Monday, September 29, 2014

Meatless Monday Sambar( spicy vegetable- lentil stew ) : perfect for vrat/ fasting

Do you find it hard to believe that sambar can be eaten while fasting?? Of course it can be! In fact it is a perfect fasting food as it is so nutritious and wholesome with both the goodness of protein from the dal ( lentil) and the all-roundedness provided by the medley of vegetables. Yes, sambar can be made without onions and it tastes absolutely delicious! I could eat just a big bowl of sambar and call it a day!

Servings: 4-6


Toor dal ( split Pegion-peas): 1/2 cup
Potato: 1 medium, peeled and diced medium.
Raw cooking banana: 1 medium, peeled and diced small.
Carrots: 1 small, peeled and chopped.
Cauliflower florets : 1 cup
Sambar powder: 1 tbsp
Tamarind paste: 1/4 tsp
Jaggery or brown sugar: 1 tsp
Asofoetida( hing): pinch
Water:  1 1/2 cups + 3 1/2cups + 1/2 cup
Cilantro: 1 tbsp, chopped

For tempering:

Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


Cook tur dal  thoroughly with 1 1/2 cups water in the pressure cooker and keep aside. When cooled, whip it lightly so that it becomes homogenous.

Boil 4 cups water in a pot and cook the vegetables until tender adding the ones requiring the longest cooking time first and the least last.

In the mean time take 1/2 cup warm water and make a tamarind solution. Add sambar powder,  jaggery and mix well.

To the cooked vegetables, add the tur dal. Mix well.

Now add the tamarind & sambar powder mixture and let it come to a boil. Turn off the flame.


In a small frying pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds . Once the mustard seeds splutter, turn off the flame.Add curry leaves. Add it to the sambar.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice/ idlis/ dosa.


Cooking made easy:

Any combination of vegetables can be used for sambar. There is no set rule. Making sambar is a great way to clean up the refrigerator!

Tip for healthy living:

If you have a cold/ sore throat/ cough, add extra black pepper powder and 1 tsp turmeric powder to the above sambar. Eat a bowl of hot steaming sambar and your sinuses will be cleared due to the black pepper while the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric powder will aid healing.

Food for thought:

The mind is everything. What you think, you become. Buddha

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