Saturday, 31 May 2014

Araichu vitta sambhar

Running out of sambhar powder?  Or often wondering the secret-ingredient for restaurant-styled thick sambhar??   Don't worry.... this, araichu vitta sambhar comes to your rescue :D  'Araichu vitta' in tamil means freshly grounded, accordingly this sambhar utlizes an medley of spices from your kitchen, that are freshly dry-roasted and powdered.  This powder, not only comes in handy when your sambhar powder goes out of stock, but also acts as an, 'thickening agent', thus making the latter more fragrant, more tasty and restaurant-styled.

And, one other difference from sambhar is that, in araichu vitta sambhar, tempering is done by the end.  Since, we add no spices other than dry-roasted ones, we may not be sure about the spice- content of sambhar.  Hence, tempering accordingly with number of red chillies might yield you an perfect, balanced output.  This is really, an blessing in disguise, isn't it? 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4 

Ingredients required: 

To be dry-roasted & powdered
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 4-5 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbspn whole dhanya
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds/ Jeera
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorn
  • 1/4 tsp methi
  • 1/4 tsp (raw) rice
  • 1 tsp grated (dry) coconut

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup of finely chopped country tomatos
  • 1/2 tsp of haldi/turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 11/2 tbspn thick tamarind extract
  • 3/4 cup of tuvar dal
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbspn finely grated jaggery

To temper
  • 2 tbspn oil
  • 1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
  • An generous pinch of hing/ asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 2-3 whole red chillies


Soak tuvar dal with two cups of water.  Dry-roast all spices (under simmer flame for two to three minutes till they slightly brown) The given ingredients will yield you around 1/4 cup of podi/powder.  Keep this aside.
After twenty minutes, rinse tuvar dal two times with plenty of water and pressure cook with an pinch of haldi for two whistles. Mash them with dal masher and keep aside.

In an vessel, heat an tsp of oil and saute onions for an minute.  Add tomatos, along with an tsp of salt and cook till they turn mushy. Afterso, add tamarind along with one cup of water and boil the content for five to ten minutes.  

Introduce pressure-cooked dal into boiling base and mix well.  Finally, add our precious powder and this is followed by adding jaggery and coriander leaves as well.  Check the seasoning and add salt to accordingly.  Cook this under simmer flame, till the sambhar sizzles around the surface (this might take around three to four minutes). Switch off the flame.  

In an separate pan, heat oil and add rai/mustard seeds.  Wait till they splutter, add hing, jeera, red chilly and curry leaves.  Pour this sizzling temper over prepared sambhar and serve hot with rice.

Happy cooking :)

Linking this to Srivalli's CCC Challenge

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