Sambar (south india)

Yield: 2 cups

Measure Ingredient
1½ cup Coconut; freshly grated
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½ cup Peas; split; yellow
1 tablespoon Mustard Seeds
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
2 teaspoons Coriander Seeds
4 tablespoons Butter; clarified
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4 tablespoons Oil (50 ml)
1 cup Okra; sliced OR green beans
2 teaspoons Tamamrind Concentrate
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2 teaspoons Lime Juice
1½ cup Coconut; dried & unsweetened
2½ cup Water; boiling
½ teaspoon Tumeric Powder
1 each Ginger; fresh;(1 inch piece) peeled & thinly sliced
1 each Peppers (or 2); hot chili
½ teaspoon Asafetida (Hing)
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2 eaches Garlic cloves
½ teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Coriander; fresh & chopped
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2 tablespoons Mint Leaves





STORY One reason the food of southern India is different from that of northern India is that for much of the year, the climate of the south is hotter. So eating less sunstantial foods with spices like chilies and ginger, which induce sweating, is a practical way to keep cool.

The nutritious bean and rice pancakes called DOSA play an important role in the cuisine of southern India. Here they accompany SAMBAR, a simple stew, flavored with masala paste, coconut milk and tamarind concentrate. Serve with spicy chutney and a fresh mango for dessert.

This aromatic stew goes well with any starchy food. For an authentic flavor use asafetida (a resin with a taste of garlic) and tamarind (a tart brown fruit) -- both available from Indian food shops.


For COCONUT MILK, combime coconut and boiling water in a blender or food processor. Run at high speed for 5 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes). Line a colander with chessecloth or nylon sheer material. Pour cooled coconut mixture into cloth and drain. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard fibrous pulp.

For COOKED PEAS, bring split peas, tumeric and coconut milk to a simmer. Stir at first to prevent sticking. Simmer until peas have softened (about 45 minutes).

For MASALA PASTE, toast mustard, cumin and coriander seeds in a deep frying pan until popping. Put in a blender or food processor with butter, ginger, chili and asafetida. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Fry masala paste on low heat until aromatic (about 10 minutes).

To ASSEMBLE STEW, stir the fried masala mixture, okra, tamarind and salt into cooked peas. Simmer until okra has softened (about 5 minutes). Serve immediately, or let cool and reheat. Serve over DOSA and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Makes 2 cups - 20 minutes preparation - 30 minutes cooling - 1 hour cooking

From: The Vegetarian Chef by David Cohlmeyer Posted by: Sam Lefkowitz Submitted By SAM LEFKOWITZ On 10-04-94

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