Coming from a typical South Indian family, we love our Sambar. My weekend cooking is never done without a good batch of sambar in the making. However simple it might be, a good sambar fills the entire house with a beautiful aroma and that is enough to take you back to the wonderful family lunches growing up.
My sambar guru is my mother-in-law who is an expert in turning anything and everything into sambar 🙂 It is her iconic Sambar Powder that I use, which gives me the perfect tasting sambar. For the starters, it is not filled with preservatives or colors like the packaged stuff. There is a wonderful fragrance to it and yet, it is not too spicy. I shall soon post the recipe of her Sambar Powder but for now, let me get on with this Mullangi Sambar recipe.
Mullangi, white radish in Tamil/Telugu has extreme coolant properties and makes for a great vegetable to add in the Sambar. I love the strong flavor of Mullangi in Sambar, although I know that it is not everyone’s favorite vegetable. Try making this Mullangi Sambar and I am sure your opinion about this vegetable would change instantly. While this sambar goes well with hot rice, it is also perfect with breakfast recipes like idli, dosa or upma. I know I already have posted variations of Sambar recipes here but it is never too late to have as many Sambar recipes in your cooking repertoire.
To make Mullangi Sambar | South Indian Radish Sambar
What I used –
- Onion, 1 large
- Ripe Tomatoes, 2 medium
- White Radishes, 2 medium
- Toor/Tuvar Dal/Split Pigeon Peas, 6-7 tbsp
- Tamarind Paste/Extract, 1/2 tsp
- Sambar Powder, 1.5 tbsp
- Turmeric Powder, 1/3rd tsp
- Coriander Leaves, a few
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Oil/Ghee, ½ tsp
- Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
- Jeera, ½ tsp
- Dried Red Chillies, 1 or 2
- Asafoetida/Hing, a generous pinch
- Salt, as required
- Water, as required
Prep Work –
- In a pressure cooker, add washed toor dal and fill it with enough water so that the dal is well immersed. Cook for 3-4 whistles and let the pressure drop. Set aside.
- Cut the onion into long slices and tomatoes into cubes. Peel off the radishes and cut into roundels. Wash and keep side coriander leaves and curry leaves.
How I made –
- In a pan, add chopped onions, radishes and tomatoes. Add some water until the vegetables are immersed and add turmeric. Cook covered for 7-10 mins on medium flame. Check if there is enough water and radishes are cooked soft.
- Add tamarind paste and sambar powder. Mix well. Let it cook for another 3-4 mins. Add cooked toor dal and mix well. Add salt required.
- Let the mixture boil for another 4-5 mins on low heat. Check for salt and spiciness. Add roughly torn coriander leaves and keep the sambar on low flame. Meanwhile, heat ½ tsp of oil/ghee in a small pan and add mustard seeds, jeera, halved dried red chillies and the large pinch of asafoetida. As the mustard seeds splutter, add washed curry leaves and remove from heat. Add this tempering to the sambar. Mix well.
- Serve hot with rice and ghee with crispy sides like fryums. Also can be served with hot idli or dosa.
- Instead of cooking the toor dal in pressure cooker, soak the dal for 30 mins in warm water and cook it directly on stove top. The taste is much better but takes a lot of time.
- Instead of using onions, shallots or madras onions can be used in this recipe.
- I used ready to use tamarind paste but of using fresh tamarind, soak one small marble sized in warm water and extract the juice. Use it in the place of tamarind extract.
- It is important not to cut the coriander leaves but tear them with hand before adding to the sambar. Makes Sambar so much more flavorful this way.
- Instead of making the tempering with oil, adding ½ tsp of ghee does wonders to the sambar recipe. A good trick to please your family members.
- I used my MIL’s Sambar powder (will post the recipe soon), store bought sambar powder works too but the taste is not the exact same.