A vegetable sambar is a hot lentil stew made with special spice mix ground to make sambar powder or fresh ground masala mixed with assorted vegetables.
I almost never make my samabar, that pairs with Rice, with ready made sambar powder 🙂 . I always grind my fresh sambar masala, its just how I am used to. My home made sambar powder is mainly used for idli sambar and vathakuzahabu, puli kuzhambu etc…..
But this last weekend I did use sambar powder for my mixed vegetable sambar. Usually freshly ground masala tends to make the gravy very think and with mixed veggies you don’t want the sambar to be too thick. So my solution was to grind my pre-made sambar powder with some onion(optional) and coconut and then add it to the sambar. This allows you to get the fresh ground flavor and taste without making the gravy too thick.
As usual I did not start out to make mixed vegetable sambar. I had some kovvakai and little carrot, beans. I was debating btw, mixed vegetabels with these to go with rasam, or aloo fry and mix veggie sambar. Now who can resist the sambar-Potato fry combination? The moment I gave these 2 options my older one and dad picked the later and the younger on wanted both LOL.. loyal rasam fan who also loves her potatoes
Usually I make sambar with one vegetable as each vegetable brings a distinct flavor that it brings to the stew. That said this sambar has its own unique flavor. Also the amount of dal that is used also makes a big difference in taste. Traditionally Tuar dal is used, but some also use moong dal. I usually mix both as moong and tuar dal as moong adds body to sambar and gives smooth consistency.
As I was prepping to grind the masala I realized I had run out of coconut and also do not have the dry powdered coconut,… as i was thinking about for substitutes, I saw some soaked almonds sitting in the fridge….desperate situations call for desperate measures.. I grind the soaked almonds instead of coconut and to my surprise the sambar turned out pretty good with a hint of nuttiness.
Mix Vegetable Sambar
- Mixed Veggies – whole pealed and washed
- Tamarind – 2 tbs or 1 cup depending on the sourness of the tamarind
- Toor dal – 1/2 cup cooked
- Moong dal – 2 tbs
- Turmeric – 1 tsp
- Water 2 cups or as needed
- Salt to taste
- Curry leaves – 1 stand
- Oil – 2 tbs
- Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
For Sambar Masala:
- Sambar Powder -2-3 tsp
- Couple of small onions or 1/4 of medium sized onion. optional
- Jaggary – 1/2 tbsOil – 1 tsp
- Soaked and peeled Almonds – 6-8
- In a think bottomed pan add little oil and add the vegetables. I used my Kalchutti for my heavy bottom pan. Cook them till it 1/2 way though.
- Add a little salt to flavor the veggies.
- Pressure cook the Toor dal and moong dal optional in cooker for 2-3 whistles. While the rest of the items are prepped.
- Add the tamarind paste( add water as needed) and turmeric to the vegetable mix and let it boil.
- Once the mixture boils add in the ground paste to it and let it all cook for 5-10 minutes.
- The mixture should bubble and the raw onion smell should be gone.
- Mash up the cooked dal and add it to the mixture. Add salt as needed. Let the mixture or another 5 minus in low-med flame.
- Once it boils to form a frothy layer, turn off the heat. In a separate pan heat the rest of the oil and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves crackle and season the sambar.
- If you are using fresh tamarind water instead of the paste make sure that the raw smell of tamarind is gone before adding the ground masala.
- You can add any of the vegetable of your choice. Drumstick, beans, carrot, radish, eggplant, potato etc…
- For keto version skip the dal and simple add little of the clear dal water. and add more almonds to thicken the gravy.