Sambar is the perfect accompaniment for Dosas. I’m a big dosa fan and make them all the time. This sambar soup is always on the menu when I do.
Sambar can be cooked in about half an hour. Unfortunately, dosas take a bit more time. You need to plan ahead to make dosas as the fermenting process takes 36 hours.
If you’re looking for a delicious – mildly spiced – soup, give this sambar a go. It’s great served on its own too or with a piece of crusty French bread.
This sambar – like the dosas I make – is from Southern India. The original recipe which was sent to me by a friend includes chunks of aubergine (eggplant). I used to include it but I’m not a big fan of the vegetable.
If you’d like to try it with the aubergine, add it just after your blend the soup.
- 250g (1/2lb) toor dhal (split pigeon pea lentils)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 large chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste
- 1 green chilli pepper - chopped
- 50g fresh or frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE TARKA
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 20 fresh curry leaves
- Soak the split pigeon peas in hot water for 20 minutes.
- Drain and rinse and then pour into a large saucepan.
- Add 1½ litres water and heat over high heat.
- As you do this, a foam will raise to the top. Skim this off until no foam remains and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes until the pigeon peas are soft.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and ginger paste and green chilli and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes.
- Now, using a hand held blender (or any blender) blend until smooth. I do this for about five minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients up to the tarka ingredients and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the sambar from the heat while you make your tarka.
- In a small saucepan, heat the oil until hot but not yet boiling.
- Toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, throw in the curry leaves and sprinkle in the asafoetida.
- Very carefully, add this seasoned oil to the sambar. The oil may spit some so I do suggest standing back a little when you do this.
- Stir in into the sambar and bring back up to heat.
- Serve hot with dosas or on its own