People have been known to ask for extra Sambhar to be served in restaurants as it is indeed to die for and makes one so gluttony!.
Not only is this very flavorful, but also nutritious as it includes dals, spices good for health and loaded with veggies. In hotels you see more of the gravy and less of veggies and they use plenty of shallots for this sambhar.
While I do enjoy making a separate Tiffin Sambhar , I make the Araithavitta ( which literally means ground in Tamil ) by using many vegetables and do not use shallots ,I leave it to your choice to include shallots in this recipe, assure you this will not alter the taste.
This Sambhar is predominantly served in weddings in the Southern states and thus its popularity.
The recipe given below is for a typical Araithavitta sambahr and any vegetable can be used . I have used a mixed veg cup.
If you wish to use shallots only for this sambhar, then you need to saute the peeled small onions with 1 tbsp oil and saute them till they are pink and translucent and the rest of the procedure remains the same.
1 cup of mixed vegetables like pumpkin, turnips, drumsticks, or any of your choice.
1 tomato chopped into pieces or tomato puree.
1 small lime size tamarind. ( soaking in water or warm water helps quick easy extraction of pulp)
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 cup Toor dal ( Red gram ) cooked and mashed well.
To roast and grind
1 tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniya seeds
1 tsp chana dal/Kadala parupu
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
2-3 red dry chillis. ( either small rounded ones or long red chillis.)
1 tsp rice flour
Generous pinch of asafoetida powder.
1/2 cup of a small coconut ( Freshly grated coconut/dry can also be used but fresh tastes good.)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil ( 1 tbsp of this for roasting the spices )
2 red dry chillis
sprigs of curry leaves