Tuesday, 29 November 2011



Saambar made using your own special sambar powder with dosa


     1)    Coriander seeds – 50 gm.
     2)    Fenugreek seeds – 25 gm.
     3)    Asafoetida – a 20 gram bit
     4)    Dry turmeric (preferably Wayanadan) – 25 gm.
     5)    Hot dry red chilies – 50 gm.
     6)    Tender leaves of pomello or grapefruit – 3 Nos. (if not available, you can make do with 5 or 6 lime or lemon leaves)

To Make:

          Set a thick cast iron wok on high heat. Put in all the ingredients. Stir frequently. As the ingredients get hot, lower the flame and continue to stir frequently, taking care not to let anything burn at the base. As soon as the chilies are crispy, switch off the heat. Continue to stir for another 3 minutes to allow the residual heat in the wok to disperse. Let cool naturally without covering up. As soon as the roasted ingredients are cool, put them in a food processor and grind to fine powder. When cool, store in a dry airtight container for future use.

          You can prepare many different types of sambar or saambar using your own special sambar powder. I often prepare regular saambar, shallot sambar, cucumber sambar, mixed vegetable sambar or roasted coconut sambar using my own sambar powder.

          In my ‘saambar’ recipe, I have used the commercially available sambar powder which needs to be used in much larger quantities along with an extra helping of turmeric powder. If you make your own sambar powder as given in this recipe, you will find that just half the quantity or even less will suffice to give you a much more fragrant, tastier sambar (your own sambar powder contains none of the fillers such as lentil powder or chickpea powder which make up the bulk of commercial sambar powder).

          The pomello leaf and the turmeric from Wayanad district of Kerala have an important role to play in the appetizing, salivating fragrance of the powder.

          If you include a little bit of tamarind juice when you cook the vegetables, your saambar will be still tastier.

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