Sunday menus often feature this delicacy. A spicy lentil soup featuring shallots (chinna vengayam) and a mix of spices. In our home vengaya sambar is part of weekend lunch and leftovers had with puris or adai in the evening.
Stuff you will need:
Shallots – 1 cup peeled and slit
1 cup thuvar dhal
Tamarind – a ball the size of a small lime.
Sambar powder – 2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Bengal gram dhal – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 2
Coconut gratings – 1 handful
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dhal – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 pinch
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Oil – 3 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Coriander – 1/2 bunch washed trimmed and chopped to garnish
How to make it?
Pressure cook thuvar dhal, mash and set aside. Soak tamarind in water, extract pulp and set aside. Dry roast coriander seeds, bengal gram dhal, dry red chillies and coconut gratings till reddish brown, cool and grind to smooth powder. Set aside.
In a wok or deep vessel heat oil. Add mustard seeds and when it bursts add urad dhal and a pinch of turmeric and asafoetida. Add shallots and saute till translucent. Add sambar powder and stir fry till smell of sambar powder fills the air. Add tamarind water and let simmer till smell of raw tamarind goes away. Add powdered spice mix and mashed thuvar dhal and simmer on medium hot for 5 – 10 mins. Garnish with ghee and cut coriander.
Serve hot with rice and vegetable or as a side to adai or puri.
Add half a spoon of sugar to enhance the taste of spices. Garnish with ghee optional but makes the sambar taste authentic.