One of the most eaten breakfasts in India is Idli or safe to say, a whole lot of South Indian delights. From idlis to medu vadas & dosas, this cuisine is loved all over the country. And, along with these breakfast favourites, one condiment that is utterly famous is the Sambar! The love affair with the Sambar starts when it is poured over piping hot idlis or vadas and devoured with different varieties of dosas. Even a plate full of steamed rice is a perfect match made in heaven on any given day.
But what makes sambar different from the regular dal? The distinct flavours from the dry chillies, curry leaves and most of all, the mixed blend of masala called the Sambar Powder sets it apart. Of course, you'll find the ready-made versions available in the market but roasting your own masalas to make this beautiful, aromatic mix is totally worth it.
So, here's how to make Sambar Masala Powder.
1 1/2 tbsp Bengal gram or Chana Dal
1 1/2 tbsp Black Urad Dal
1 tbsp Toor or Pigeon Pea Dal
12-14 Dry Red Chillies
4 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Methi or Fenugreek Seeds
2 tsp Cumin or Jeera Seeds
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Hing or Asafoetida
2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
How to make Sambar Powder:
1. Make sure all your spices are clean and moisture-free.
2. Heat a pan, add all three dals- chana, urad & toor dal. Toast well until golden.
3. Add coriander & methi seeds. Toss until crunchy & light brown in colour.
4. Now saute the curry leaves until crisp.
5. Toss in the cumin seeds & roast until aromatic. Make sure none of the spices burn out. Keep the flame on low.
6. Add the peppercorns and toss for a minute. Once crunchy, switch off the gas.
7. Now add the turmeric powder and the asafoetida.
8. Cool the spices down and put them in a blender jar and blend until it becomes a fine powder.
9. Transfer the masala powder in an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator or in a cool place, away from the sunlight for up to 2-3 months.
10. Use to make sambar or add a pinch to flavour your idlis, tomato or tamarind rice.
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