Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vengaya sambar

Vengayam (Naattu vengayam, ulli, chinna vengayam) - shallot / baby onion; Saambar - A dhal based curry served over plain rice.

Sambars are generally named after the vegetables added and by the variation in masala. e.g., Arachi vitta sambar, murungakkai sambar etc.
The most famous and easy to prepare is the onion sambar.

Though I make many varieties of sambar, this one is my family's  most favorite. Almost all my Fridays will begin with this flavorful sambar along with the potato curry . Moreover I always remember to save some sambar for the night to serve along with crispy paper roast dosas and we never get bored of that menu:)

I am narrating my mom's recipe, which I am following for years.

vengaya sambar served in a bowl.


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:
Shallot (sambar vengayam) - 15
(choose small variety. Remove the skin, wash and clean. Don't chop).
Tomato - 1
Tamarind - amla (gooseberry /  nellikkai) size ball
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
cooking oil / ghee - 2 tbsp
(Try to use ghee, as it renders 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.

In the same time heat oil or ghee in a separate wok. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let the mustard splutter. Before they get black, immediately add the shallots, curry leaf and saute well. Continue frying till the shallot starts getting a golden color (not red). 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.

Vengaya sambar is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot over plain cooked rice.
The best side dish would be a spicy potato curry and appalam (pappad).
Reserve some sambar for dinner and serve along with paper roast dosas.


Cool Lassi(e) said...

Umm delicious to have it with Idli!

Prema said...

Vengaya sambar my all time fav,loved ur version also...yummy.

PranisKitchen said...

nice smabar..this is perfect for dosas..delicious looking sambar..

divya said...

slurrrrrrrrrrrrp the sambar looks very tempting and mouth watering dish...

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

such a yummy spicy sambar...

Swathi said...

I miss vengaya sambar very much. Amma makes really tasty one. I miss amma and sambar too. Yours looks really good.

Satya said...

i am really missing small onion samber...viki ur sambar looks so delicious...

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Hi Viki,
How are you dear? Nice to read about your mother's recipe. Actually you simply don't need anything else with rice if you have baby onion sambar. Loved your version

Hamaree Rasoi

Nandinis food said...

This is my favorite sambar! It's excellent so I'll drink off the whole bowl!

Anu said...

Delicious and yummy sambar...

Deepa G Joshi said...

slurrrppp..looks so tasty..would love some rice...

Priya Suresh said...

Lipsmacking sambar, my favourite !

GayathriRaj said...

Yummyyyyyy!!!!! EVen i so the same Dear...always prepare sambar and keep it for my breakfast....and i loved it a lot...and those steps are neatly kept and clear....will try sometime...

Sushma Mallya said...

Delicious sambhar,

Life is beautiful !!! said...

Viki, you made me crave for some. Looks yummy. Vengaya smabhar with potato- a heaveny combo right??? :)

Suja Manoj said...

Delicious sambar..perfect with crispy Dosas..liked your idea of adding a little of ghee also..sure will make the sambar very flavorful.

Niloufer Riyaz said...

sambar looks delicious, perfect with dosas n idlis

Chitra said...

Hmm..i love vengaya sambhar..never tried by adding sakthi sambhar powder.,.will try soon..

Rachana said...

Mouthwatering Sambar! I would love to have it with idli's :-)

Mythreyi Dilip said...

Flavorful and delicious sambhar:)

Sapthanaa Vytheswaran said...

Thaks for the recipe akka.. I was searching for this recipe a long time. And I found it. I tried this sambar and came out awesome. Credit goes to you only.

check my site:

Rina said...

Chinna Vengayam sambar is irressitable Viki dear...true taste of Madras..