Sambar is the most popular south Indian accompaniment which pairs nicely with rice as well as the breakfast idli/dosa varieties. There are many types of sambar one can make using different veggies . Among the various variety the chosen one for the day is ” Brinjal and Drumstick Sambar ” cooked in Udupi hotel style . Specialty of Udupi style sambar is the freshly roasted spices ,coconut and little sweetish sambar .Addition of fresh tender drumstick takes the sambar to a whole new level… aah..yum !!
Udupi , apart fom being a temple town is popular for its cuisine . Udupi restuarants are popular world wide . Usually Udupi Sambar is sweetish in taste , with mild spiciness , no onion – garlic and lots of coconut.But in udupi hotels, to cater everyones taste bud, sambar is made mild sweet , coconut quantity is reduced, coconut oil omitted and onions are added . And traditionally in the homes , fresh sambar masala is roasted and grounded every time sambar is made.But these days , since all are in a hurry , sambar powder is made in 1 shot and stocked for few months . I have shared both the methods.Do try once n i’m damn sure.. you would agree with me. Here we go….
You can use any of veggies / mixed vegetables . I have used brinjal , drumstick , onion and tomato.Brinjal and drumstick is very good combination .
Remove the edges of drumsticks and cut them into 2" pieces. While cutting lightly peel the outer strings using your fingers.refer pic to know what i mean .
Dice brinjal and put in water. This will prevent discolouration . Peel shallots / small onions .
Wash the toor dal ,add turmeric and cook for 3 - 4 whistles with 2 cup of water. Mash the cooked dal and keep aside.
Meanwhile ,take the drumstick in a wide vessel .Add some water and keep to cook.After the drumsticks are 50 % cooked, add diced brinjal,tomato and onion. Close and cook for 5-10 mins.
Meanwhile,lets roast the masala.In a small pan add few drops of oil.Add all the ingredients mentioned under masala .Roast them on medium low flame till red chillies becomes crisp and dal turns golden color.Transfer all the ingredients to a mixer jar.Add coconut,tamarind and salt.Grind to a fine paste ( don't make super smooth ) .
or you can skip the roasting step and use sambar powder , Add coconut,tamarind and salt.
Once the veggies are cooked to 75%,add cooked dal ,ground mixture and jaggery .Add some water to bring to the desired consistency and mix well.Keep on sim and bring it to boil.
Season with mustard and curry leaves.Switch Off.
Serve hot brinjal drumstick sambar ith hot steamed rice / idli / dosa .
The same process can be adapted for preparing sambar using other vegetables like sambar cucumber, chayote squash, potato , mixed veggies ,ash gourd etc .
You can pressure cook the vegetables depending on the choice of veggies. Since brinjal gets cooked quickly , i have cooked it directly .