Onion sambhar,alu podimas and beans thoran were our alternate weekly Sunday menu. And all of us would look fwd to it with gusto..and if amma skipped this for more than two weeks..she would be reminded from Thursday that Sunday..she needs to make this.
Usually sambhar is 'podi-podathu' or 'arachuviadathu'. The earlier one was with dried sambhar powder..but at my place we loved the second one..which had coconut in it. Actually compared to many south-indian homes sambhar was not a regular at my place..i think my mother made it once or twice a week maximum...so it was eaten with gusto.
Anyway enough of my gab and let me go to the recipe...
Toor Dal - 1 1/2 cups (cooked).
Tamarind - golf ball sized, soaked in hot water and pulp extracted.
Onions - 3 large, sliced.
Sambhar powder - 1 tsp. (if you do not have sambhar powder, use 1/2 tsp. of red chilly powder).
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - 1 tbls.
Salt - as needed.
Toast and grind:
Oil - 1 tsp.
Red Chillies (whole) - 4 to 6.
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Whole Coriander seeds - 1 tbls.
Urad dal - 2 tsp.
Coconut - 1 cup (grated), you can used 1/2 a cup too
Chana dal - 2 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard Seeds - 1 tbls
Curry leaves - 6-8,roughly torn.
1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 1/2 a hour and take out the juice. It should equal around 3 large cups.
2. Pressure cook the dal and keep it aside to cool. It should be well cooked and should be mushable (is that a word ;)
3. Slice the onions and keep aside. In a large kadhai, heat 1 tbls of oil and in medium heat fry the onions till they are completely cooked and translucent. They should not get brown.
4. When the onions are cooked, add the tamarind water,turmeric,sambhar powder and cook in medium heat till the raw smell of tamarind dissapears.
5. Meanwhile in a pan, toast all the ingredients listed under 'toast' except the coconut till the dal changes color. Then add the coconut remove from heat and stir the mixture for a few more minutes till the coconut is lightly toasted thru the heat.
6. Now grind the above to a smooth paste. Mix it with the cooked dal and stir well so that the mixture is amalgamated.
7. Add the above mixture to the onions cooking in tamarind, add the salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes in medium heat till you get it to the consistency you want.
8. Take the sambhar off the heat and do tadka with rai and curry leaves.
This is off to Radhika of Radhi's kitchen who hosting JFI-Onions.