Varutharacha Sambar

Here is the recipe…

Heat oil in a pan and add coconut. Roast it till it starts changing colour. Add sliced small onion (3), chilli and coriander powder, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and chana dal. Keep roasting till the coconut becomes a rich dark brown colour.  Let it cool completely and then grind to a smooth paste…

Step 1- sambar
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Wash the toor dal and pressure cook it with 2.5 cups water for 4-5 whistles on high flame (refer notes). Keep it closed till pressure drops, around 15-20 mins. Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal nicely with a wooden spoon or a whisk…

Step 2- sambar
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Add vegetables, salt and 2 cups of water to the mashed dal and cook till the veggies are 3/4th done. Soak the tamarind in 2-3 tbsp hot water and make a pulp. Add the tamarind pulp to the dal and veggies…

Step 3 - Sambar
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Add 1/3 cup hot water to the ground coconut paste and mix well. Add this to the dal veggie mix. Stir well. Let it cook for 5-7 mins…

Step 4- sambar
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Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add sliced small onion(5), dry red chilli and curry leaves. When onion becomes golden brown, switch off the gas and add it to the sambar…

Step 5 - sambar
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Varutharacha Sambar
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Varutharacha Sambar

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Toor dal
  • 1 big Carrot (cubed)
  • 1 med - big Potato (cubed)
  • 1-2 big Drumstick (cut lengthwise)
  • 1 big Tomato (sliced)
  • lime size Tamarind (refer notes)
  • 1 cup Grated coconut
  • 2.5 - 3 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2.5 tsp Coriander powder
  • 3 Small onion / Pearl onion
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (kayam)
  • 2 tsp Chana dal
  • Salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 5 Small onion / Pearl onion (sliced (to temper))
  • 2 Dry red chilli
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut oil

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pan and add coconut. Roast it till it starts changing colour. Add sliced small onion (3), chilli and coriander powder, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and chana dal. Keep roasting till the coconut becomes a rich dark brown colour. Make sure you keep stirring the coconut continuously, otherwise it may burn. Let it cool completely and then grind to a smooth paste.
  • Wash the toor dal and pressure cook it with 2.5 cups water for 4-5 whistles on high flame (refer notes). Keep it closed till pressure drops, around 15-20 mins. Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal nicely with a wooden spoon or a whisk.
  • Add vegetables, salt and 2 cups of water to the mashed dal and cook till the veggies are 3/4th done.
  • Soak the tamarind in 2-3 tbsp hot water and make a pulp. Add the tamarind pulp to the dal and veggies. Mix well.
  • Add 1/3 cup hot water to the ground coconut paste and mix well. Add this to the dal veggie mix. Stir well. Let it cook for 5-7 mins.
  • Do a taste test of sambar at this point and add more tamarind pulp, asafoetida or roasted fenugreek powder, if required. Also add more hot water, to adjust the consistency, if required.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add sliced small onion(5), dry red chilli and curry leaves. When onion becomes golden brown, switch off the gas and add it to the sambar. Let it rest for 20-25 minutes, for ll the flavour to settle in.

Notes

Sometimes the dal needs to cook a bit longer. So adjust the cooking time accordingly. I prefer the dal to cook very well, so that it's easy to mash.
You can use any veggies of your preference. Do a taste test of tamarind to see it's strength and adjust the qty accordingly. Also some tamarind tend to be extra salty, in that case be careful with the salt you add to the sambar.
Keep in mind that sambar tends to thicken a lot, once it cools down. So adjust all the flavours and water qty accordingly.
Sambar keeps well for 3-4 days in refrigerator. You may need to add extra water while reheating to adjust the consistency.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by...mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
Varutharacha Sambar
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15 thoughts on “Varutharacha Sambar”

  1. Am so curious about the dried prawn in sambar! Hearing that for the first time… Would love to try it out if I get that recipe :)

    Reply
  2. Maria,

    Reading about your pappa, I see my achan beside me! He is no more now!! But, the arguments we did were all now such fruitful lessons to me! And badly missing his arguments on anything and everything under the sun…

    About Sambar, again I’m also kinda like your dad.. don’t like the way any veggies added to Sambar! But, not following my rules anyway dear:)

    Regards
    Beena

    Reply
  3. Hii.. I tried this recipe. It was my first attempt and it turned out really very well. Thanks maria for the recipe.

    Reply
  4. Very nice write up, Maria. I am normally a silent admirer but how can I not comment on a recipe that is so dear to me. This is the only way we make sambar in Palakkad side no sambar without fried coconut for us!
    The only difference, onion is not added in any form, not while frying to grind or seasoning. I think we Palakkadans learnt this recipe from the Tamil Brahmins and hence the no-onion rule.

    Reply
    • Hi Sajitha,

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment here :)

      Nice to know that this recipe is dear to you.. For me, it’s a new thing, since we usually make sambar without coconut. But I really enjoyed this version :)

      Cheers
      Maria

      Reply
  5. Hi Maria, Varutharacha sambar looks yummy..! I always prepare sambar with sambar powder. I would definitely give a trial on your recipe. Just want to know do we need to cook the vegetables again in pressure cooker to get it 3/4th done or just boiling in mashed dal is enough ?
    Thanks in advance and looking forward your reply.

    Reply

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