Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The simple Chettinad Sambar or Kuzhambu


In chettinad we usually call the sambar prepared for lunch as kuzhambu.I don’t think there is any specialty in the preparation here. It is very simple and tasty. I guess it is similar to the sambar prepared by any other south Indian. That is why I never gave priority to this recipe. But one girl new to the kitchen told me that the most important recipe one needs while learning cooking is the sambar.I too rightly agree with her. In most houses 3 out of 5 times it is sambar for the afternoon. I prepare sambar in a very simple way. I mostly cook the vegetable except a few like drum stick, ladies finger and brinjal for the sambar in the microwave while I am cooking the dhal in the cooker. So my sambar will be done in 15 minutes.
The main thing to be noted while making sambar is that too much of dhal will spoil the taste of sambar.Like that excess of tamarind also will make it very sour which now a days we don’t like. So don’t be very lavish in using these two items to get a good sambar.Always make it little watery. Most of the sambar will become little thick as time goes by. One will become an expert in keeping sambar by making small adjustments each time with in 3 months
Certain vegetables have to be sauted before cooking .Such vegetables cannot be microwaved for sambar.Ladies finger and brinjal are like that. Though drum stick need not be sauted, I will advice to cook it in a kadai since the water in which it is cooked will get the nice flavor of the drum stick and the sambar will smell very good.
Ingredients
Any vegetable-100 gms
Small onion-10
Small tomato-1

Garlic-5 pods (optional)
Thoor dhal-1/2 cup (1 ½ handful)
Kuzhambu milagai thool-1 table spoon
Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon
Asafetida-a pinch
Curry leaf-little
Coriander leaves-little Tamarind paste-1 1/2teaspoon( kozhikundu size)
To season
Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
Fenugreek-1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaf-little

Procedure
Pressure cook the dhal for 10 minutes. Mean time cut the vegetable, onion and tomatoes and microwave them by spraying water for 5 to 7 minutes. if you don’t use a microwave then you can proceede making the kuzhambu right away. Keep the kadai in the stove and season the kuzhambu with the items given in ‘to season’. Now add the onion and tomato pieces. Sauté for a while. Then add the vegetable. Sauté for a minute if the veg is of a kind not needed to be sauted else sauté for 3 minutes (brinjal, ladies finger).Add 1 cup of water. Close the kadai and cook for 5 minutes or till the vegetable gets cooked. Now add kuzhambu milagai Thool and turmeric powder. Mean time soak the tamarind and the salt needed in half cup of water. Strain it and add that also into the kadai.Once the kuzhambu starts boiling add the dhal and cook. Make sure of the consistency. If found thick add little water and cook for 5 minutes
Those using microwave can keep the kadai in the stove. Season the gravy. Add the cooked vegetables, sambar powder and turmeric powder and cook for 5 minutes. Now add Tamarind salt dissolved water. Cook for 3 minutes. Then add the dhal and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
For ladies finger, Brinjal and drum stick the first procedure only is to be followed (cooking the vegetable in the kadai)
Many season the kuzhambu in the end. I usually do in the beginning itself due to practical easiness.
For Radish sambar I usually add 1 teaspoon of a powder made out of( 2 teaspoon of coriander, 1 spoon Bengal gram,2 red chilies and ¼ teaspoon of fenugreek dry roasted and powdered ).This will do away the smell of radish which many don’t like
Today for my readers (new ones to the kitchen)convenience I have not added that powder. I just don’t want to confuse. Once you become an expert in sambar you can try all these
Garnish with coriander leaves. This will add 50% extra taste to the kuzhambu

51 comments:

Kayal said...

Your sambar looks delicious. I too prefer watery sambar and not the thick one. We wont use fennel seeds for sambar. I think all the chettinad items have fennel seeds as mandate.

Solai Chidambaram said...

Ya you are right Kayal.We add fennel seeds in everything except koottu.It is good for digestion I suppose

Cilantro said...

Sambar looks delicious. My daughter loves mulangi. I do not use garlic in sambar and seasoning with fennel is new to me.

Raji said...

Aachi, my sambar is the same except for the fennel seeds and nowadays I add quarter tsp of curry leaves powder in the sambar for the extra taste..

Cham said...

We use for only koottu the fennel seeds! I like slightly thinner my sambar too (even though I am not a big fan of it) But love mulangi taste!

DEESHA said...

nice sambar. iam a big fan of chettinad cuisine

Akal's Saappadu said...

I love sambhar a little watery too, like in the restaurants. My sister always asks me for "Thanni sambhar" (she calls it like that :)

mullangi sambhar and the manga sambhar are my favorite ones.

