Carrot Sambar

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Carrot Sambar

The food is flying out of my kitchen lately, which means I have been able to treat friends and family to some of my dishes. It is also a good idea to cook at home in a sanitary kitchen with fresh ingredients rather than running the perils of eating out or ordering in. Much cheaper too, and you can control your own spicing.

One of my latest creations is this warming carrot sambar that also has a cooling effect, if that makes sense. Sambars are popular in South India and are most typically served with rice. A wide variety of vegetables can be used, and often toor dal and tamarind are common additions, along with a delightful array of spices. Usually thick and fiery, sambars are often the first course for a South Indian full course meal. Do consider making your own sambar powder, as this is an essential ingredient and, as I have noted before, fresh spice blends made in your own kitchen are far superior to store-bought blends, and so easy to make if you have a coffee grinder to whiz it all up.

Carrot SambarCarrot Sambar
Recipe by
Cuisine: South Indian
Published on March 27, 2011

Simple, warming and spicy south Indian carrot and lentil curry

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  • 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas), rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or oil
  • 2 dried whole red chilies, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida,
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons split skinned urad dal, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sambar powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the toor dal and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the dal is creamy. Add more water if necessary. Set aside.

  • Heat the butter, ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the chilies, asafetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and urad dal. Stir until the mustard seeds begin to splutter and pop, about 60 seconds.

  • Now add the onion and tomatoes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir for 5 minutes. Toss in the carrots, sambar powder, tamarind paste, tomato paste and sea salt. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the toor dal and chopped cilantro or parsley. Pour in 2 cups of water and simmer to heat thoroughly.

Makes 4 servings

Carrot Sambar

More sambars you may enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Black-Eyed Pea Sambar
Butternut Squash Sambar


Priya Suresh said...

Wat a comforting dish,yumm!

lubnakarim06 said...

Wow...looks creamy and yum....

Faith @ lovelyascharged said...

This, as well as your butternut squash version, look absolutely to die for!