Idli/ sambar breakfast combo, is a hot favorite of not only South Indians but also of people from other parts of India. My mother always made idli and chutney, sambar was made occasionally, mostly during festivals, birthdays (pirannals),or if we had guests and all. So sambar was always special for us! I am always mesmerized by the aroma, especially that of asafeotida that arises while making sambar. I used to sniff around my mother’s kitchen and for me, if it smells good, it would taste good too!
The vegetables most commonly used for preparing sambar are potato, winter melon, onion, carrot, cucumber, brinjal, snake gourd, drumstick, tomato and amara payar/hyacinth bean. You could even add vegetables like pumpkin, okra, elephant yam, raw banana, tindora/kovakka, beans etc, if you are short of other vegetables and to make your kids eat veggies. There are many different ways by which you can make sambar. The Trissur style sambar is made using roasted coconut paste (varutharacha sambar) and there are different kinds of sambar like ulli sambar, okra sambar, drumstick sambar, white radish sambar etc. There is variation even in adding spice powders. Some people add them while cooking the vegetables and some add it after the vegetables are cooked since they say that their aroma will be lost if you add it while cooking the vegetables. I usually add lots of vegetables to sambar but I have heard that sambar ought to have more of gravy than vegetables and that it should not be too concentrated. The recipe for sambar varies region-wise and religion-wise like all other curries. Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)
1. Toor dal/ thuvaraparippu – 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – To taste
Water – As required
2. Mixed vegetables – 3 cups ( I used potato, carrot, snake gourd, drumstick, onion, yellow cucumber (vellarikka), brinjal and tomato. Cut the drumsticks into 2” pieces and slice them. Wash and cut the other veggies into large cubes. You can use okra/ vendakka also. Cut 2 okra into 1.5 inch pieces, if using).
Onion / savola – 1 small, diced
Shallots – 6 (It gives a special taste to the sambar. You can use more of them if you are not using big onion)
Green chilies – 2 – 3, slit
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – To taste
6. Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2.5 tsp
Fenugreek powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida/hing – 2 – 3 pinches
7. Tomato – 2 small
8. Tamarind – Goose berry sized (Soaked in enough warm water)
9. Curry leaves – 1- 2 sprigs
10. Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dry red chilies – 3, broken
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Shallots – 4, sliced
11. Salt – To taste
1. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker adding turmeric powder, sufficient water and salt. Meanwhile soak the tamarind in warm water (around 1/3 cup) and extract its juice.
2. Now add the cut vegetables(except tomato and okra/vendakka), 4-5 whole shallots, green chilies, curry leaves along with sufficient water(2 cups), turmeric powder and salt. Cook for 1 whistle.
3. In another pan saute the okra in oil until its almost cooked.The okra has to be cooked separately before adding to sambar otherwise it will make the whole thing slimy.
4. When the pressure releases, open the cooker and add the tamarind juice, tomatoes and okra. Bring it to a boil.
5. Meanwhile heat oil in pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Then add the dry red chilies, sliced shallots and brown them. Add some curry leaves, bring down the heat and add the masala powders ( ingredients numbered 6) and cook for a minute over low heat (to remove their raw smell) . Pour this seasoning over the sambar and mix well. Bring it to a boil and switch off. Add few cilantro sprigs. Serve hot sambar with steamed rice or idli / dosa after 15 – 20 mts.
Lovely sambar .idly and sambar such a comforting food . I have never added cucumber and snake guard to the sambar , this is new to me. will try out for sure. Picture is making me hungry da.
sambar is all time favourite dihs…loved the presentations on banana leave..
woooow!!! dear,,sambar looks perfect n comfort side for idlies….mixed veggies sambar looks great after seeing ur idli n sambar makes me hungry dear…
wow! my fav..especially when potato is added … looks soooo tasty and perfect colour also…
love sambhar anyday, and such a nice & soft idlis to go with it…perfect combo
Sambal and idli my fav combo. Even my Little ones fav. I am feeling hungry now. Nice click too.
this idli-sambhar looks so much like restaurant-style idli-sambhar…adipoli!
I love sambar and idli.. all this reminds me of my childhood days…Delicious.
You have used a lovely selection of vegetables.Sambar looks delicious as does the spongy idli.
my idli’s never come out well at all..so i have stopped trying..this makes me want it so badly…
Loved the click…Hot Idli with spicy sambar…thats divine. Keep Rocking.
Oh dear..what a lovely sambar.I cant resist this idly and sambar..looks yummmyliciousssssss !!
Thats my fav combination..awesome click & combo…
What a lovely sambar!!It makes me nervous:)especially in valaiila and idly..mmmm.Lovely snap.
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i can smell the aroma from here.:)
Yummies..great clicks dears..kure neram aa pachakari ellam nokki erunu evide…Velarika okke engane kandittipol kalam kure ay tou…The best combo ever…
Very nice pictures…sambar looks too good with the soft fluffy idlis 🙂
Idli n sambar is an unbeatable combo…nice clicks..:-)
Combo looks so delicious..
I loved the way you served on banana leaf..
idli sambhar is my favorite combination too!!! nice write-up about the sambhar & the varieties!!! that’s a delicious satti of goodness, lots of colourful vegetables and lovely consistency, makes me mouthwater!!! it’s been years since I ate in vaazha ilai , miss it terribly!!!
Nothing could beat this combo so far,that’s why the demand for idli sambar always exists.Like its combination with ulundu vada also.Who will forget to order for idli ,vada,sambar when opting for veg.Flavorful sambar n nice click.
Looks really delicious & yummy..nice clicks..
Idli-Sambaar my all time fav breakfast!!! hho aaa uruli-le veg photo!!! Kothiyaayi 🙂
Love the combo..great clicks..
yummy looking sambar!.loved the click too.
wow…looks heaven!!! my all time fav…
kandittu kothi aavunnu….ente fav..
Sambar looks perfect..Lovely pics!
Thanx for the recipe! Its very easy and tasty!
You’re welcome 🙂 Please keep visiting..
Thanks for all the sadya recipes. I made our vishu sadya this year from your recipes and everyone loved it! We have been in US for like 2 yrs now and we’re missing home like crazy and really needed this home touch I guess. 🙂 Your way of putting the dishes together was so easy to follow for even a novice like me. It was the first time I’ve cooked an entire kerala meal and I’m so happy is turned out great! Heartfelt thanks! Wishing you a very happy year ahead!