Sambar is a very popular dish and occupies an important place in South Indian Cuisine. A South Indian meal can never be complete without sambar. This is basic sambar which I have made with ashgourd/poosanikai. Learn how to make Sambar (South Indian-Tamil style) by following this easy Sambar recipe.
Keep all the ingredients for the sambar ready.
Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 tumbler of hot water and extract the juice. Discard the pulp.
Pressure cook tur dal by adding turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Mash it well and keep it ready. You can soak tur dal in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes and then pressure cook until soft. This will save cooking time. Tur dal should be cooked to a mush for the sambar to be delicious.
Peel the skin, discard the seeds and cut ash gourd (poosanikkai) into cubes. Chop onions (if using) and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan/kadai and add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add fenugreek seeds, red chilli, hing and curry leaves.
Saute for a few seconds and then add chopped onions. Saute onions until it turns transparent, then add chopped tomatoes, pumpkin pieces and saute for a few seconds.
Add 1/2 cup of water, sambar powder and cook until pumpkin is half done. (Alternatively, you can cook pumpkin in a little water with salt separately and then add)
Once the pumpkin is half cooked, add tamarind extract and salt needed.
Keep it on medium flame and boil until the raw flavor of the tamarind goes. By this time the pumpkin will also get cooked well (see picture below).
Add cooked toor dal along with needed water (approximately 3/4 cup) and boil for 5-6 minutes on medium flame. The consistency of this sambar should neither be thick nor thin, so adjust water accordingly.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or idli, dosa.
Hot delicious pumpkin sambar is ready to be served with hot steaming rice. It can be had with idly and dosa also.
I have added 1 tomato in order to reduce the use of tamarind.
You can prepare this sambar without onions also.
Instead of pumpkin any vegetables like drumsticks, ladies finger, brinjal, beans, carrots, capsicum, pearl onions, potatoes can be used to prepare sambar in the same manner. You can prepare the same sambar with mixed veggies like carrot, beans and potato also. Refer my Mixed Vegetable Sambar Recipe.
Check out more Sambar Recipes from Padhuskitchen.
South Indian Meals
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