Ravi said...

hello aachi. I tried your "Saiva eeral poriyal" yesterday. I roasted pachai payaru, powdered it along with sombu and then mixed water and salt to an idly batter consistency. Everything was fine. But in the end result, the saiva eerals were a bit hard and also the whole dish was like a think orange kurma - nowhere close to how it appeared on your blog :( What could have gone wrong? Should I fry the stuff for more time to get the dark brown colour? Thanks in advance aachi!

Solai Chidambaram said...

Why did u roast the pachai payaru Ravi.That is why it became hard.Any dhal roasted will become hard if grinded.Reduce the cocunut and cashew quantity.The gravy will not become thick then.You would have added the same ingredients for a lesser gravy

Ravi said...

Aachi, thanks for your prompt reply. Maybe roasting the paruppu was the reason for the idlis becoming harder. Thanks again for the tips and suggestions.

maxo said...

Aachi,

Thanks as always for authentic Chettinad Recipes.

Awaiting your post on Mutton Biriyani, Kari Kola Urundai Kulambu & Bhotti ( Kudal ) Kulambu / Varuval

Raji said...

TAMIZH PUTHANDU NAL VAAZHTHUKAL Aachi - wishes to u and ur family

niru said...

HI
coming friday z my hubby's bday.wishing 2 conduct a grand dinner party. everyone here is asking 4 complete chettinad specials. can u plz giv me some ideas of wat 2 make?plz..

niru said...

keeping u in mind only.. i said ok 4 everything

Solai Chidambaram said...

Saw your comments only now Niru.Was in Chettinad for the last two days.Tomorrow I will think and tell you.You can also contact me at chidambaram.solai@gmail.com so that it will be easy for both of us

Pavithra said...

First time here.. So traditional . Nice blog ...all ur foods are tempting

g said...

hai solai achi... h r u?i prepared
sambar as per ur recipe.My mom was astonished after tasting it...U r Great.If i had have power i'll give Dr. degree for cuking...could you plz tell how to prepare kauni arisi dish?

Mallugirl said...

wonderful post on sambar. u are right.. its not easy to make a good sambar. Thanks for the easy recipe.

Solai Chidambaram said...

Thank you g.Your comment itself made me happy as if i got a doctor degree in cooking.My main purpose of blogging is to help the learners cook good food.I am happy that My blog is serving that purpose to a great extent.

Raji said...

Hi Aachi, will you pls post some sweet dish recipe for my daughter's bday, I want to prepare something special... Her bday is on May 4th, waiting for ur reply..

Solai Chidambaram said...

Sure Raji. I am in Chettinad at the moment. I will try to post some genuine chettinad recipes by the end of the week. Do you live in India? If so, I can give you a recipe based on the availabilty of ingredients.

Janani said...

Hello Achi, I am very good fan of your recipes. When I came here I didn't even know the ABCD of Chettinad cooking my husband's name is also same as yours are you from Pallatur?

Raji said...

Aachi, we are in US California, so most of the ingredients are available here.. Thanx a lot..

Raji said...

Aachi, we are in US, California and most of the indian ingredients are available here, Thanx in advance...

junior said...

Achi...yoru sambhar is looking really delicious..I am feeling hungry.

My mom gave me measurement 2 paal karandee for thorum parupaa...but we never add sombu and garlic.

But I like less dal ...Mulangee samhar with urlagakalingu is best best.

thanks aunty.

Gracyvivek said...

hi achi,

how r u?my mom also make as same.but finally she add grinded coconut with fennel seed paste...Its also one kind of chettinad style..am i rgt achi?.Achi KAUNI ARISI recipe plz...

Take care

Solai Chidambaram said...

In chettinad cookery we never add cocunut to the sambar.Only for the tiffen side dishes and non veg cocunut is used and that too in very less quantity gracy.Fennel seed is the speciality I think as far as chettinad cookery is concerned.This time in chettinad my periamma powdering fennel seed in the ammi and adding to many dishes which I tasted and was awsome without any extra spicy flavour

Solai Chidambaram said...

Gracy,I have got kavuni arisi from chettinad.I will soon prepare it and post.I wanted to start the sweet item from My 100th blog.That is the delay.sorry

Nivedita said...

Thanks for the wonderful sambar recipe.. actually i used to cook the vegetables in the microwave as u said.. but the mistake that i did was too much tamarind i think...

