Wednesday, 23 June 2010
This is one of my favourite sambhar. I actually forgot about this recipe until I saw Viki's post on this. I just can't wait to prepare it. It is one of the most tastiest and aromatic sambhar. This dish goes well with hot rice, idly or dosa.
The scietific name of shallots is Allium ascalonicum. It is a relative of onion but tastes a bit sweeter than the onions. Shallots are easily digestible and contains 6 times more phenolics than the lowest ranked onions. They also have the most antioxidant activity than any other members of onion family. If you wonder what are these phenolics and anti-oxidants, they are the substances which provide shallots and onions their anti-cancer property. So presence of more of these substances tells us that they are potent anti-carcinogenic agents. Shallots are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. They are high in Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, folate and pottasium. (Source : Wikipedia and natural environment website)
Small onions or shallots- 20 nos if small and 10 nos if they are big
Toor dhal- 1 cup
Tomato- 1 no
Green chillies- 4 nos
Tamarind- size of a small lemon
Curry leaves- a handful
MTR sambhar powder- 2 tbspns
Coriander powder- 2 tbspns and chilli powder- 1 tspn
Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tspn
Jeera and mustard seeds- 1/2 tspn each
Coconut scrappings- 1 tbspn
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tspn
Asafoetida- a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 tbspns
Peel the onions and cut them into 2 if they are very large (here the shallots are very big, no need to cut the small variety shallots you get in India). Cut the tomatoes. Longitudinally slit the green chillies. Cook toor dhal until soft and mash them using a wooden spatula or masher. Soak the tamarind and extract the juice. Now heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot add the fenugreek seeds. When they brown and emit a nice aroma add mustard and jeera. When they splutter add the onions, green chilli, curry leaves, turmeric and a pinch of asafoetida. Suate for about 1 minute. Now add the tomato pieces and saute for 30 seconds. Add sambhar powder or coriander and chilli powder to the mixture and saute for 30 seconds. At this stage add the tamarind juice and enough water. Allow the mixture to boil. Now add the cooked dhal and allow it to boil once again. Simmer the mixture for another 10 minutes or until the oil seperates out. A very aromatic sambhar will be ready to be served.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Read it here. The onions should not become too soft. It must stay in sambhar firm like a vegetable. So reduce the sauting time. Happy cooking !!!