Sambar is prepared with various kinds of vegetables and also in different methods. This recipe of Arachu Vitta Sambar is an elaborate method of preparing the dish. The word Arachu Vitta means, spices are ground to season the sambar. The mixture which is ground, adds an additional flavour and taste to the dish.
This kind of preparation is common in South Indian Iyer/Iyengar homes. I enjoy the making and eating of this tasty sambar. The aroma while seasoning the dish fills the air with a temptation to slurp spoons of sambar, even before serving it on your platter!
Arachu Vitta Sambar
Time taken: 40-45 min
- Tuvar dal ( yellow lentils): 1 cup
- Brinjal or any vegetable: 150 g
- Onion: 1
- Tomato: 2
- Tamarind: a small ball
- Asafoetida: a pinch (optional)
- Turmeric powder: a pinch
- Salt: as needed
To fry and grind:
- Dried red chillies: 8
- Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
- Chana dal/Bengal gram: ½ cup
- Fenugreek: 1 tsp
- Dessicated coconut or freshly grated coconut: 2-3 tbsp
- Sambar powder: 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
- Urad dal/split black gram: 2.5 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds: 1 tsp
- Curry leaves: a few
- Pressure-cook the lentils/dal with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. When done, mash and keep aside.
- Cut the vegetables, onion and tomatoes. Keep aside.
- Heat 2 tsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the items listed in the “fry and grind” items, on a medium flame. When the ingredients are golden in colour, remove from fire. When cool, grind them to a paste in a mixer.
- Cook the brinjal in a vessel with some water and a pinch of turmeric powder. Remove from flame when soft.
- Heat the oil in pan and sauté the onions till they turn golden brown. Then add tomato, ground masala, asafoetida and the powder ingredients with some water. Now, stir well.
- Then add the cooked brinjals, mashed lentil and tamarind extract. Mix well.
- Add 2 cups water and allow it to cook for 15-20 min on a medium heat.
- Heat oil/ghee in a frying pan, add the items for seasoning and when the lentil starts to turn brownish in colour, add it to the sambar.
- Mix well and serve hot with steamed white rice (While it is hot, pour some melted ghee over the sambar!).