Monday, September 13, 2010

Sambar Podi (Tamilnadu style)

Sambar and Indian cuisine are inseparable. Sambar is a dhal based curry prepared with certain vegetables and poured over rice. The flavor and color of a typical sambar relies on the sambar podi (podi means powder). So it is a must to prepare a good quality sambar. In India the masala powders are normally ground in a dry mill. The house lady has to make several batches of the dry ingredients and pack them to the mill through some housemaid.

After marriage, I lost the interest to prepare the masala powders at home because of several reasons.  First I could not make our modern maid to carry all the containers to a grinding mill as we do in our parent's house and I too shied to carry them all along that streets:) Then our need was so small to imagine. So I started buying Sakthi masala powders in the beginning and somehow it became a habit of me. But recently I was forced to prepare this authentic sambar powder due to a misplaced shopping list and hence I prepared it in a small quantity (see below) for that month. It turned out much easier and I couldn't control my joy on tasting my mom's sambar after a very very long time. The flavor of the sambar powder not only filled our house but also our hearts too:) Nowadays home made sambar podi has totally replaced that convenient sachets in my house.

Here is that authentic sambar powder recipe.

Freshly prepared Sambar powder.

Ingredients:
coriander seed - 2 cup
dry red chilly - 2 cup
(or chilly powder - 3/4 cup)
cumin - 1/4 cup
black pepper - 1/4 cup
fenugreek (methi / venthayam) - 1 tbsp
mustard - 1 tbsp
turmeric - 1 tsp
asafoetida - 1 tsp
channa dhal - 3 tbsp
urad dhal - 3 tbsp

Method:
The red chilly I have mentioned here is for basic need only. Mostly I prepare my sambar podi without red chillies and add the red chilly powder while making sambar. By this we can avoid the hastle of powdering red chillies and also we can alter the chillies according to need every day.
Heat a wok and dry roast all the above separately (except turmeric, chilly and asafoetida powders). Dry roast the dry chilly in  batches at last , to avoid sneezing. Take out and keep them together in a broad plate (or muram , a very broad winnowing tool / basket).
After they cool completely, grind them to a fine powder. Then spread the powder in a broad paper and keep in room temperature to loose the heat generated during grinding, otherwise the powder may turn black. Store it in an air tight container.

How to use this powder?
Makes nearly 2 cups of powder. This powder can be used in making all kinds of sambar, vatha kulambu, idly sambar, poriyal etc. It will be enough for 2 adults for 2 months. If stored in freezer / fridge, this podi remains very fresh and fragrant.

To make sambar with 1/2 cup toor dhal, use 1.5 tbsp home made sambar powder. Adding 1 tbsp freshly shredded coconut before switching off will enhance the taste of sambar.

18 comments:

aipi said...

I am seeing the pic, but can actually smell it..beautiful pic n awesome recipe!

US Masala

Suman Singh said...

I can smell those spices in here..great recipe..thanks for sharing..

Satya said...

ummmmm i can feel the aroma of sambar podi now ...thanks for sharing this podi recipe dear

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Very unique and nice looking Podi. Can almost smell the aroma.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Amazing... I use MTR brand... I am sure this must be smelling heavenly...

Vidhya said...

sambar powder looks perfect Viki. I dont make it myself. My MIL usually grind it and send it to me:)

Priya said...

Still now i do always my spice powders at home,i can feel smell it from here:)..

Chitra said...

adding mustard is new to me.. will try once :)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Viki
Thanks for the formula. Though sambar is not cooked frequently at my home, but the home made spice and market spice make hell lot of difference.
I shall Make a small lot as per your formula
Have a nice week

Jay said...

Yum...the podi sounds authentic and delightful..thanx for sharing..:)

Nandini said...

I can sense the smell of this podi! The recipe is cool!

Nandini's Food Page

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Home made always the best,luks very nice.

Suja Sugathan said...

Thanks for the podi recipe..authentic and aromatic

Rachana said...

Thanks for sharing such an authentic and aromatic recipe.

sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely spice mix!

San said...

Sambar podi hmm tatz great to prepare it at home ,it will be really aromatic than the store bought ones .Thanks for the recipe dear.

Padma (Patdubai) said...

I add an equal quantity of tuer dhal too.. helps in making the sambar more consistent.. great recipe.. thanks for sharing - exactly the same as mine.. so loved to see the same.. Good luck and happy cooking...

Vikis Kitchen said...

Dear Ms.Padma, Thanks for the nice comment and suggestion. I will try ur tips next time. Glad to know that u too do the same way. 'same pinch', well wishes and happy cooking,
Love,
Viki

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