Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sambar or sambhar is a ..

Sambar or sambhar is a dish in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines, made of pigeon peas.
The pigeon peas are cooked until crumbled. Vegetables, turmeric, salt, asafoetida (a pinch) and a mixture of ground spices known as sambar powder (which contains roasted coriander seeds, chillies, lentils, and other spices) are initially boiled together. After the vegetables and tamarind water are slightly cooked, the lentils and ground coconut mixture are added and allowed to cook until the vegetables are done. A wide variety of vegetables may be added to sambar. Typical vegetables include okra, carrot, radish, pumpkin, daikon, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjal (eggplant) and whole or halved shallots or onions, but many different vegetables may be used with adequate results. Typically sambar may contain one or several seasonal vegetables as the main vegetables.
The cooked sambar is tempered with a garnish, an oil-fried spice mixture containing items such as mustard seeds, black gram, dried red chilies, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, and asafoetida. Fresh curry or coriander leaves may be added to enhance the flavor.
Sambar powder is prepared by pan roasting the whole spices and grinding them to a rather coarse powder.
Sambar powder as a ready-made masala is easily available in stores.

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