Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew)

April 22, 2008
(Last Updated On: November 30, 2016)

How to cook Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew)

Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew) Recipe is essentially a pea and vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and toovar dal, and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India especially Tamil Nadu.

The toovar dal are cooked until they are crumbling. Tamarind pulp is soaked in water to extract the flavour and then discarded. A mixture of ground spices known as sambar powder (which contains roasted coriander seeds, chillies, lentils, and other spices) and tamarind are added to the dal. Vegetables and spices such as turmeric and chilli powder are also added. The dal and vegetable stew is heated until the vegetables cook. A wide variety of vegetables may be added to sambar.

Typical vegetables include okra, drumstick, carrot, radish, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjal and whole or halved shallots or onions, but many different vegetables may be used with adequate results. Typically sambar will contain one or several seasonal vegetables as the main vegetables in the soup.

Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew)

Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew) Ingredients by Pinoy Recipe dot net:

  • 200 g (1 cup) tur dal, washed and drained
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small can (180 g/6 oz) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 750 g (8 cups) mixed diced vegetables (such as carrot,
  • potatoes, eggplant, cauliflower and pumpkin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 100 g (1 cup) grated fresh coconut, ground to a smooth paste in a blender with 100 ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 25 g (1/2 cup) coriander leaves,
  • chopped 75 g (1/4 cup) tamarind pulp mixed with 250 ml (1 cup) water, mashed and strained to obtain juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sambar powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida

Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew) Cooking Procedure:

  • Place the tur dal, onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, turmeric, water and salt into a pan and boil for about 15 minutes, or until partially cooked.
  • Add to the mixture any hard root vegetables which may need a longer cooking time. Stir in the chilli powder, ground coconut, sugar, tamarind juice and sambar powder and cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened and the dal broken up.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables and simmer a further 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the oil and stir-fry the mustard seeds, dried chillies and asafoetida until aromatic.
  • Transfer to the simmering stew. Cook for a further 2 minutes, season to taste and serve.

Indian Sambar (Vegetable Stew)



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