Mixed Vegetable Sambar – The Quintessential South Indian Side Dish
Sambar is one of the most well-known of South Indian dishes. It works with a range of staple foods be it rice, dosas, idlies or even chapatis and can be adapted in a multitude of ways. Every South Indian state, actually every home in these states has its version of the ubiquitous dish.
Girija Paati makes a number of Sambar versions herself, though the mixed vegetable version is the simplest and most popular. Add any vegetables that are available, to make this mouthwatering Sambar, there is no right or wrong.
- Drumstick – 1 – cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- Brinjal – 2 – medium – cut long
- Carrot – 1 – medium – cut into rounds
- White pumpkin – 200 gms OR Bangalore Brinjal (Chowchow) – 1 – medium – chop into large pieces
- Green chilli – 2
- Onion – 1 – large – chopped long OR Small Sambar Onion – 150 gms
- Tomato – 2 – medium – finely chopped
- Tamarind – 1 piece – large lemon size
- Asafoetida – 2 pieces – each the size of 2 peas
- Girija Paati’s Sambar Podi – 2 tsp (adjust for spice) - buy here
- Tumeric – a pinch
- Thur dhal – 150 gms
For the Seasoning:
- Curry leaves
- Mustard seeds
- Gingelly oil – 2 tbsp
- Methi seeds – a pinch
- Dried red chillies – 2
- Heat a kadai, create a tadka of gingelly oil, mustard seeds, methi seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves
- Once the tadka is ready add the onions and saute
- Next add the tomato and saute
- Add all the other vegetables and saute for 10 minutes
- Add the sambar podi, turmeric and saute for 2 minutes
- Add 2 glasses of water, cover and allow to cook on a medium flame
- In a cooker add the thur dhal, turmeric, asafoetida, a few drops of oil and 2 glasses of water
- Close the cooker with a whistle weight. Allow for 6 whistles and then turn the flame off
- Add 1.5 glasses of hot water to the tamarind, gently mash and make a tamarind extract
- Add the tamarind extract to the vegetable mixture. Close again and allow to boil for 10 minutes
- Once the cooker cools, open, take out the water and mash the dhal. Retain the water and add back to the mashed dhal with a little more plain water, based on your preferred sambar consistency
- Add the dhal mixture to the vegetable tamarind mixture and allow to boil for 5 minutes
- Turn off the flame, top with coriander leaves and close
- Serve hot
Download the printable recipe here.
Perfect with ghee rice and a green vegetable, we love to top our Sambar rice with Girija Paati’s Kara Boondhi or Classic Mixture.
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