Sambar- South Indian Lentil and Vegetable Side Dish

I was quite reluctant to make this dish as it sounded like just another lentil dish. Once I started cooking the flavour base, howver, I realised why this is such a popular South Indian dish!

You will need:

1 cup cooked lentils (I used left over red lentils, but traditionally toor dal is used)

2  tablespoons dessicated coconut

2 tablespoons madras sambar powder

1 red chilli

tamarind juice to taste (approx 2 tablespoons diluted soaked tamarind juice)

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

6 curry leaves

1/8 teaspoon asefodeita

1/2 medium carrot – chopped into large pieces after halving vertically

1 cup vegetable drumsticks – cut into long (6 cm) pieces

1 small onion

1 medium tomato – finely chopped or pureed

1 red chilli – optional

To make:

Cook curry leaves and mustard seeds in some oil until they splutter. Add spices and stir for a minute or until fragrant. Add coconut and stir off the heat. Once well combined, add tomatoes and cook on the heat again until frragrant and soft.

Add cooked lentils, onion, asefodetia and vegetables (plus sufficient water)  and allow to cook on medium heat.

Season well with salt and tamarind to taste.

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