Amaranth or thandu keerai is a rich source of fiber and many nutrients. According to Wikipedia- Amaranth grain is particularly high in lysine, an amino acid found in low quantities in other grains. Whenever I buy thandu keerai, I use the leaves to make keerai poriyal and reserve the stems to make either South Indian style keerai thandu kootu or this sambar or gravy for chapati. I have made this sambar using keerai thandu and instant sambar podi. If you run out of sambar podi and do not want to buy ready made ones, you can make this podi and use it to make any sambar. There is not much difference in the taste of the sambar. Today we will learn how to make keerai thandu podi sambar following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.
Peel the skin and chop pearl onion into 2-3 pieces.
Wash and pressure cook tur dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for 3 whistles or until mushy. Mash it well and keep it aside. Refer how to cook dal if you are new to cooking dal.
Soak tamarind in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Extract its juice adding water if needed and discard the pulp. We need 1 cup of tamarind extract.
Choose tender stems. I have used amaranth (mulai keerai/thandu keerai) stems. Break and scrap/peel the fibrous part of the stem. Then cut it into 2 inch pieces and keep it aside (refer picture below).
Instant sambar podi
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and fry coriander seeds and red chillies on medium heat. Leave it to cool. Then powder it finely. This is the instant sambar podi, we are going to use for this keerai thandu sambar.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it sputters, add fenugreek seeds, hing, red chilli and curry leaves.
Add pearl onions and saute until it turns transparent.
Then add chopped tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes.
Add keerai thandu, 1/4 cup of water and cook on medium heat.
Then add salt needed, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and the instant sambar podi.
Mix well and add tamarind extract. Cook until the raw flavor of the tamarind goes. It may take 10 minutes on medium heat.
Once the raw flavor of the tamarind goes, add cooked dal, 1/2 cup of water and cook on low heat stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the sambar thickens slightly.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice. Nutritious, delicious and fiber rich keerai thandu sambar is ready.
My Lunch - Fiber Galore
|Keerai thandu sambar-Vazhaithandu curry-Curd-Rice|