Tamilnadu cuisine has a lot of 'variety-rice' like lemon rice, tamarind rice, pongal, coconut rice, tomato rice and the list goes on. One among them is this sambar rice. We can't just mix sambar and rice to make this rice. The procedure involves cooking the dhal (lentil), veggies and rice together to get this flavorful rice. We can get a similar food by the name sambar soup / dhal soup in some canteens in NJ. It tastes almost like our sambar satham, but in a more soupy consistency, less spices and more butter to suit the International palettes. Here I have given the authentic Indian sambar saatham recipe. This is a one pot meal and my most favorite comfort dish. Just an appalam (pappad) or thogayal (chutney) will make this homely meal more pleasant.
Ingredients:Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Red gram (toor dhal) - 3/4 cup
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
hing (asafoetida) - a pinch
garlic - 5 cloves
shallot / red onion - 1/2 cup
tamarind - 1 gooseberry size
salt - to taste
To grind:shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
sambar powder - 1.5 tsp
To temper:ghee - 2 tbsp
mustard - 1/2 tsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tbsp
fenugreek (venthayam) - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
cilantro - handful
Mixed vegetables : (cut into 1 inch length pieces)
beans / avarakkai (hyacinth bean)- 10 , fresh green peas - 1/2 cup, carrot-1, tomato - 1 , brinjal - 2,cauliflower - few pieces, green chilly - 2, drumstick - 1
Method:Rinse the dhal and add 3 times water. Soak for 30 minutes in hot water (makes it easy to cook). Pour it in a thick bottom vessel (like cooking rice). Add hing, turmeric, finely chopped garlic, onion and cook in stove top.
When the dal is almost cooked (after 15 minutes) add the washed rice, cook till dhal is completely cooked. If needed add some more water. Now add the chopped vegetables,salt, tamarind extract and cook covered till every thing gets cooked.
Grind the coconut and sambar powder with some water and add to the boiling sambar rice. Heat a separate wok and fry the items given under tempering and pour over the sambar satham. Switch off! Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.
Sambar satham is ready!
Serving suggestions:Serve as main course in lunch / brunch or dinner.
Appalam (papad), vadagam (fryum), potato fry can be served as side dish with sambar saatham.