Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Okra sambar

Okra (Vendaikkai - Tamil) is one of the popular vegetables recommended for kids and adults.  But including that in our daily meals needs more care and knowledge to cook this delicate vegetable. Beyond the regular fries (poriyal) , I make it as sambar or puli kuzhambu to make it more delicious. Okra gives a very nice flavor to sambar just like shallot for a sambar.
Here is a special meal I made recently on a weekend. The menu was vendakkai sambar, plain rice, grilled pappad, tomato koottu, keerai poriyal and curd.
Make some extra sambar on the first day and serve along with dosa or idly the next day too. I love this sambar with masal dosai very much  and that's how I plan my meals. Isn't it yummy:)

Okra sambar

Regular South Indian meal platter : Plain rice,sambar , pappad, spinach poriyal, tomato kooottu, curd.

To pressure cook:
Toor dhal/red gram lentil - 1/2 cup (100 gms)
water- 2 cups
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch
sesame oil- 1 drop
Wash and clean the lentil. Pressure cook the dhal with the above said ingredients for a whistle. Then reduce flame and cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool. Open the lid and add some fresh cumin seeds .Mash well using a spatula. Keep aside.
(we can cook the dhal in stove top also. But we may need to soak it first for 30 minutes or more and cook for 30 minutes).

Other ingredients:
Okra (vendakkai) - 10
Shallot (sambar vengayam) - 5
Tomato - 1
Tamarind - amla (gooseberry /  nellikkai) size ball
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
cooking oil / ghee - 2 tbsp
(Try to use ghee, as it gives more taste to the sambar).
curry leaves- 1 sprig
cilantro/ coriander leaves (chopped)- 1 tbsp
mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
fenugreek -1/2 tsp
jaggery- 1 tsp (optional)
salt - to taste
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and extract the juice by squeezing.
Add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and bring it to a boil. Let it boil till the raw smell vanishes.

Chop the okra into long pieces and shallot into half and keep ready.
Heat oil or ghee in a separate wok. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let the mustard splutter. Immediately add the shallots, curry leaf and saute well. Continue frying till the shallot and okra gets cooked. Sauteing the okra is a MUST before adding anything at this stage. Then add the finely chopped tomato and saute till oil separates.

Pour this hot mixture over the boiling tamarind paste. Add the mashed dhal, sambar powder and bring it to a boil. As it starts boiling, put the crushed jaggery, chopped cilantro and switch off.

Vendakkai sambar is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot over plain cooked rice.
Reserve some sambar for dinner and serve along with paper roast dosas.


Hamaree Rasoi said...

Happy New Year to you Viki. The sambar looks so delicious and mouthwatering.

Sanoli Ghosh said...

I made it several times, but yours turned out scrumptious!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Happy New Year! Love it...
I add okra in sambar too - like the flavor!

Asiya Omar said...

Lovely Platter.