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  • Writer's pictureCheyenne



½ block compressed tamarind

1 ½ cup water, warm

½ cup toor dal

2 cup water

2 tomatoes, pureed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp chana dal

1 tsp urad dal

½ tbsp coriander seeds

3 dried red chilis

8-12 curry leaves

¼ cup grated coconut

1 ½ tbsp oil

½ tsp asafetida (hing)

1 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 curry leaves

4 garlic cloves, grated

1 inch piece ginger, grated

1 small onion, roughly chopped

½ cup cauliflower, bite size

½ cup carrot, bite size

½ cup green beans

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sambar masala


  1. Place tamarind block in small bowl and cover with 1 ½ c very warm water. Let sit 30-40 minutes, then squeeze to loosen up the block. Strain to keep the water and set aside.

  2. To pressure cooker add toor dal, salt, and turmeric. Cook on medium until it whistles once, then lower heat to medium low and continue cooking 7-8 minutes. Turn heat off and allow cooker to cool so that it releases the pressure. Set aside

  3. To pan, add 1 tsp cumin seeds, chana and urad dal, coriander seeds, and dried red chilis. Saute a minute or two, then add 8-12 curry leaves and grated coconut. Continue roasted until nice and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add roasted ingredients to a blender and blend until you have a nice powder. Set aside

  4. To large pan, heat oil. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and garlic. Cook about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant and then add ginger. Saute another 30 seconds

  5. Add in onion, cauliflower, carrot, beans, and salt. Really you can add any vegetables you want, about 2-2 ½ cups worth. Cook until vegetables just start getting tender

  6. Once vegetables are cooked, add in homemade sambar masala + 2 tsp store bought (Or you could skip making your own and just add about 3 tbsp store bough sambar masala) and reserved tamarind water. Bring to boil then add reserved cooked toor dal. Mix and allow everything to simmer about 10 minutes before serving.

  7. Goes best with idli and coconut chutney!

**Step #3 with all the ingredients is optional. This is how to make your own sambar masala. I also add some boxed sambar masala also, so instead of this step you can just add 3 tbsp store bought masala

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