I am always on the look out for shortcuts to simplify cooking and this instant sambar powder caught my attention. This mix is perfect when travelling and you are craving for home cooked food. You can also pack it for kids going to college. I was skeptical at first, but the taste is pretty close to the authentic sambar and is very useful when you just want to make a little bit as a side dish for dosa, idli, etc.
Also, due to the addition of rice the sambar thickens up beautifully. You might have to play around with the ingredient quantity to arrive at your desired taste. My first batch turned out to be quite sour and overpowered with coriander seeds. I adjusted the quantity of dals and reduced the tamarind and it was perfect for us. Do try it out and amaze your family . Recipe adapted from here.
Make sambar instantly by adding this mix to boiling water.
- tamarind - small goosebery size
- oil - 1/2 tsp
- toor dal - 1/2 cup
- channa dal - 2 tbsp
- red chillies - 6 - 8 (adjust to taste)
- coriander seeds - 4 tbsp
- peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
- fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
- pottukadalai - 1 tbsp
- rice - 2 tbsp
- curry leaves - few
- asafoetida - 1/2 tsp (powder or crystal)
- turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- For Tempering
- oil - 2 tsp
- mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fry tamarind until brittle. Keep aside.
In a little oil fry the dals until golden brown and keep aside. In the same pan fry the remaining ingredients except turmeric.
Allow to cool and grind with tamarind and turmeric.
Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add this to the ground mix. Once the powder cools, store in airtight container.
To Prepare Sambar
Bring water to a boil and add a few tbsp of the powder. Add salt and boil for a couple of minutes. You can add vegetables to the water if needed.
I initially tried adding the tamarind along with the rest of the ingredients, but the tamarind did not fry properly. So, I started frying it separately.
I adjusted the dals from the original recipe because the coriander seeds were overpowering. Feel free to adjust ingredients according to preference.
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1. First fry tamarind until brittle.2. In half tsp of oil, fry the dals until golden brown.3. In the same pan, fry everything else except turmeric.4. Cool and grind along with tamarind and turmeric.5. Heat oil and add splutter mustard seeds. Add this to the ground powder. Store in airtight container once the mix cools down.
Instant sambar powder ready.