This is sort of a cheat sambhar. The cheat part is the dal. Toor dal is traditionally used, but it does take more time to cook. So today I have used masoor dal(*you could also use moong dal)000000. The flavor is a little different, but still tasty. This particular sambhar goes especially well with idli, but also good with rice.
This is enough for 2-3 people… you could make a bigger batch if you prefer.
- 1/3c dal rinsed
- 1 1/3c water
- pinch of turmeric
- 1 red potato chopped
- handful of green beans chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- half red onion chopped
- 1/2t mustard seeds
- methi seeds
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1t sambhar powder
- 1t coriander powder
- 1/2t red chili powder (or less)
- tamarind (1Tbs size soaked in water)
Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker with water, turmeric, and the veggies up to and including onion. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. This can also be done in a regular pot for about 20 minutes since masoor dal cooks fairly quick.
Once it whistles, remove the pan from the heat and wait for the pressure to release. In the meantime, heat a pan and add a couple teaspoons oil. I often use coconut oil for health reasons and I think the flavor goes well with Indian food. Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot and they should start popping almost immediately. Add a pinch of hing and the methi (fenugreek) seeds. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover the pan for a few minutes and the tomato will become very soft. At this point, mash the tomatoes in the pan then add the masala powders. It will form a paste like consistency and you will see oil at the sides of the paste. That’s exactly what you want. Now, add the tomato mixture to the dal and bring it back to a boil. Squish and squeeze the tamarind pulp into the water and strain. Add to dal. You will probably need to add another cup or so of water at this point (I use the water to rinse out the tomato pan, so I don’t lose any of that yumminess). Boil the sambhar (more like a simmer) for about 10 minutes to cook the tamarind, then turn off the heat. Let it sit for some time so the flavors blend before serving (if you can wait!).