a whole half-coconut!! I've tried making what my mom calls "thengai kuzhambu" but never managed an edible final result. Guess I'll have to try this version and see if I have better luck :)