Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saambaar Podi - South Indian Style

My friend, Kavita had asked for the recipe of our South Indian Saambaar powder, a couple of weeks back and I took my time to present it here! Hope this is easy to follow, Kavita!

First collect all the 10 ingredients:

1. 250g. Red chilli (long chilli is preferable)/Sigappu milagaai vattral/Laal mirchi
(No need to pluck the 'kaambu' - stalk which is supposed to be hottt!)

1 a. 100g. Kashmiri mirch or Bengaluru byadagi menasu (optional), to give colour!

2. 250g. Coriander seeds/Dhania
(We get slightly green coloured coriander seeds at Nilgiris stores. which smells better and fresh and so, I buy that).

3. 100g. Cumin seeds/Jeeragam/Jeera

4. 100g. Fenugreek/Vendayam/Methi

5. 100g. Mustard/Kadugu/Rai

6. 100g. Black Pepper/Milagu/Kaali mirch

100g. Bengal gram/Kadalai paruppu/Chana daal

100g. Tuvar daal/Tuvaram paruppu

9. 3-4 pieces Turmeric root/Manjal kizhangu/Haldi

10. A big bunch of Curry leaves/Kariveppilai/Kadi pattha

Your saambaar podi is ready!

Ingredients (Check list!):

1. 250g. Red chilli (long chilli is preferable)

1 A. 100g. Kashmiri mirchi or Bengaluru byadagi menasu (optional)

2. 250g. Coriander seeds

3. 100g. Cumin seeds

4. 100g. Fenugreek

5. 100g. Mustard

6. 100g. Black Pepper

7. 100g. Toor daal

8. 100g. Bengal gram

9. 3-4 pieces Turmeric root or 2 tbs. of turmeric powder to be mixed with the saambaar powder.

10. A big bunch of Curry leaves


Collect all the ingredients and dry them on a paper or tray in the sun. I keep everything in a huge aluminium tray, cover it with a thin cloth (tuck the edges under the tray) and dry it. We get many pigeons near our house and they are after the daal in the tray, so we cover it for this reason and to avoid dust!

I dry the curry leaves with the stem as shown in the picture separately because it take a bit more time to dry and mix it with the other ingredients later. Turmeric root should be mashed a bit or else the grinder machinewala might refuse to grind it - just break them with a Mortar & Pestle (too elaborate name in English, so click on this word to see the picture!). Please give me the Hindi name, I have forgotten!

If you don't get enough sunlight or if it is rainy season, you can slightly dry roast all the ingredients, one by one...just enough to dry it, not roast it. The powder will be better if the ingredients are dry and will last longer.

Kashmiri mirchi or byadige menasu is optional. I add it just to give colour to the powder/saambaar. You can increase this chilli more and the other one less, if you are not used to hot and spicy saambaar!

Send it to the dry grinding machine for powdering. When you bring back the powder, it will be hot. Don't cover the lid because the sweat from the hot powder will drip into the powder which might spoil the it in due course. Just cover it with a thin paper until it cools down and then store it in an airtight container (like a tupperware container...I was a dealer once, so the habit doesn't leave me for an opportunity to canvas!). I keep a small quantity, in a small bottle for daily usage so that the freshly ground smell does not leave the powder!

One more tip: We send a cup of tuvar daal in a small container separately to the machine. We ask the drygrinderwala to 'run' this daal through the machine to collect the remaining powder from the machine, which we use while making saambar (the ingredients we use here are too expensive...we can't leave the powder to the machinewala...I used to follow these things like a ritual until a few years back, now don't bother that much!).

2 table spoonfull of powder is enough for a litre of saambaar. You can increase or decrease the quantity as per your taste, gradually.

Hope this recipe is clear and easy to follow. I would be happy if you can give suggestions to improve my presentation.


Varunavi said...

Thanks for sharing sandhya,once i finish my sambar powder will make it urs.But i do this at home and instead of turmeric root i will use turmeric powder..

kavita said...

Thanks a lot Sandhya.I am going to try this recipe very soon .I bookmarked many links suggested by friends but i was waiting for yours.Like Saritha even i will have to use haldi powder .
Once again A BIG THANKS.

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: It is OK if you use turmeric powder. I had been following this way of making saambaar powder for decades now! If I can't get the root ground in the machine, I might also start following it - using powder! Please tell me if you and your family liked it, Saritha!

Kavita: Because you asked me to write the recipe, I did this. Many people had been (relatives) asking for this, but I was lazy to do it! Thanks to you, I did it! Now, I would like to know if your mother in law and others in the family, including you, liked it!

Varunavi said...

Sandhya post ur rasam powder recipe too..

Sandhya said...

Varunavi: Sure, please give me some time!

radha said...

Will make this soon and let you know how the sambar turned out,

Sandhya said...

Radha: Waiting for your opinion, Radha!

Rachna said...

Thank you for the recipe, Sandhya. Came here from kavita's. Can I reduce the quantities pro rata if I want to make lesser sambhar powder. I don't consume too much sambhar powder in my house. And exactly how much haldi root (in gms.)? Mortar-pestle is called sil-batta or okhli in hindi ;-).

Sandhya said...

Rachna: Welcome here, Rachna!

Reduce the ratio, Rachna. If you are doubtful about the haldi, you can add 1/4 tsp. haldi power while boiling the saambaar.

Thanks for the name of the kuttani (coloquial name)...Okhli!