Sambars are thick, spicy and fiery vegetable curries and are usually served as the first course of a traditional south Indian meal, but they also make a lovely light lunch or dinner on their own served with rice and pappadoms. This version, which I have adapted from my treasured copy of Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan, is easy to prepare and combines the goodness of some split dals and a generous amount of spice, complete with tart and tangy tamarind pulp to give the sambar a unique and delicious hot and sour flavor. If you like Indian hot, this is just the dish for you, followed by a rasam, and served also with a side salad and poriyal. Do serve with some plain yogurt on the side to temper the heat if desired.
Dakshin is certainly a cookbook worth having if you enjoy drool-worthy photos and valuable information and recipes from and about south India. When I first started cooking Indian cuisine, I mostly made dishes originating from northern India. But I wanted to explore native dishes from other regions and this book was certainly a pivotal turning point in my approach to Indian vegetarian cooking. I continue to explore dishes from throughout the subcontinent, dabble with fusion-style dishes, and hope my creations will inspire my readers to get into the kitchen and spice it up.
Tamarind and the other ingredients listed in this recipe are easily available at any Indian and most Asian grocers.
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Dakshin
Published on June 24, 2012
Thick, hot and sour south Indian tamarind sambar curry
More Indian recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) Sambar
Black-Eyed Pea Sambar
Chana Saag (Chickpea and Spinach Curry)
Macaroni and Paneer Cheese