One of the most favorites of mine,Sambhar/Kolmbo is a wholesome curry.Goodness of dal and vegetables in one dish,so very healthy too.I have to admit that I was a zero when it came to cooking sambhar(and many other dishes of course;).I used readymade sambhar powder before and it came nowhere in taste like my amma or ma-in-law makes.Hubby used to twist his nose when I said its sambhar,coz he knew what to expect.;-)My amma uses her own home made sambhar powder or sometimes Eastern sambhar powder.With Eastern,I hit jackpot.It started tasting somewhat like my amma makes.I was happy and content.
But there was one more hurdle for me to cross.My ma-in-law makes a different type of sambhar.When this one started tasting ok,hubby asked me to make his amma's sambhar too!!I asked her for the recipe,wrote down everything and decided to try it next time.This type of sambhar or kolmbo to be precise,requires roasting and grinding the masala fresh,just before making the sambhar.I tried it and voila! came out superb!!It goes well with rice,I like it with Idli/Dosa too.
Toor dal - 1 cup
Cut Vegetables - 2 cups(I used Pumpkin,Drumsticks,Carrots,Potatoes and Small onions)
Salt to taste
Masala to roast
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Methi seeds - a pinch
Haldi - a pinch
Red chillies - 5 or 6
Hing/asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Dry roast all the ingredients in a kadai till light brown.Switch off the flame and let it cool.
Grind to a smooth paste adding a small piece of tamarind.
Oil/ghee - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs
Tomatoes - 1 finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp,finely chopped
Cook toor dal in a pressure cooker along with a tsp of haldi and oil till done.
Add the vegetables(I roasted the small onions in a little ghee before adding to the cooker).
Pressure cook till 2 whistles,not more.
In another kadai,prepare the seasoning by adding oil/ghee.
Splutter mustard seeds,add the curry leaves and the tomatoes.
Add the ground sambhar masala and a little water,let it boil.
Simmer till the tomatoes get cooked.
Add the dal-vegetable mix to the kadai.
Add salt to taste and let it boil.
Add the coriander leaves and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.