Sunday, 5 August 2012


This post is a part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will make enough to serve 6 - 8 people for a Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Sambhar is a spicy medley of lentils and vegetables. The vegetable could be limited to just one variety or it could be a mix of any vegetables of your choice. One of my best friend from Uni, whom we adoringly call
Kuri, once made purple sambhar with beetroot; though beetroot is not usually considered a sambhar vegetable I was really surprised at how tasty it was. Sambhar can again be made without or with coconut, freshly ground or toasted and ground. In short, you will come across different varieties of Sambhar in different parts of Kerala and India.

The recipe here is more like a Thiruvananthapuram style Sambhar made with locally available vegetables.

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 cup diced chokos
  • 1 cup diced lebanese eggplant
  • 3/4 cup carrot
  • 8 finger sized drum sticks
  • 1/2 cup ladies finger, cut into finger size
  • 1/4 cup red bean lentils or yellow pigeon pea lentils
  • 5 eschallots
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • salt to taste
  • Tamarind puree, as required
Spices to Temper
  • 10 eschallots, sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 3 -4 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 2 tsp corainder powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil/ coconut oil
1. Cook garlic, chokos, eggplant, carrot and drumsticks in just enough water with salt. Wash lentils with water and cook in pressure cooker with water (just enough to cover lentils), eschallots, tomato and salt for 2 whistles. When pressure dies, mash lentils. In the meantime, stir-fry ladies-finger till done. Mix together all the cooked vegetables with mashed lentils and more water as required. Season to taste and add tamarind puree as required. (If the tomato was sour enough you may not want to add any tamarind puree).
2. Heat coconut oil in a deep pan. Splutter mustard seeds and then add curry leaves, red chilly and eschallots. When eschallots becomes light brown add the remaining spices and roast over low-flame till aroma rises. Pour the mixture of lentils and vegetables over the roasted spices, mix well and bring to boil. Remove from flame.

Serve hot with rice and pappadam.

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