May 17, 2012

Mami's yummy sambhar

My J Mami is an artist, an avid crafter and a wonderful cook. Needless to say, she is my favourite. I always looked forward to our trips to Nagpur during the summer vacation. She would teach us something new everyday!! All summer long, she would make the yummiest dishes for us, always with so much love and affection. 
For the last few weeks, she is going through a difficult time in life, battling longterm illness. Today, I made one of her best recipes, Sambhar, thinking of all the times she made dozens of dosas and idly with a smile, as we devoured it all.  Get well soon, Mami! 

Here it goes -

Dry daal for the sambhar powder
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes.

Toor daal -1/2 cup + 1 tsp
Chana daal - 1 tsp 
Urad daal - 1 tsp 
Mung daal- 1 tsp 
Methi/ Fenugreek seeds - 8-10 seeds
Rice - 8-10 seeds
Tomato - 1 medium, finely chopped
Onion -1/2 medium, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - a handful, finely chopped
Curry leaves - 8-10 leaves
Ginger - 1 inch, finely chopped
Green chillies - 2-3, finely chopped.
Sambhar powder
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Oil -1 tsp
Hing/ asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric - 1tsp
Tamarind- 2-4 small segments (or more, depending on sourness)
Drum sticks - 1, cut into smaller 2" segments (optional)
Carrots, eggplants - cubed (optional)

  • Cook 1/2 cup toor daal with water in a sauce pan/ pressure cooker, till soft.
  • Sambhar Powder: Roast the dry daals, methi seeds and rice in a small skillet, till the lentils turn golden brown and aromatic. Let it cool. Grind in mixer-grinder/ coffee grinder into a fine powder.
  • Saute onions, sambhar powder, tomato paste
  • In a mixer-grinder, add chopped tomato, coriander leaves, curry patta, ginger and chilli, and grind together - into paste.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil. add mustard seeds, hing and chopped onion - till golden brown. 
  • Add 1/2 of the sambhar powder (about 2 tsp). Add tomato - dhania paste. Saute. 
Simmering sambhar
  • Add cooked toor daal. Add salt, haldi and tamirind (2-4 segments). add water as needed (3-4 cups). Add drumsticks/ veggies if desired. Continue to cook till veggies are cooked or desired consistency is reached, about 10-15 mins.
  • Serve hot, with coconut chutney and Idly/ Dosa etc.
Mami's yummy sambhar
Bon Apetit!
Hetal from Houston


  1. Hey thanx a lot from Mom, Nd its looking vry vry yummy....

    1. Thanks Pratik! Tu to sambhar khai khai ne bore thayi gayo haish...

  2. thank u so much - Jayshree Mehta.

    1. You're most welcome, Mami!! Now you must send me the Daabeli recipe. :)