Sambar (Maya Nair)

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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1/2 cup toor dal or yellow split peas
2 medium onions
10 whole fresh or frozen okra -- (to 12), optional
3 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon tamarind extract
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon methi powder
1/2 teaspoon hing powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste
4 tablespoons coriander leaves -- chopped
3 whole curry leaves -- optional

Preparation / Directions:

Cook the dal with chopped onions, turmeric powder, chile powder and sufficient water. Cut the okra in two inch pieces and sauté them in a frying pan with one teaspoon oil until dry and slightly browned. Mash the cooked dal with a wooden spoon and add the salt, coriander powder, methi powder, hing and the tamarind extract. Simmer for a few minutes and add the tomatoes and okra and half of the coriander leaves. When the vegetables are cooked, heat oil in a fry pan with a splatter screen or a lid and pop the mustard seeds. Remove pan from the fire, add the curry leaves and methi seeds. Add this seasoning to the sambar and garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves. Hint. Other vegetables that can be added to sambar are potatoes (which do not freeze well), shallots, pearl onions (available frozen), cucumber, Indian or oriental eggplant (baingan), beans, carrots, lima beans or squash.

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