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Breakfast was idli/sambar. I had 3 idlis with sambar and chutney. My husband is from Palakkad in Kerala and Palakkadians are very good with idli/dosa, sambar and chutney.
The only problem I have with a spicy South Indian breakfast is, I can’t walk away without eating something loaded with sugar after that. Today was no exception. I had a snack size bar of Snickers and cup of coffee.
Here is my recipe for Shallot Sambar. It was passed down to me from my eldest sister-in-law who is *fabulous* cook.
Place the following items in a pressure cooker with 1.5 cups of water for 3 whistles;
8-10 whole shallots
5 whole pods of garlic
2 split (lengthwise) green chillies
3/4 cup toor dal/yellow pigeon peas
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 large sliced tomatoes
The dal should become soft and well cooked, you can mash it a little.
Meanwhile take a lime sized ball of tamarind pulp and soak it in water.
Next, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in different cooking vessel, and allow 3/4 tsp mustard seed to sputter followed by;
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp peppercorns (slightly bruised)
2 dried red chilli, cut in half
1 split green chilli
4 chopped shallots
2 sprigs of curry leaves
Once the shallots have become translucent, add the following spice powders:
1.5 tbsp sambar powder*
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
Add the cooked dal to this. Mix well.
Next, add the previously soaked tamarind water and 1/2 tsp jaggery or brown sugar. Allow the sambar to boil for 5 minutes to incorporate the flavours. You can add more water, if you want to loosen the consistency. I like my sambar on the thicker side.
Once you get the required consistency, take off the stove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Enjoy your sambar! 😀
*I use a shop-bought variety. Here’s a link on how to make the powder :