This week I enjoyed the awesome South Indian side dish “sambar” which is both delicious and spicy. It can be found at any of the South Indian Restaurants, hotels or food courts. It is a daily food item for most of them. Especially in Tamil Nadu state with its Chennai capital, this is a must dish in their daily menu. They eat meals or any kind of breakfast along with this sambar dish and can not think of any food without sambar. That is the importance of sambar.
Sambar is prepared by cooking the pulses and vegetables and adding tamarind juice, spice powders into it while cooking. Mostly, the yellow pigeonpea is used for cooking this sambar. You may cook the peas and vegetables separately and then combine before adding tamarind and spice powders.
I generally cook the pigeon peas first in the cooker and then add the minced vegetable pieces, tamarind juice and spice powders along with salt and cook again to form a medium thick soup. Then garnish it with mustard seeds and cumin fried in a little bit oil along with a bit of asafoetida powder and top it with coriander leaves.
Rice food is mixed with this sambar and consumed as the main food for meals. Breakfast items are dipped into this sambar and eaten with a spoon. But, I recommend it as a soup also as it is very rich in proteins and vitamins and provides you instant energy.