Sambar

Ingredients

Vegetables
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 green bell peppers (capsicum)
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 green chiles
  • cilantro/coriander leaves
Spices + Miscellaneous
  • toor dhal
  • tamarind extract / dry (size of a lemon)
  • mustard seeds
  • fenugreek seeds
  • curry leaves
  • turmeric powder
  • sambar powder
  • asafetida
  • red chilies
  • oil
  • salt

Pre-Preparation

  1. Soak 1 cup of toor dhal in water for a minimum 2-3 hours.
  2. If you are using dry tamarind, soak it in warm water for an hour and then squeeze the tamarind to collect the liquid.

Preparation

  1. Cook the toor dhal with turmeric. Mash the cooked toor dhal.
  2. Cut the onion, green bell peppers and tomato into medium cubes.
  3. To a pan add oil, sauté the onion until it turns translucent. Break the green chillies in two and add it to the pan.
  4. Then add the green bell peppers and sauté until soft. Finally add the tomatoes and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. As the vegetables cook, in a pot add the tamarind water 1 teaspoons of turmeric, 2-3 spoons of sambar powder and salt to taste.
  6. After tamarind come to a light boil, add the cooked vegetables and the mashed toor dhal.
  7. Let this mixture cook for 5-7 mins.
  8. In the pan used for the vegetables, add oil and wait till it is hot.
  9. To this add mustard seeds, 2 broken red chillies, asafetida, fenugreek seeds and optionally curry leaves.
  10. Once everything pops add this to the top of sambar and mix it well.
  11. Finally cut the cilantro leaves and top the sambar.

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Pav Bhaji

Ingredients

Vegetables
  • 6-7 medium-sized potatoes
  • 6-7 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 large onion (2 medium-sized)
  • 2-3 bell peppers (capsicums)
  • 1/2 cup of green peas
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium-sized lemon
  • 1 cup of cut cilantro
Spices
  • jeera
  • salt
  • turmeric powder
  • red chilli powder
  • garam masala / pav bhaji masala
  • sugar
  • oil
  • 1/4 cup of butter

Preparation

  1. Peel, cook, and mash the potatoes well.
  2. Cut the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic into small cubes. (Smaller they are the better)
  3. Defrost the green peas if you are taking it out a frozen packet.
  4. In a large pot, add oil and let it heat up.
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of jeera and garlic.
  6. Add the onions after the garlic is slightly brown. The onions need to cook until they turn translucent or slightly paler.
  7. Add the bell peppers to the pot and let them cook until they are soft.
  8. Next add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of red chilli powder, 2 teaspoons of garam / pav bhaji masala and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  9. Keep sauteing the vegetables until you see the tomatoes pieces don’t look like pieces anymore but more like a mushy paste.
  10. Now add all the potatoes and at least 2 cups of water. Add the peas as well.
  11. Start mixing the potatoes with the gravy and ensure that any big chunks of potatoes are mashed as you mix.
  12. Now add the butter and keep the stove on medium high and keep cooking the dish for about 10 minutes. Note that the dish needs to start showing signs of boiling for a while and the redness of the tomatoes will reduce a little. Add more salt, chilli powder, garam masala to your taste.
  13. Add 1/2 cup of cilantro and mix it one more time.
  14. Remove the pot from the flame and squeeze 1/2 a lemon and garnish it with rest of the cilantro.

Extras

This dish is usually eaten with bread or bun butter-toasted on a pan. It can be served with finely chopped onions, a wedge of lemon and the bread.