Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sambar with roasted coconut and spices ( Palakkad Special)

Sambar is a lentil based vegetable stew / Gravy dish made in Southern parts of India and Sri Lankan Tamil Cuisines. This recipe is a variation of Sambar and it is authentic dish of  Palakkad ( a district of Kerala state in India). Sambar is served in Sadhya along with steamed rice and other vegetables.This stew has a distinct flavour of roasted coconut and spices.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min
Yield : 4 servings


  •  1/2 Cup Toor Dal / Split Pigeon peas/Thuvaram Paruppu in Tamil
  • 1/ 2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 3 Brinjal - diced
  • 3 Okra / Ladies Finger cut into small sized pieces
  • 1 Cup diced Ash gourd
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 lemon sized tamarind
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

 For Dry Roasting

  • 1/2 Cup Grated fresh coconut
  • 1 Table spoon Coriander seeds
  • 5 Whole red chillies
  • 1/4 Teaspoon raw rice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 2 pinches of Asafoetida powder
  • 6 curry leaves

For Seasoning

  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 2 whole red chillies
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coconut oil


1.  Dry Roasting : In a pan on medium heat add whole red chillies, Coriander seeds, raw rice, fenugreek seeds and roast till nice aroma comes out. Then add grated coconut and curry leaves and keep roasting until coconut turns yellowish. Do not brown coconut. Finally add asafoetida powder and dry roast for few seconds. Remove pan from flame. Set aside , let it cool. When the mixture cools down, add the mixture to the small mixer jar and grind it into fine paste by adding 3 tablespoons of water
2. Wash toor dal and pressure cook it with 1 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder until dal is cooked well
3. Add tamarind to 1/4 cup warm water and extract tamarind pulp, set aside
4. In a deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Saute okra and brinjal for 2 mins. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, salt as required , chopped tomatoes , diced ash gourd and 1 cup water. Let the vegetables cook on medium flame. When the vegetables are half cooked, add ground coconut paste and extracted tamarind pulp. Let it cook for 10 more min
5. When the vegetables are cooked, add cooked toor dal and let it boil for 4 min then switch of the flame
6. Prepare seasoning : In a small wok, heat 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. when the mustard splutters, add red chillies and switch of the flame.
7. Add this seasoning to the cooked sambar
8. Serve sambar warm with steamed rice and vegetables

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