Veg Curries/Gravies

Hotel style Sambhar

Sambar is a lentil based vegetable stew from Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most popular dishes in South India.Sambar is prepared at least once a week in every south indian household. I’m not a fan of home-made sambar and I grew up despising it. I love hotel sambar though (Don’t ask me”why?” 😀 ) I always used to pester my mother to make sambar the way they make in hotels. Speaking of hotel/restaurant sambar,sambar from  hotel saravana bhavan, popularly known as HSB is my favourite. I love it so much that i could literally drink cups of their sambar. No, am not exaggerating. Two years back, when i was serving my notice period at cognizant, i developed a habit of eating breakfast and lunch at HSB in the cafeteria.I spent most of my time relishing their sambar vadas and mini idlis floating in a pool of drool worthy sambar. Even today, thinking of it makes my mouth instantly water.

I have been hunting for HSB sambar recipe for quite a long time. I went through many recipes and ended up creating my own recipe by combining 3 different recipes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to achieve the taste of HSB sambar. So i cant draw a parallel. Nevertheless, it was great and  was relished by everyone at home.

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Required Ingredients:

Sambar Powder:

  • Coriander seeds/dhaniya-4 tbsp
  • Chana dal-2 tbsp
  • Toor dal-2 tbsp
  • Dry red chilli-12
  • Fenugreek seeds-1 tsp
  • Asafoetida- 2 tsp

To grind:

  • Grated coconut-1 tbsp
  • Roasted gram dal-1 tbsp
  • Chopped tomato-1
  • Sambar powder-1 tbsp

To saute and temper:

  • Small onion/shallots-5 to 6
  • Curry leaves-10 to 12
  • Tomato- 1
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Urad dal-1 tsp
  • Cumin-1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds-1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida-1 tsp

Other ingredients:

  • Drumstick-2
  • Tamarind- goose berry size
  • Jaggery/sugar- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1 tsp
  • Oil- As required
  • Salt-As required
  • Toor dal-1/2 cup

Method:

Dry roast the ingredients under “sambar powder” section and grind into a fine powder.

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Grind the ingredients under “to grind”section with little water and set aside.

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Pressure cook toor dal with 2 cups of water and mash nicely.

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Boil chopped drumsticks in water until done.

Soak tamarind in about a cup of water for 20 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract juice and filter.

In a kadai /wok, add tamarind water, boiled drumsticks and let it boil for 5 minutes.

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Now, add mashed dal and turmeric powder and mix well. Let it boil for 5-7 minutes.

Add ground paste, salt and mix well. Let it boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate pan and add all the ingredients under “to saute and temper”. Saute until the shallots become translucent and tomatoes shrink.

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Add it to the boiling sambar, mix well. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.

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Serve hot with rice, idli/dosa.

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Notes:

  • You can add any vegetable of your choice. You can either pressure cook the vegetables along with dal or cook separately and add later.
  • You can add chopped coriander as garnish.

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5 thoughts on “Hotel style Sambhar

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