Idli Sambar Recipe - A Classic South Indian Combination

Idli Sambar recipe

Idli Sambar

For Idli:
1 cup parboiled rice
1/4 cup urad dal (skinned black gram)
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
Water (for soaking and grinding)
Salt (to taste)
Oil or ghee (for greasing the molds)

For Sambar:
1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1 medium-sized tomato (finely chopped)
1/2 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, potatoes, drumsticks, etc.), chopped
2 tablespoons sambar powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1-2 dry red chilies (optional)
8-10 curry leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Tamarind pulp (from a small lemon-sized tamarind soaked in water)
Salt (to taste)
Fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)

Preparing the Idli Batter (Refer to the previous Idli Recipe):

Follow the steps mentioned in the previous Idli recipe to prepare the idli batter using parboiled rice, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds. Let the batter ferment overnight.

Making Sambar: Cooking the Lentils: Rinse the toor dal and add it to a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook the dal until it becomes soft and mushy. You can also add a pinch of turmeric powder and a drop of oil to the dal while cooking. This helps in cooking the dal faster and prevents it from boiling over.

Preparing Tamarind Pulp: Soak a small lemon-sized tamarind in warm water for about 10 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the pulp and discard the solids. Keep the tamarind pulp aside.

Sautéing Spices: In a separate pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add the asafoetida, dry red chilies (if using), and curry leaves.

Adding Vegetables: Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent. Then, add the mixed vegetables and cook for a few minutes.

Adding Tomatoes and Sambar Powder: Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft. Then, add the sambar powder and turmeric powder. Mix everything well to coat the vegetables with the spices.

Boiling Sambar: Pour the tamarind pulp into the pot and add about 2 cups of water. Add salt to taste and let the sambar come to a boil. Simmer and let it cook until the vegetables become tender.

Adding Cooked Dal: Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked and mashed toor dal to the pot. Mix well to combine the dal with the sambar. Adjust the consistency of the sambar by adding more water if needed.

Boiling Sambar Again: Let the sambar boil for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Check for salt and spices and adjust as per your taste.

Garnishing: Turn off the heat and garnish the sambar with fresh coriander leaves.

Serve the soft and fluffy idlis hot with a generous serving of sambar. You can also serve coconut chutney and/or a dollop of ghee with idli sambar for added flavor. Enjoy this classic South Indian combination as a delightful and nutritious breakfast or a light meal option.

Note: The proportion of ingredients for sambar can be adjusted based on your taste preferences and the number of servings you wish to make.


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