On our last trip to India we enjoyed a cooking class at the Red Earth Eco lodge in Karnataka about 60km south of Mysore and only accessible via a car. The lodge itself is located along the banks of the Kabini Lake which provides the main water source for the Nagarhole and Bandipur Tiger reserves within the Wayanad forests. We were lucky on our safari to see a pair of tigers and other large forest animals like the Sambar deer for which this spice blend earns its namesake. We thoroughly recommend a trip to this part of India.
The Sambar spice blend is a very versatile spice and there are many ways you can use this warm and aromatic spice. In this recipe, we have used yellow split peas and added in pumpkin for sweetness but there are many different styles and we suggest once you have tried this one that you check out the 14 different sambar recipes for veg recipes of India website
Spices used in this recipe
Curry leaves (also known as kadi patta) are the predominant flavour and aroma in Madras curry, as well as other popular Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. They have a delicate spicy citrus flavour and are incredibly aromatic.$3.45
Mustard Seeds Black whole
Black Mustard Seeds are less mild and more pungent than the yellow variety. They have a savoury, tangy, and pungent spicy taste. Black seeds are used particularly in Indian, African and German cuisine due to their heat flavour and appearance. They are a key ingredient in the Indian blend Panch Phora.$3.45
Curry Sth Indian Sambar Spice – Mild
This fragrant masala spice mix is made with fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and other aromatics and is an essential ingredient in the ubiquitous split-pea stew of South India.
A masala is simply a mixture of ground spices. Each state in India has its own blend, and there are countless variations of each. The sambar masala , gives flavor, heat and texture to sambar, the region’s ubiquitous vegetable stew.$3.45
Chillies Indian Whole
Chillies originated in the Americas but are now used all throughout the world to add flavour and heat to endless numbers of dishes. The flavour of dried chillies is quite different from their fresh counterparts due to the caramelisation of sugars that occurs during the drying process, creating a more complex flavour. They are used widely in Indian, Mexican, Asian and Italian cuisine.$3.45
photo from veg recipes of india
Add Toor dal, tomatoes, pumpkin, water and half the chopped onion to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer and cook for 20min till dal is soft. Use a stick blender to puree the dal and pumpkin mixture.
Add the tamarind and coconut cream and stir well.
Season to taste with salt if required or add a little more tamarind to taste.
Turn off the heat and keep warm.
Tempering spices: Heat oil in fry pan and add rest of the onion, chopped capsicum, black mustard seeds, curry leaves, Sambar spice and whole chilli.
Saute on medium until the red color from the chilli runs into the oil – about 10 min.
In a separate sauce pan, steam the chopped vegetables until cooked, then add into the dal mixture and stir gently.
Add the tempered spices into the dal and serve with roti, idli, dosa, chapatti or toasted sour dough bread.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves