South Indian dishes are not complete unless there is the accompanying yummy sambar to dip into.
At times the task of making a delicious sambar seems cumbersome as we may not have enough time in kitchen yet we long to have it , so these instant sambar mixes are a great boon.
Store brand ones are already available but am not comfortable using them as there seems to be some ingredients not required, some use hydrogenated oils too..besides the freshness is a question mark. Some unnecessary spices are also added not required for daily use sambar. Not to mention the expense . So the at the beginning of every month or when you get some spare time it is a good idea to have such mixes ready for your use.
Send the prepared ready to make sambar mix with your kids when they leave to Universities/colleges away from home and need a homely taste to food. One cannot live on pizzas all your life and when home sickness kicks in, there is nothing to beat , a quick instant sambar which has no complicated process of hunting for ingredients, running to stores etc…simply measure out tbsps of powder into water, boil , add vegetables, salt and garnishing if any and a delicious home made sambar, just like mom made is ready in no time. Microwave comes handy for such occasions.
This sambar mix is a great boon to the hurried busy housewife , working moms who love to have good tasty food within minutes but cannot slave in the kitchen.
When the sambar requirement is only for the tiffin items and you do not require a big quantity to be made, this powder comes handy.
Housewives who need to be free from long cooking processes will also find this a great help.The ingredients are for a basic south Indian sambar, make your own tweaks to get your preferred taste.
- 6 tbsp coriander seeds
- 4 tbsp chana dal
- 3 tbsp toor dal ( optional )
- 2 tbsp fried gram 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida crystal or powder
- 8-10 red chillies
- lime size tamrind broken into smaller pieces
- 2 tbsp tomato powder if needed tomake for a travel pack , or can skip ..
- 1 ts p turmeric powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 2 tsp oil coconut milk powder can be added to the prepared mix , if making it as a travel pack if preparing at home , coconut milk can be added to the sambar separately , as it gives a very tasty finish .
- Heat a pan with little oil and roast the dals till lightly golden, keep aside.
- Now roast all the remaining ingredients except the mustard seeds over a low flame , including the asafoetida powder / crystals and the tamrind ( after breaking it up into small bits. )
- Roast all till a fine aroma emanates and do not scorch ingredients or it will leave an unpleasant taste to sambar.
- Remove all ingredients and let cool completely.
- add roasted tempering of mustard seeds, red chillies and dry curry leaves to add to the mix .
- Meanwhile grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder.
- Remove and let it cool down. Add the roasted tempering also , to this mix and stir well.
- When the prepared mix has cooled completely store immediately in an airtight container to lock in the aroma .
To prepare the sambar with the instant mix
- 1.Take a vessel and add some water depending on quantity of sambar you need.
- For instance I took around 150 ml of water and
added 3 tbsp of the prepared mix.
- Mix the powder well in water and keep on heat,
add finely cut vegetables like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins . or keep vegetables to cook and add the powder .
- Add salt as it is not added in the mix.
- When the vegetables have cooked well, make adjustments to the sambar which would have reduced or thickened, so add little water and boil.
- Although there is no need to add any cooked dal as dal is already added in the mix, if preparing at home and cooked dal isreadily available, add the dal to thicken.
- Sambar can also be thickened by gently mashing potatoes with the ladle.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- No need to season as it is already added in the mix.
- There is no need to add dal or tamrind, or any seasoning as everything is premixed.
travelling, we assume that ingredients like curry leaves may not be available
so we add them to the mix itself.
like tamrind, extract water from it so we add that also to the mix, which gets
roasted till brittle and gets powdered .