Sambar is one of the popular dishes in South India. It is used with rice as the main dish. Sambar is also used in combination with South Indian dishes like Idly, Vada, and Dosa. You can get this dish in any restaurant that also serves South Indian dishes.
Toor Dal (or yellow lentil) - 1 cup
Tamarind – half lemon size
Turmeric powder – half teaspoon
Oil – 2 teaspoon
Sambar powder – 2 tablespoon (this powder is available in Indian stores or you can prepare it yourself)
Mustard seeds – half teaspoon
Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Onion – 1 (medium size)
Curry leaves – 7
Tomato – 1
Coriander leaves (cilantro) – 1/4 cup
Vegetable – 1 cup (any vegetable of your choice – preferably Drumstick, Eggplant, Green beans)
Salt – 1 teaspoon (or to your taste)
Soak tamarind in a cup of water for about 15 minutes. Squeeze it to extract the juice and set aside in the cup. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker or cook it in 2 cups of water until they are soft and have it separately.
In a cooking pot add 3 cups of water and bring it to boil. Cut the onions and the tomato and add it to the boiling water. Once this starts boiling add the vegetable of your choice to it and cook it. After 5 minutes add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt to it. After about 5 minutes add cooked Toor Dal and the tamarind juice to it. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
In a separate pan pour oil and heat it. Then add mustard seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves and sauté it. Add this to the cooking pot. Garnish with coriander leaves.