ABC Sambar is short for Aubergine-Bell pepper-Carrot sambar. With the goodness of 3 vegetables , this sambar is a slight amalgam between the regular “Podi potta” Sambar (Sambar prepared with sambar powder) and “Araichivitta” Sambar (Sambar prepared with fresh spices paste).
For this sambar I’ve used purple aubergines , green bell peppers and ooty carrots. Cut them into quarters or cubes , Take a wok , on medium heat add sesame seed oil or vegetable oil , Temper with a tsp each of mustard seeds(kadugu or rye) , fenugreek seeds(Methi or vendhayam) ,compounded asafoetida(Katti perungayam or hing), 4 chopped green chillies , add the chopped vegetables with 5-6 curry leaves and saute them until they become tender. Now add Tamarind extract(about 200 ml) and allow this to boil until the raw smell of the extract leaves and the flavors of the vegetables should arise. Meanwhile , in a blender jar take about 3/4 of freshly grated coconut , 5 tbsps of Sambar podi (Kuzhambu Podi) and about a handful of chopped coriander leaves. Grind this to a paste by adding little water. Now add this paste to the boiling broth and stir well. Now add the cooked toor dal to this and allow this to one boil and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and take it off the heat.
Accompaniments that go very well with this : South Indian style boiled potatoes , Tomato raitha , Muttakos Karamadhu(Cabbage stir fry) , Avarakai paruppu thengai Karamadhu (Cluster Beans stir fry) , Vellarikai Pachadi(Cucumber raitha).
Aubergine-Bell Pepper-Carrot Sambar
For the broth
For the flavor
For the paste
- Cut the vegetables to quarters and set this aside.
- Meanwhile make the tamarind extract ready and cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker or in microwave.
- Take a wok or vessel , on medium heat , add sesame seed oil. Let this heat up. Now add all the ingredients mentioned under “Tempering” , except salt.
- Now to this add curry leaves , chopped green chillies and add the cut vegetables . Saute them until the vegetables become tender. Add little salt to this to assist the vegetables in cooking faster.
- Now add the prepared tamarind extract and allow this to boil until the raw smell of the tamarind leaves and the flavor of the vegetables should arise.
- Meanwhile get the paste ready(1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut ,5 tbsps of Kuzhambu Podi,1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves, little water,salt ground to smooth paste in a blender jar).
- Add this paste to the cooking broth and stir well. Now add the cooked toor dal and allow this to boil for about 3 minutes in low heat.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and take it off the heat. Serve this hot with rice , idli or dosai.
- Cook the sambar only in medium-low heat , never increase the heat to high , it’ll burn the Sambar at the bottom of the vessel.
- For the tamarind extract , take a small gooseberry(amla) sized black tamarind and soak it in warm water for 10 minutes. Later extract its juice with your hands. Do not grind it. You will at least get 200-250 ml of extract, then throw away the tamarind.
- For the toor dal , pressure cook 1 cup(200 grams) of toor dal in pressure cooker up to 5 whistles. Before cooking this add little ghee and turmeric to the toor dal and add water until the contents gets soaked. Ghee assists toor dal to cook faster and softer. Turmeric gives color to your sambar.
- Peel the carrots and then chop them.