Mom-in-law's Arachavittu Sambar

My mom-in-law makes sambar every other day and it is almost the same each time. My hubby hogs when he gets his mom's sambar. Today, I decided to make my mom-in-law's version of sambar to go with Venn Pongal. I find it a rather tedious process but it is all worth it when your husband says "The sambar is delicious, it's the best dish on the plate".

Ingredients :
To grind :

  1. 1/2 cup grated coconut
  2. 4-5 sambar onions
  3. 4-5 pods of garlic
  4. 1/2 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
  5. 4 whole red chillies
  6. A large pinch of hing/asafoetida
  7. 1/2 tsp coriander powder

For dal and veggie mix :

  1. 1/2 cup toor dal 
  2. 2 tbsp skinless masoor dal
  3. Veggies - I used 2 carrots cut into bite sized pieces and 2 brinjals quartered. You could use ladies finger, white pumpkin or drumstick too
  4. 1 potato (optional)
  5. 1 medium onion chopped
  6. 1 largish country tomato chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1 tsp coconut oil
  9. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  10. 1 sprig curry leaves
  11. 2 slit green chillies
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Chopped coriander to garnish

How I made it :

  1. Dry roast coconut, small sambar onion, garlic, methi seeds, whole red chillies, cumin seeds and hing. Add coriander seeds if you have. Else, add coriander powder in the end. This would take about 8 to 10 minutes with constant stirring to get a dark golden brown color on the coconut. 
  2. Once the mixture cools, grind with enough water
  3. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric for about 15 minutes on low flame.
  4. In another pan, heat coconut oil.
  5. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  6. Add curry leaves and split green chillies.
  7. Add finely chopped onion.
  8. When onion is  pink, add vegetables of your choice. I added carrot and brinjal.
  9. When the veggies are half cooked, add chopped tomato.
  10. Adjust salt and add the ground mixture. 
  11. Add this to the dal and give one whistle on high.
  12. When pressure releases, add chopped coriander.
  13. Serve with rice or chapati or idli or dosa.
I served mine with Khara Pongal.

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