Friday, March 18, 2011

Killu Millagai Sambar (without sambar podi)


Ask a tamilian a sambar recipe, they will certainly puzzle you with so many options. At least me: from tiffin sambar, meal sambar, with or without veggie, with sambar powder or without, with ground masala and even I might include a non-vegetarian sambar (mom 's special) too. You might think I am exaggerating , the truth is no. Each and every sambar taste totally different in Tamil Nadu household!
Do you know the tale behind of sambar? I found this article of Padmini Nataradjan quiet interesting about the creation.

" The Marathas were ruling Tanjore. Sambhoji was a great cook (the male clan members to note) and very fond of his amti with a handful of the tart kokum thrown in. In a particular season the kokum that was imported from the Maratha homeland did not reach the bare larder of the king's kitchen. Sambhoji was cooking and the minions were shivering in their dhothis to tell him that his favourite dish could not be made that day. A smart Vidushak, who had been elected sous chef for the day, decided to solve the problem. He whispered in the king's ears that the locals used very little tamarind pulp to gain a better sourness to the curry and that Sambhoji should experiment with this variation. Voila, the dish with the tuvar dal, vegetables, spices and the tamarind pulp was cooked and served by the king to his coterie. The court declared the dish an outstanding preparation and thus was born sambhoji's amti that in time became sambhar."

Personally, it is not my favorite food item. Sounds weird for Tamilian where sambar appears in menu every other day. Contrary my DH adores it and I only prepare once in a week especially this sambar without sambar podi. Yes, I do this one when I ran out of veggie or when I want to serve something light and quick!


Killu Millagai Sambar
Killu Millagai (broken chilli) sambar- without sambar podi

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Ingredients:

Toor dhal: 3/4 cup
Pearl onion: 15 to 20 counts
Tomato : 2 medium (cut into big chuck )
Garlic: a whole garlic, peeled and crushed slightly
Tamarind: a small piece (approx 2 inch long) soaked in 1/4 cup water and extract the pulp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp

Seasoning

Oil: 2 tsp
Hing: a dash
Mustard: 1 tsp
Cumin: 1 tsp
Fenugreek: 1 tsp
Red chilies: 10 to 12 (broken into pieces)
Curry leaves: a few


Method:
Rinse the dhal in tap water. Add 2 cup of water and cook in pressure cooker until 4 whistles.

In a pot, heat the oil in medium heat and start the seasoning with hing, next mustard and cumin once they crackle add the red chillies (don't let it burn).
Follow by pearl onion, curry leaves and garlic, when the onion turns translucent, add the tomato and cooked dhal. Add a cup of water (Sambar should be extremely watery). Now add "according ur sour level) the tamarind. The amount mention should be perfect for me.
Adjust the salt and water level.

Let it boil 5 to 8 minutes and switch off the stove. Serve with plain rice and taste good for idlis and dosai.


Note and tip:
Usually, everyone start boiling the tamarind first and add the dhal at last. It is very tricky that old method. (You may ended with a sour sambar)
As we bear very low level of sourness , I adjust the tamarind level at the end according our taste. In this method, u always end up according your taste level. Add little and taste and proceed before dumping it!
Tamilian are very particular using tamarind in sambar.
Sambar and rasam are done with "new crop of tamarind" which doesn't change the color and small amount give a high level of sourness.
New crop is bright (almost white) - less than year old.
Old crop visually "range from dark Brown to black and sticky" is preferred for Kuzhambu (gravy base)

Especially this killu millagai (broken chilli) sambar should be watery (picture doesn't do any justice above) and very mild in tamarind taste.

30 comments:

Laavanya said...

Must try this version of sambar - sounds really good Chams

Pavani said...

Very interesting sambar story. Sambar without powder is never heard off in Andhra. We would probably call it pappu chaaru and we don't usually use garlic.. Will try ur version soon. Enjoy ur weekend.

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

sambar looks drooooolworthy cham...mmmmm...and lovely pics...

Priya said...

My grandma's signature dish,i have already posted mine quite a long back...love with vathals,delicious!

sowmya's creative saga said...

sounds interesting and yumm..

jayasree said...

I liked the name...Interesting recipe. Very easy to to put together. Bookmarked.

Priti said...

I agree with you ...so many sambar recipe ...even I too change mine our version very much ..this looks so yum...never made this one

lata raja said...

Interesting story behind sambhar's birth! This sounds perfectly delicious.

Chitra said...

This samnhar sounds delicious and new to me. will try sometime :)

G.Pavani said...

delicious sambar..

Malar Gandhi said...

I loved the story behind it...very interesting. And same here...I make sambhar without sambar podi 'milagai killi sambar' is one of my fav' too:)

kitchen queen said...

lovely and delicious sambar.

Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy said...

I liked the story of origin of sambhar.Looks delicious.Happy Holi

Sujatha said...

Killu milagai sounds good.. will try this next time for sure.. Btw, I like your new header :)

VS said...

Awesome story behind the sambar. It looks so homely and I am sure it must have tasted awesome.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Hmm yummy looking sambar

aipi said...

Nice article about the origin of sambhar..
Loved this version n your presentation both :)


US Masala

Sarah Naveen said...

That sounds delicious..looks so yummy too!!!

Sumi said...

I love this simple sambhar with egg curry..one of my favorite

Pushpa said...

This is my fav sambar with chicken fry.I use green chillies instead of red chillies.Love your version looks delicious.

Now Serving said...

Cham, this is interesting to read - I will certainly try making sambar this way and see how my family takes to it - Thanks for sharing

Parita said...

Interesting story..sambhar looks delicious..perfect color..btw love your header..very creative!

Archy said...

Love sambar.. will try this one soon!!

Latha said...

Sambar looks really yummy...

Shabitha Karthikeyan said...

Loved the article and the recipe.Good one Cham !!!

Sunshinemom said...

I make this sometimes when I am out of sambar powder and when laziness sets in to grind fresh masala. Did not know others make it too and I did not have a name for it. Beautiful picture, Cham. I don't like amti so was surprised that sambar is a derivation!

Usha said...

Very interesting story about sambar origin! Never tasted a sambar without powder, I must try this:-)

valarskitchen-basics said...

Sambar looks yummy!!!
Do visit me @
http://valarskitchen-basics.blogspot.com/

Soma said...

Good read.. LOL this sambar without the podi I would call a regular veggie dal:-) I love these kinda dal better than plain regular dal - more flavors.

Revathi said...

yes this is in my home too - killi pota sambar - so nice to see your recipe exactly