It was two in the afternoon and I hadn't done a thing yet. Started reading a book in the morning and fell asleep! The book was nice, it was just too early to read. And by then it was also too late to cook anything that takes effort. (I like to finish everything before the man gets home.) Hence the all time faithful rice and sambar.
My love for sambar dates back to prehistoric times, well, to as early as I can remember. I remember, as a kid, I used to beg Mom to add lesser vegetables in the curry. You see, the Keralite sambar is made up of not just one or two vegetables but, I think, of everything you find at home. My mom's sambar would have lady's fingers, drumsticks, yam, carrots, cucumber(vellari) and others I've forgotten. As a child, my sister and I would never help ourselves to the vegetables except for a few chosen ones of our liking. I remember, Mom would in the end have to finish all the pieces herself. Well, being a vegetarian, she did enjoy it I think.
Sambar looks complicated but there are short cuts to make this one too, which is what I follow. This definitely is not the authentic way to do it but it does taste well above decent and is easy to fix. In the recipe below, I have used vegetables I had at the time.
1. Toor dal - 100 gms
2. Onion - 1 finely sliced
3. Garlic - 3 cloves chopped
4. Tomato - 1 chopped
5. Potato - 1 cut into big pieces
6. Carrot - 1 diced
7. Lady's fingers - 6 medium
8. Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
9. Sambar powder - 2 tbsp
10. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
11. Mustard seeds
15. Curry leaves
16. Green chillies - 2 slit
1. In a pressure cooker, put all the ingredients from 1 to 6 and the green chillies. Add some water, salt and turmeric powder and cook for 3 whistles.
2. In a pan, heat some oil, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry the lady's fingers till the stickiness disappears.
3. Add the tamarind paste and sambar powder along with some water and let it boil.
4. To this, add the cooked mix from the pressure cooker, adjust the consistency and boil for 2 minutes.
I didn't have a good enough picture of any sambar I had made. The one attached is cropped from an old pic I had. :)