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Buttermilk Sambar (moru Kuzhambu)

Cuisine: Indian
Courses: Starters and appetizers
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 teaspoon 5mlRed gram dal - (pigeon peas, toor dal), picked over & Rinsed
1 teaspoon 5mlBengal gram dal - (yellow split peas, picked over & Rinsed
  Chana dal)
1/2 cup 118mlWater - (4 fl oz)
1   Fresh ginger - (1 cm / 1/2" long), finely shredded
2 teaspoons 10mlCumin seeds
1 tablespoon 15mlCoriander seeds
6   Green chilles - (chili peppers)
3 tablespoons 45mlGrated fresh coconut - (or)
4 tablespoons 60mlFlaked coconut
  A little water
2 cups 474mlPlain yogurt - (16 fl oz)
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlGround turmeric
  Salt - to taste
1 cup 146g / 5.1ozChopped ash gourd
  For Tempering
2 teaspoons 10mlOil
1 teaspoon 5mlBrown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon 5mlFenugreek seeds
1   Red chilli - (chili pepper), halved
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlAsafoetida powder
  A few curry leaves

Recipe Instructions

Soak the red gram dal and the Bengal gram dal in 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) water for 1 hour. Drain off water.

Place the soaked dals, ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green chiles, and grated coconut in an electric blender or food processor. Add very little water and blend ingredients to a fine paste.

Place the yogurt in a bowl. Add the ground paste, salt to taste, and ground turmeric. Mix well and set aside. Chop the ash gourd into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces. Set aside.

TEMPERING: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a heavy saucepan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, halved red chile, asafoetida powder, and a few curry leaves.

When the mustard seeds splutter, add the chopped ash gourd to the pan. Pour in just enough water to cover the gourd. Cover pan, and simmer on a low heat until cooked. Now add the yogurt mixture and heat the sambar through gently. Take care to prevent curdling.

Serve hot with rice.

Author's note: You can make this sambar with any vegetable of your choice: e.g. okra (lady's fingers), eggplant (aubergine), sweet peppers (capsicum), or cooked diced potato. Lentil dumplings can also be used instead of vegetables.

For a slightly different flavor, use 1/4 - 1/2 cup (2 - 4 fl oz) coconut milk instead of grated or flaked coconut. Use 8 - 10 tablespoons coconut to make thick coconut milk. Blend or process the paste without the coconut and make the sambar the same way. Just before serving, add the coconut milk and stir to blend well.

"Dakshin, Vegetarian Cuisine from South India," by Chandra Padmanabhan, 1994

Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan


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5.8 (6 votes)

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