It is lentils to go on rice. The longer it cooks the
better. Remember to keep the water level up. Making
it is easy and won't have you breathlessly scurrying
around the kitchen. It keeps well, freezes and reheats
well. This is my own version, after many years.
The recipe is a big batch, so half or even quarter it:
it will scale properly. It also freezes well.
4 lbs European (brown) lentils, or other,
washed picked through in water, enough to
cover double depth. Medium heat and cover
6+ Large onions, halfed lengthwise and sliced
into thin crescents. Add to lentils
1 TBS+ Tamarind paste ("tamcon") or meat, or whatever
approximation with Lemon (juice + zest) and
Orange (juice + zest) A paste made from dried
apricots and lemon and orange juice is a good
approximation to tamarind paste.
1.5 TBS Salt
Add the Sambhar Powder (prepared as below)
or of commercial sambhar powder, 1 cup = 16 TBS
Cook until lentils are just beaking up.
There's a little finishing to do before serving.
[For smaller batches, use 4 TBS powder per lb. lentils]
Dry Roast in an iron skillet, then pulverize to finest powder:
4 tsp Black Peppercorns
1 TBS yellow/brown mustard seeds
6 Turkish Bay Leaves, crumbled
3 tsp Fenugreek
Mix in with roasted:
6 TBS Ground Coriander
3 TBS Ground Cumino
8 tsp Hot Pepper Powder (more/less as you like)
4 TBS Turmeric
2 tsp Asafoetida Powder or (1 tsp Asafoetida Tincture)
If this is new to you, smell the powder first,
and think about knocking back to 1/4 tsp. It
is intensely "garlicky", and an acquired taste.
FINISHING THE SAMBHAR
About 15 minutes before serving -
ca 4-5 TBS Ghee in a sauce pan (3+ qts) with tight cover
Heat Ghee to the smoking point.
Add immediately and cover *quickly*:
In a small bowl:
2 TBS Hulled Urad Dal
2 TBS Black Mustard Seed
Take the pot off the heat immediately and swirl vigorously for
about 10-15 seconds, the lid held on.
The Urad Dahl should brown a bit and the Mustard seed should
explode like popcorn. If it doesn't, the mustard seeds are old
and dried out; it will still be all right. Just as the popping
sound dies down, quickly add this (step back) to the already
cooking Sambhar. This is the most exciting part of the whole
recipe! Stir well.
Cook at least 10 minutes further - but you can leave at low heat
for an hour or more. Time is not critical. Actually - time
doesn't exist, so what's the rush?
Add and test for salt.
1. Notes? Sometimes, one does not need notes, strange as
that may seem, coming from TSC. The idea of sambhar is
is very old, and maybe TSC will return to an analysis of
of its many various variations, even using buttermilk.
It is basically "spiced lentils"; after that you are on
OK - one nice possible addition: extract and strain the
juice of one lemon. Add the lemon juice to the sambhar,
and drop the left over lemon halves into the soup.
Similaelrly, you could do the same, additionally or
separately with an orange.
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