Sujatha said...

hello achi, all your recipes are good. I tried mutton chukkah and everyone loved it. i love chettinad food and am so happy i found your blogspot. what you are doing is a great service ! you have taken great effort in taking photos of everything and posting them. Thanks !

deepa said...

hello aachi, i read all ur receipes and tried meen kuzhambu and pavakkai kuzhambu .both came out very well ...thank u

Usha said...

Hi,
I am not sure what this meant - Kuzhambu milagai thool.

murali said...

Hi Aachi,
Iam sujatha murali from karur.Im new to your website.I tried your lamb thalai curry.It was excellent.I want to know whether we can use kulambu milagai thool as sambar thool or there is any seperate powder for sambar thool.

murali said...

Hi Aachi,
Iam sujatha murali from karur.Im new to your website.I tried your lamb thalai curry.It was excellent.I want to know whether we can use kulambu milagai thool as sambar thool or there is any seperate powder for sambar thool.

Ramayee said...

Hello Achi,

Your recipes are excellent. Am also from chettinad and am very passionate about cooking. I just love cooking all the time. I always use to think as why there is no site exclusively for chettinad cooking and looking at your site made me feel so happy. Your receipes are too too good. Keep rocking!!! Can you also post the recipes for aadi kul if you have please

usha said...

I dont understand why the terms like kuzhambu milagai Thool are used. Everybody cannot understand these terms.Please try t ouse english terms at least in the brackets.

Solai Chidambaram said...

Ok Usha.Hereafter I will give the english name in brackets

krithika said...

hi i still don't get good sambar
i tried many times
please help me out

Solai Chidambaram said...

Kirthika.quality of sambar depends on the sambar powder too.Try using some home made sambar powder.I too has blogged it.

Shiny Vinod said...

Hello Aunty

You have such a wonderful collection. All your recipes come out very good. I have a small suggestion. Kindly do not use your microwave to cook vegetables as it kills all the nutrition. Our good old stove is always a better choice :)

Solai Chidambaram said...

Good suggestion Shiny.time factor only makes us follow these fast ways.There is no compramise for the traditional cooking of vegetables in the stove.

venky said...

Thank you, for the recepie... sitting in the US its become very easy to cook tasty south indian food finally.

lwgordon said...

Thank you for this lovely recipe. I have made it multiple times now and it tastes amazing every time. I'm in Australia, so getting traditional Indian vegetables is difficult(spices are no problem, but fresh drumstick and fresh curry leaves is a problem!), but it works quite well with something as simple as potato.

As a vegetarian, I find Indian food to offer amazing flavours compared to Western vegetarian food(which can be bland, unless I cook it myself), and I'm particularly interested in South Indian and Chettinad recipes in particular, so I will keep your excellent blog bookmarked!

ishai said...

hello mam I guess I ve visited the rite blog,earnestly looking for help.il ve been married for 10yrs and yes ours was cross culture marriage .my hubby needs sambhar almost everyday and guess what he still doesn't like the sambhar I cook. I prepare sambar powder at home il ve tried almost all ways . I need lot of tips from you.im going to cook rite away ur recipe and be back.

Matin said...

hai i am Matin new one very happy to write from past few days i am preparing all your recipes 1 by 1 but this is my 1st comment u did not tell when to use garlic in your sambar.

Solai Chidambaram said...

Sorry Matin.Sometimes I miss the minute details.Add garlic while sauting onions.

Kalyani said...

hai I tried this sambar and it came very gud.Thanks for the recipe

Madhu Pravin said...

I'v always been haunted of preparing Sambar. I gave up d fear n tried d method u had given n to my surprise it turned out so wel. D whole house was filled with its aroma :) thanks a lot, Amma... Tasted exactly like my mom's. Have tried with lot of vegs, separately, radish, white pumkin, ladysfinger, carrot n beans, brinjal, drumstick, shallots... Yet to try with vendaiya keerai n manga. Thanks for d authentic recipe! I was worried I missed my mom's food. Ur blog saved me :)

Skl said...

Hello aunty,
We tried this sambar with vendakai masala and kalikose pirratal,it turned out great,tried sambar many..............many ........many times earlier,followed so many recipes,never turned out like this recipe,
B'coz of ur blog,we are getting to have good food everyday,thank you,
Skl

Mahalakshmi Balakumaran said...

Hello madam,

U rock!! all i can say is only one thing, Thank you! Thanks a lot for ur blog. TC

biran1008 said...

Thanks very much Madam. All your recipes are explained so well - both ingredients, timings etc.

I started cooking recently - your recipes help me prepare authentic foods.

Thanks
Mahesh