Monday, July 11, 2011

Brinjal Sambar - brinjals in a red lentil broth

A very common and popular south-indian recipe.Vegetarian households have sambar on a everyday basis, they would be astonished if we don't make sambar!!i'm posting this especially for my north-indian friends.
You can add any vegetable to sambar.Its just a vegetable stew/broth with red lentils(toor dal) and vegetable/s.The brinjal sambar (I find) is more complicated to make than the rest.So i will post this one first.Like i mentioned earlier I'm a big fan of brinjal!I'm using sambar onions or baby onions as they do enhance the taste of the sambar.your welcome to use the normal red onions.

You need

  • Toor dal - 1 cup
  • Tamarind (lime sized) - soaked in warm water and use the pulp about 2 tablespoons or as you would like
  • Tomato 1 large cubed
  • Brinjal 3 medium sliced long
  • Chillies 2 slitted 
  • Sambar powder - 2 tsps (i use a ready one...777 sambar powder brand(recommended by my mom of course)
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required.
For the seasoning
Ghee/oil 1 tablespoon or more as you would like
 Mustard 1 tsp
Baby onion/sambar onions - about 10 nos 
Curry leaves 2 -3 springs
Hing powder/Asoefetida - 1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies 2
  • In a cooker, soak the toor dal,green chillies and tomatoes for about half hour and then cook it for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the dal is mashed well.Once the cooker cools down,mash the dal with the back of a thick spoon.Southies have a special instrument called a 'mathu' to do that.I don't have it.I can manage with a spoon.
  • In another saucepan, heat oil/ghee,add the mustard seeds and let it splutter,add the baby onions and let it fry well (dark brownish),next goes the curry leaves and hing powder,then the dried chillies.
  • Add the slit brinjals and fry well in this oil, then add the tamarind pulp and let the brinjals cook.(in my opinion,brinjals taste good when more tangy) for about 5 minutes.
  • Now add the dal-tomato mix and stir well with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Now add the sambar powder(first mix the sambar powder in a little bowl with a little amount of water to prevent lumps in your sambar) and let it boil and the vegetables cook in the masala.Add enough water required.Sambar shouldn't be too watery.If the dal cooks well you will have a nice not too thin not too thick sambar.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked well in the sambar, garnish with coriander leaves.

  • Serve hot with idlis,dosas or rice.

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