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This easy sambar is packed with vegetables and topped with a ‘tarka’ of fried onions with spices. Sambar is vegan and gluten-free, and is traditionally served over rice or with dosas or idlis in Tamil Nadu.



For the vegetables

  • 100g/3½oz toor dal (yellow split pigeon peas), well rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz carrots, cut into 2cm/¾in chunks
  • 100g/3½oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm/¾in chunks
  • 100g/3½oz green beans, cut into 2cm/¾in lengths
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt

For the masala

  • 50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 dried Kashmiri chillies with seeds
  • handful fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

For the tarka

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1½ tsp fenugreek seeds

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