In my last post using shallots - Chinna Vengaya Kuzhambu, I described how I love these small onions but also how they are a lot of work. I had a batch of small onions with me and thus, I made the popular Chinna Vengaya Sambar. During the few months these shallots would be available in our local markets, almost all homes would have this Chinna Vengaya Sambar for sure. There is not much difference between this Sambar recipe and usual sambar recipe except that I don’t add tomatoes and replace regular onions with these shallots. The resulting Sambar is richly flavored with the sweetness of these shallots and would form a perfect side dish for hot rice. I prepared Murungai Keerai Poriyal to go as a side for this and the meal was heavenly. For my husband who is big fan of sambar, he loved it immensely. This recipe is super quick, perfect for days you are running short of time. Not only this recipe works well with rice, goes really well with idli/dosa/any South Indian breakfast.
To make Chinna Vengaya Sambar
What I used –
- Shallots, 15-20
- Toor/Tuvar Dal/Split Pigeon Peas, 6-7 tbsp
- Tamarind Pulp, 1 tsp
- Sambar Powder, 1 tbsp
- Turmeric Powder, ⅓rd tsp
- Coriander Leaves, a few
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Oil/Ghee, ½ teaspoon + ½ tsp
- Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
- Jeera, ½ tsp
- Dried Red Chillies, 1 or 2
- Asafoetida, a generous pinch
- Salt, as required
- Water, as required
How I made –
1. In a pressure cooker, add washed toor dal and cover it with enough water. Cook for 3-4 whistles and let the pressure drop. Set aside.
2. In a pan, heat ½ teaspoon of oil. Add peeled shallots. Fry until translucent. Add some water and turmeric. Cook covered for 4-5 mins on medium flame.
3. Add tamarind pulp and sambar powder. Mix well. Let it cook for another 3-4 mins. Add cooked toor dal and mix well. Add salt required.
4. Let the mixture boil for another 4-5 mins on low heat. Check for salt and spiciness. Add roughly chopped coriander leaves and keep boiling the sambar. Meanwhile, heat ½ teaspoon of oil/ghee in a small pan and add mustard seeds, jeera, halved dried red chillies and the large pinch of asafoetida. As the mustard seeds splutter, add washed curry leaves and remove from heat. Add this tempering to the sambar. Mix well.
5. Serve hot with rice and crispy sides of fryums/papad/appalam.
- Instead of cooking the toor dal in pressure cooker, soak the dal for 30 mins in warm water and cook it directly on stove top. The taste is much better but takes a lot of time.
- Instead of using shallots, normal onions can be used in this recipe.
- Replace half of the tamarind with tomato – chopped fine and sautéed along with onion/shallots.
- Instead of making the tempering with oil, adding ½ teaspoon of ghee does wonders to the sambar recipe. A good trick to please your family members 🙂
- I used my MIL’s Sambar powder (will post the recipe soon), store bought sambar powder works too but the taste is not the exact same.