Chettinad style sambar, yet another South Indian vegetarian delicacy…
Chettinad cuisine is popular in Tamil Nadu, they are known for using a variety of fresh and roasted spices along with coconut. Their dishes are aromatic, flavorful and finger licking delicious.
I’ve tried a few Chettinad style dishes and I loved them so much. During my India visit this year, I’d visited Coorg, it’s a beautiful hill station in Karnataka. We stayed in a cottage and on one of the days they served Chettinad style sambar and Idli for breakfast. The sambar tasted so delicious that I ended up eating a lot, literally a lot 😀 The amazing cook who made the breakfast shared the recipe with me and I promised him that I’ll post the recipe on my blog and share with the world 🙂
So, here I’m sharing the recipe for making Chettinad style sambar. I used drumsticks as the vegetable to make this sambar. You could use mixed vegetables like eggplant, potatoes, lady’s finger, small onions, carrot etc etc.
- Oil- 1 tbsp
- Fenugreek seeds- ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
- Garlic, chopped- 2 cloves
- Small onions- 6
- Coconut grated- 1 cup
- Oil- 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
- Whole dry red chilies- 2
- Curry leaves- 1 sprig
- Toor Dal or Pigeon pea- ½ cup
- Drumsticks- 15 (or use mixed veggies like carrot, potatoes, eggplant, lady's finger, small onions)
- Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
- Chili powder- 1 tbsp
- Coriander powder- 2½ tbsp
- Salt- to taste
- Water- 1½ cups
- Asafoetida- 2 pinches
- Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
- Tamarind extract, freshly squeezed- 6 tbsp (3 inch slice soaked in 6 tbsp warm water)
- Place a pan over medium heat, add oil and let turn hot.
- Add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds, saute for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn the fenugreek seeds.
- Add garlic, saute for a few seconds.
- Add small onions and coconut, roast till coconut turns golden brown in color.
- Remove the pan from the heat, let coconut cool down for a bit.
- Add to a blender along with ¼ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
- Soak 3 inch slice fresh tamarind in 6 tbsp warm water for 3 minutes, squeeze the tamarind in water and extract the juice, strain the juice.
- Place a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add oil, let turn hot.
- Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
- Add whole dry red chilies and curry leaves, saute for a few seconds.
- Add toor dal, saute for a minute.
- Add drumsticks, combine well.
- Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Combine well.
- Add 1½ cups water, combine well.
- Cover the pressure cooker with its lid, place the whistle and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till 2 whistles.
- Let the pressure subside and open the lid.
- Combine the cooked lentil and drumsticks.
- Add Asafoetida and combine well.
- Add the ground roasted coconut paste, combine well.
- Add tamarind extract, combine well.
- Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water to thin down the gravy and cook till gravy starts to boil.
- Taste and add more chili powder if more spice is needed and salt for taste.
- Add chopped cilantro, combine well and cook for a minute.
- Remove the pan from the stove, keep it covered for sometime.
- Serve with rice, idli, oats idli, dosa etc