Tuesday, 1 November 2011


1)    Tor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) – 100 gm.
2)    Roasted coconut curry masala (see my recipe) – 3 Tablespoons
3)    Carrot – 100 gm.
4)    Beetroot – 100 gm.
5)    Onion – 100 gm.
6)    Potato – 200 gm.
7)    Tomato – 100 gm.
8)    Drumsticks – 2 Nos.
9)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
10)                      Mustard seeds – 1/2  teaspoon
11)                      Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
12)                      Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
13)                      Coriander leaves (cilantro) – 1 small plant
14)                      Salt – 1½ teaspoons
15)                      Sambar powder – 1 tablespoon
To Cook:
Wash the tor dal and put in a pressure cooker. Peel and wash the carrot, the beetroot, the onion and the potato. Cut into big chunks of roughly 1 inch cubes and chuck them into the cooker. Pour enough water to fully submerge the chunks. Put on the lid and set on high heat. As soon as you hear the first whistle, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let cool naturally.
From the time you put the cooker on the stove and wait for the lentils and vegetables to cook, you will have some time to do the rest of the preparations. Lightly scrape a very thin peel of the drumsticks and cut into 2½ inch long pieces. Set a 2 or 3 litre vessel on the stove. Pour water an inch deep and chuck in the drumstick pieces. Dice the tomatoes into big chunks and drop them in. Cover with lid.
When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let cook until the pressure cooker has cooled down enough to be opened. The drumstick in the vessel should be soft by now. You can check if it is cooked by pressing it with a knife. Now add the contents off the pressure cooker to the drumsticks and tomatoes. Add the salt, the turmeric powder and the roasted coconut curry masala. Stir and let it boil for 5 minutes on low heat. Now add the sambar powder and taste. Add more salt or sambar powder if your palate asks for it. Garnish with plucked coriander leaves and cover with lid.
Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in the coconut oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish crackling, pull of the curry leaves from the sprigs and throw them in. now tip over the contents of the pan into the saambar. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Your super delicious, appetizingly aromatic roasted coconut saambar is ready.
Serve hot with whole wheat dosas, idlis, dosas, vadas, uthappams, rice, chappatis, porottas, pongal and soyyea polos.

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