Spicy sambars are generally the first course of traditional South Indian meals, followed up by brothy and lighter rasams and other vegetable dishes, such as poriyals. These thick soup-like creations can be made up of pretty much any vegetables you have on hand and are typically served with rice and other accompaniments. A typical base for sambars is tamarind, dal and yogurt. They are substantial enough to serve as the main course of the meal, as I did with this one with some rice on the side and some Indian flat breads.
Here, an easy paste is prepared for inclusion, and the base is one of toor dal and tamarind, with eggplant, pepper, potato and drumstick as the starring vegetables. I think this must be my first time cooking with drumstick. It is easily found at Asian and Indian grocery stores. Long and skinny, it is somewhat squash like and a popular addition to curries, dal dishes and soups. It comes from the Moringa tree. In addition to the immature seed pods, which are known as the drumsticks themselves, the leaves, mature seeds and even the roots are edible.
The texture of the drumstick adds a nice contrast to the softer eggplant and potato as the outside of the drumstick stays rather firm during the cooking process. This is fiery version of sambar with toor dal, coconut, slightly bitter fenugreek and sweet tamarind. I would suggest it is best served with a hot bed of fresh cooked white rice to cut some of the heat, pappadums as an appetizer, and some Indian flat bread if you are serving as a main meal.
|Vegetable Coconut Sambar|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India
Cuisine: South Indian
Published on November 7, 2014
Simple, thick and creamy vegetable and toor dal curry with coconut, eggplant, fresh drumstick and peppers seasoned with the classic tangy and spicy flavors of south Indian cooking
Print this recipe
More delicious sambars from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Butternut Squash Sambar
Black-Eyed Pea and Mung Bean Sambar
Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) Sambar
On the top of the reading stack: the newspaper
Audio Accompaniment: morning silence