Sambar is a lentil stew with lots of vegetables, cooked in tamarind juice and spiced with samabr powder. It is a common preparation in South Indian homes. I was always under the impression that the lentils used in sambar is toor dal or a mixture of toor and moong dal. I was surprised when I saw Sharmi’s tiffin sambar which is prepared with moong dal. On further Google search, most of the tiffin sambar recipes I came across called for moong dal. I make nimmakaya pappu chaaru or pappu khut with moong dal without any vegetables or tamarind in it. Since moong dal is light on the stomach and easy to digest, I wanted to give it try.
I paired it with ven pongal. Most of the tiffin recipes I came across called for potatoes and I was unsure if I would like it in sambar. I skipped the potatoes and used carrots, radish & tomatoes. This sambar is suppose to be on the milder side and not tangy at all. From what I have read, tamarind can even be omitted.
Total Time: 30 - 35 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 - 25 minutes
Serves: 3 - 5
- ¼ cup Moong Dal
- 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Oil
- ¼ tsp, Cumin Seeds
- ¼ Mustard Seeds
- ⅛ - ¼ tsp. Hing ~ Asafoetida
- 4 Pearl Onion (I used frozen and cut each into half as the onions were big)
- 2 Green Chilies
- 6-8 Curry Leaves
- 1 medium sized Carrot, peeled & sliced
- 3 Red Radish, cut into 2-3 slices
- 1 medium sized Tomato, cut into cubes
- ⅛ - ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 1 ¾ - 2 tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ - 1 tsp. Tamarind Paste (I used homemade paste)
- Cilantro to garnish
- 2 tsp. Chana Dal
- 1 ½ tsp. Coriander Seeds
- ¼ - ½ tsp. Fenugreek Seeds ~ Methi Seeds
- 2 - 4 Dry Red Chilies (I used 4 and it was spicy)
- Cook Dal - Dry roast moong dal until light brown and let cool.
- Wash and cook dal in pressure cooker with ½ - ¾ cup water until soft and mushy. In pressure cooker it takes 5 whistles on high and couple of minutes on low. I like really mushy, hence cook it little longer than actually required.
- Sambar Powder - Dry roast spices listed under sambar powder. Cool and make a powder.
- Sambar - In pan heat oil, add cumin, mustard seeds and let the seeds splutter.
- Add onion, green chilies, curry leaves, vegetables, salt, turmeric, asafoetida and saute for couple of minutes until tomatoes are soft.
- Add spice powder and stir.
- Add dal, water, tamarind paste and bring to a boil. I forgot to note down water quantity, I think I used approximately 1 - 1 ½ cups water.
- Boil sambar for about 5-7 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve hot with ven pongal or idli.
- I did not use jaggery and later, after tasting the sambar I felt something was missing. I added ¼ tsp. sugar and that balanced the flavors.
Suma Gandlur says
I am not sure whether it is the Tamil Nadu thing and I too was surprised to notice the moong dal version in Tamil blogs. I don't think I have come across a similar samabhar in other states.
I have never tried making moong dal sambhar. Must try it out.
Moong dal makes the sambar thick and creamy. Looks delicious.
I do tiffin sambhar with moong dhal too
I too make tiffin sambar with moong dal..It gives unique taste to the sambar ..Well made..
Oh yes my mom too makes it with moong dal when she has to make it for tiffin..very nicely prepared..
We make it very similarly with moong dal ! Yes it's so nutritious
I have never tried sambhar with moong dal.But it sounds so tempting. Bookamarked.
Vaishali Sabnani says
Sambar with moong daal sounds great, i must try this version as we all prefer moong daal to tuar daal. The carrots look like a nice contrast and make it colorful . A comfortable and doable version .