Sambhar – a lentil curry – is so fundamental to south India, it is almost a staple like rice. So of course there is a recipe and then there are recipes of that recipe in each home, and each one tastes just that tiny bit different.
(I have 4sambhar recipes from my mother and when she gives it to me the next time, it will be different again). So when David brought us a dish of steaming sambhar, we tucked in and were wowed.
Here’s the secret, and Lily, thank you for the generous sharing.
250gm toovar dhal, washed and drained
10 cloves garlic
5 dry red chilies cut into pieces
1 big onion chopped
10 shallots sliced (small onions)
2 tomatoes quartered
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
Asafoetida (hing) (the LG brand) – break into small pieces, fry 4 pieces in oil till crisp, cool and powder (or use the powdered variety, as I did)
2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tbsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
2 tbsp chili powder or less
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped
50gm tamarind mixed with 100ml water, soaked and strained to collect the tamarind water
3 or 4 drumsticks cut into 3cm lengths
4 Aubergines (brinjals) cut into big wedges
4 tbsp oil
Fenugreek or methi seeds
Cumin or jeera seeds
Asaphoetida or hing
Dry red chilis
Turmeric powder or haldi
Red chili powder
In a pot, add dhal, garlic, fenugreek, chopped big onion, tomato, 1tbsp oil, 6 cups of water and boil till the dhal is soft. (Could pressure cook). Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok and sputter mustard, cumin and dry chili. Then add the curry leaf, small onions and 1 tomato and fry on a medium heat till onions turn light brown.
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, water, drumsticks and salt . When the drumsticks are half cooked (which is pretty soon), add the brinjal. When both vegetables are cooked, add tamarind juice. Continue to boil for 2 minutes and then add the cooked dhal, powdered asofoetida and cook another 5 min.
Can add more asofoetida , tamarind and salt to suit your taste.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Enjoy – as south Indians do – with a variety of dishes – cooked rice, idlis, dosas, vadas, pongal …
Paneer is a fresh cheese from South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent. It is unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer or curd cheese, made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar or any other food acids.
a bit of oil
whole jeera (cumin)
pinch of sugar
green capsicum, cubed
1 big onion, cubed
Heat oil in a wok, add the cumin/jeera and when it sputters, add the capsicum and onion and stir fry till just about done.
Add the paneer, sugar and salt and give it a bit of a toss till flavours are blended.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer… but when served piping hot, with meat and salad on a cold Gurgaon evening, music playing, wine in hand and catching up with old friends after yonks, it was delicious beyond belief.
Green, red and yellow peppers, sliced, de-seeded, pith removed
salt and pepper
Marinate all of the above for a couple of hours.
Grill in a pre-heated oven, over a surface sprayed lightly with olive oil.
Turn over once after a few minutes, grill till just done, not limp.
This can be made with yellow and green zucchini as well.
Came across this first in his cookbook and then online – will be trying it out very soon. Looks and sounds terrific.
This is the most blogged, tweeted, and pinned recipe I have ever created. It’s also one of the simplest recipes ever. Just a few ingredients, 2 minutes in the food processor, and voila, you have the most amazing dip. I’ve even used it as a topping for baked chicken or white fish.
– Paul Lowe
7 ounces feta cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1–2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Crudités, chips, toasts, or pita crisps, for serving
Place the feta, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and whir until combined but still slightly chunky. It’s dense, so you may need to stir it with a fork once or twice. Taste, and if it’s too salty add more lemon juice.
Spoon into a serving bowl, drizzle with a little oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of pepper flakes and some lemon zest.
Serve with crudités, chips, toasts or pita crisps.
There is this accompaniment – a mango chutney or chamandi as it is known in Malayalam – which was and is a household favourite, to die for.
So, with Mum at home, we decided to revive old traditions and boy oh boy, did it vanish in seconds !
2 raw green mangoes (the sourer and rawer the better) skinned and chopped into smallish bits
Some dried red chilies, stir fried in a dash of oil
A knob of ginger
A splash of coconut oil
Fresh grated coconut
Blend the lot (except the coconut oil) together to a fine paste, then add the coconut oil and give it another whirr.
Its OMG all the way. And in the process, learned a bit of family lore – it was Dad’s recipe all along. Mum would prepare the ingredients (and quantities) and his greatest joy was in the blending before the eating.
Brilliant with rice, dosas … as an accompaniment to South Indian dishes.