Serves 10 people


For the Sambhar Powder

¼ cup coriander seeds
¼ cup red chilies
2 Tbsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp peppercorns
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch clove

For the Sambhar

½ cup tamarind
2 cups lentils (toor dahl)
4 cups water
1 onion, finely chopped
5 shallots, finely chopped
10 small red chilies, sliced
2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
16 curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tomatoes
4 tsp sambar powder
½ c chopped cilantro
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrot, green bean, potato)
Salt to taste

Special Equipment

Stock Pot
mortar and pestle or spice grinder


For the Sambhar Powder

Toast all ingredients in a sauté pan until the spices release their aroma. Grind until find and set aside.

For the Sambhar

Boil tamarind until soft, and strain so that it yields about a cup of liquid. You can add more water to the tamarind if necessary. Boil the water and add the lentils, turmeric and half of the ghee. If any foam appears while boiling, skim this and discard. Once the lentils are soft, mash them until they are coarse. You can add more water if necessary, but you do not want the mixture to be watery.

In a large sauté pan with the remaining ghee, sauté the chilies, mustard seed, fenugreek, and curry leaves. Add the onion and shallot, and cook until slightly caramelized. Add the tamarind liquid and cook until onions are soft.

Transfer this mixture to the lentils, and add tomato, vegetable (s) of choice, and sambar powder.
Season and cook until your vegetable is cooked through. (About 10 minutes). You can also par cook your veg and add it to the soup later. The finished result should be slightly viscous, yet soupy. Re-season with salt and pepper if necessary, and garnish with cilantro.

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