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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sambar with freshly ground Coconut and Spices - Aracha vitta



1 cup of any squash (zucchini, acorn, butternut, chayote, radish, carrot, yam will work well)
1/2 cup of Toor dal
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric or haldi powder
1 1/2 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate can substitute with lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste

For roasting and grinding:
1/4 cup of fresh coconut can substitute with dry coconut
1/2 teaspoon oil
2 tablespoon of whole coriander or dhania seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon of channa dal
1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek or methi seeds
a few red chilies according to taste

For seasoning:
1 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal
1 1/2 teaspoon of channa dal
1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
A few dry red chili or according to taste
Enough water for preparation

Roast the coriander, channa dal, fenugreek seeds and red chili in a little oil, until brown and an aroma is given out.  Set aside to cool.  When it is at room temperature grind the roasted ingredients with a little water and the  coconut.

Heat a pan with 2 cups of water on medium heat add the toor dal and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the vegetables and tamarind cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the dal and vegetables are cooked.

Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and the freshly ground spices to the dal and vegetables cook for five minutes.  Turn the heat off and season.

Season:  Heat a little oil, when hot add channa dal and urad dal, when the dals are brown add fenugreek seeds, dry red chili  and mustard seeds.  When mustard seeds crackle add the seasoning to sambar.

Hint: for oil use Indian sesame oil, ghee.  Serves 4

Sambar with freshly ground coconut and spices or "arachuvitta sambar" as it is know in Tamil or Malayalam has almost become a delicacy these days.  Somehow having to grind something is extra work specially when you have sambar powder readily available.  "Sambar with freshly ground coconut and spices" has been regaled to special days or occasions.  However, if you don't want to compromise on the taste "archavitta sambar" is the way to go.

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