Friday, May 2, 2008

Sambhar - vegetable & lentil stew

Kittie's Malaysian Vegetable Curry recipe totally brought a flashback of my grandma's infamous vegetarian friday special...

Rain or shine without fail, the dish on her table every Friday was pretty much the predictable and humble Sambhar. Usually served with white rice, a side of banana crisps and a dollop of plain yogurt, grandma took finger licking to a whole new level - once she finished her meal and if there was leftover gravy on the plate, she would pour on some yogurt, mix it all up and almost slurp it off the plate!! She might not have measured up to the dining etiquette snobs standards, but here was a woman who showed her appreciation of a hearty good meal.

So of course, the next step was to bug my mom long enough until she made it! :) Mom's taken over the kitchen the most of this week as she's on leave and I'm putting in the extra hours at work till I go on holiday. Which btw, is officially only 6 days to go!!! yeay!

Sambhar (Vegetable and Lentil stew)
1/2 cup Small Yellow dhal/ lentils - soaked overnight or for a few hours
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
A handful cherry tomatoes
2 potatoes - cut into large chunks
Round eggplant - quartered and fried
Drumsticks (murungakai) - cut into 2 inch pieces and halved down centre
Tofu - Fried then cut into large cubes
1 onion - sliced
2 garlic cloves - slightly crushed with the back of your knife
a small piece of ginger
1 dried chilli - cut into 1 inch length
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Put water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add lentils, ginger piece, garlic and potatoes and leave to cook until it is soft. Drop in tomatoes, murungakai, spices, tofu and eggplant. Once vegetables are cooked. Add coconut milk and allow it to thicken. In a seperate frying pan, fry onion, mustard seed, dried chilli till golden brown. Top sambhar with fried garnish. Serve with white rice or bread.

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