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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Sambhar Idli... the Easy Way

Sambar Idli is or vada sambar is one of my family's favorite Sunday brunch. The hot steaming sambar with rava idli and coconut coriander chutney makes everyone's taste buds tingle. Today we are making sambhar through a really quick recipe. As you already know, I prefer to keep my recipes easy to follow and in such a way that the dish does not take much time to prepare. My version of Sambhar can be made quickly in the morning to carry it in tiffin as well as for breakfast. With it we are making rava idlis which also don't require much effort. Also, we are using those veggies which cook fast. Sambhar can be made with masoor dal, moong dal orTur Dal. But I prefer to make it with Tur Dal. We first steam tur dal and then mash it properly to get a smooth consistency. Then add vegetables having less cooking time (like carrot and beans) to it. Later on it is tampered with curry leaves, hing, mustard and whole red chillies. 

We are also making a quick chutney to go with idli sambhar, consisting of Dessicated coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves ,salt and peanuts. This is healthy and nutritious too. So you can cook up this whole meal of three elements in about 45 minutes. Please find the recipe below with step by step pictures. 

We need:

For Sambar:

  • 1 Cup. Tur Dal

  • ½ Cup Cauliflower

  • ½ Cup Beans

  • ½ Cup Shallots / or onions

  • ½ Cup Diced Tomatoes

  • 1 Tbsp Ginger

  • 1 Green Chilli

  • 1" Piece of Jaggery ( optional) 

  • 50 gm of Tamarind soaked in water/ 2 spoons of ready-made tamarind paste

  • 2 Tbsp Sambhar Masala Powder 

  • 1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Mirch Powder

  • 1Tsp Oil

  • 1 Tsp Salt or to taste. 

For Tampering:

  • 4 Tbsp Oil

  • 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp washed Urad Dal (without skin)

  • 1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds

  • 4 Whole Red Chillies

  • A pinch of Asafoetida (Hing) 

  • 7 to 8 Curry Leaves. 

For Idlis:

  • 1 Cup Semolina (Sooji) 

  • 1 Cup Curd

  • 1 Sachet Eno fruit Salt

  • 1 Tsp. Salt

Here We Go:

  1. Wash Tur Dal till the water runs clear. Soak it for 10 min. Soak Tamarind in a cup of water and keep aside. 

  2. Next, in a bowl, mix Sooji, Curd and salt. Set aside for 15 min.

  3. Take a pressure cook and add  washed tur dal to it along with 3 cups of water, turmeric powder salt and a spoon of oil. Pressure  Cook for 5 whistles. Let it cool on its not force the steam out. 

  4. Meantime dice all the vegetables in the shape and size of your choice. 

  5. When the pressure in the cooker is released, open the pressure cooker and mash the Dal till it is smooth in texture. Take out in a bowl and keep aside.

  6. Mash the already soaked tamarind. Stain the water and discard the seeds.

  7. In the same pressure cooker add all the diced vegetables, onions, ginger, tomato, turmeric powder, Sambar Powder and salt. Add the tamarind water and Jaggery too. Pressure cook these vegetables upto one whistle. Let the pressure release on its own. After that add the mashed tur dal to it. Mix everything well. If the Sambhar appears too thick add water to adjust the consistency. When you add water, after that don’t forget to boil the Sambhar again so that the water is incorporated to it and it becomes one homogenous whole.

  8. Meantime the sooji and curd batter is ready as sooji is soft and has soaked water. If the batter is too thick add a little water, but not more than ¼ th Cup. Mix well. Add Eno salt to the Idli batter and add a little water to it for fermentation. Grease the idli mould . Put a small amount of batter in each mould. 

  9. Fill water in the Idli maker and put the idli mould in it. Keep the flame on low. It will take around 15 minutes for the idli to cook. To check if the idli has cooked, insert a toothpick in the idli and if it comes out clean, switch off the gas and let the idlis remain in stand for a few minutes. Only after giving it standing time, demould the idlis one by one and keep them in hot case so they stay warm. 

  10. Time to temper the Sambhar. Heat a pan and add 4 Tbsp oil to it. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds (Rai), whole red chillies, urad dal and Hing to it. When the whole red chillies turn dark in colour add Curry leaves and Kashmiri Red Chilli powder to it. Be careful not to burn the chillies otherwise the taste and colour of the Sambhar will be spoiled.

  11.  Put this tempering in the  sambhar and Let it boil for a few minutes for all the flavours to mix in the Sambhar. Serve Hot with Idli. 

Preparation Time For Sambar : 15 min. 

Cooking Time for Sambar : 20 min

Preparation Time for Idli: 15 min. 

Cooking Time : 15 min. 

Collective Cooking time will be 45 min. 


Mash the Tur Dal properly . The grains shouldn't be visible. This will give a smooth texture to the sambhar. 

Always Boil the sambhar for a few minutes after tempering for the flavours to mix well in it. 

Try giving tempering to the idli batter with mustard seeds, it will enhance the taste of the idli as well as give softness to it. 

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