Araichu Vitta Sambar

Araichu Vitta Sambar would occupy the top rank among the various sambars we prepare. It can be eaten with hot rice and fried appalam as accompaniment. Ingredients Toor dal - 1/2 cup Small onions (peeled) - 1 cup (other veg like white pumpkin, red pumpkin, carrot, beans, etc can be used) Red chillies - 8 Coriander seeds - 1 and 1/2 tsp Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp Tamarind - lemon sized ball Oil - 2 tblsp Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp Mustard - 1/2 tsp Salt - to taste Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp Grated coconut - 3 tsp Asofetida - 1/4 tsp Curry leaves - a few Coriander leaves - to garnish Method Pressure cook the toor dal until soft. Mash it well and keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the coriander seeds, bengal gram dal and 6 red chillies and fry till it gives out a nice aroma. Add the grated coconut and fry for another minute. Cool and grind this into a fine paste adding water. Soak the tamarind in around 2 cups of hot water for a few minutes and extract the juice from the tamarind. Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the mustard. After it splutters, add the fenugreek seeds and the remaining 2 red chillies and fry. Add the small onions and fry for a few minutes. Now add the tamarind extract and then the salt to taste, turmeric powder, asofetida powder and the curry leaves.( if adding other vegetables, add them now to the tamarind extract). Allow to boil until the raw smell goes and the vegetable is cooked well. Add the mashed dal and the ground paste. Boil for a few more minutes. If very watery, make a paste with 1/2 tsp of rice flour and water and add to the sambar to thicken it. Garnish with coriander leaves.