After years I've perfect my sambar recipe. Enjoy.
Get ½ to ¾ cup split urad dal lentils. Rinsed VERY well (At least 3 or 4 washes). ** note
2 onions, minced
3 tbsp ginger-garlic puree (That is, ginger and garlic that has been pureed together. You can make a big batch in advance and freeze in ice cube trays.
1-3 chilis, steams removed then minced, no need to remove seeds.
¼ cup tamarind, stringy stuff and seeds removed, soaked in hot water and then pureed.
6 cups of a mixture of the following vegetables (finely cut): Cauliflower, okra, carrots, peas, spinach, green beans, and eggplant. Just pick and choose what you like.
1 28 oz. Can of no-salt diced tomatoes.
2 tbsp sambar powder
½ tsp brown or black mustard seeds
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fenugreek
¼ tsp turmeric
¼- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
4-5 dried curry leaves
½ tsp garam masala
Salt, to taste
6 cups water
Juice of one lemon
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Add the lentils to a pot, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for twenty minutes. Drain and rinse the lentils.
Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chilis to a pan, add enough water to barely cover. After they have steamed, throw them in a pressure cooker or slow cooker.
Toast the mustard seeds and then add them to the cooker.
Toast the cumin, coriander, and fenugreek. Grind them and add them to the cooker.
Add the rest of the spices (except garam masala), vegetables (except peas if using), tomatoes, and water to the cooker.
Pressure cooker method: Bring contents to a boil, then cover and let come to pressure. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. When done, add the peas (if using), garam masala, lemon juice and cilantro. Stir well and serve.
Slow cooker method: Cook on low for 6-8 hours. In the last half hour of cooking, stir in the peas (If using), garam masala, and lemon juice. When it is done, stir in cilantro and serve.
**If you do not have split urad dal, or simply don’t like them, you can use split masoor dal. Cook like it is instructed for the urad dal. You can also use red lentils, which you don’t have to cook before-hand, just rinse very well.
Serve with rice or idli. Or both.
My recipes are posted at: http://www.Flickr.com/Loveskale