I know each one of you are going to laugh your lungs out reading this post. The first disastrous dish I prepared for my FIL & hubby. When I read the event hosted by Rafeeda I though it was the perfect time for me to post this. Thank you Rafeeda.
Sambar is one of the very most important and simple curry which is prepared in any South Indian house. Goes very well with rice, idli, dosa, vada the list is never ending.
I was out from college and the next day I picked up a job, so helping mom with household work was my job, never ventured into the kitchen for cooking as mom never wanted us to do it.
I was 23 when I got married, after few days my FIL said why don’t you make sambar for lunch. First entry to the kitchen as so many days my FIL cooked for us as I was not lucky enough to see my MIL as she was not alive. My FIL at his 70’s was pretty good in cooking. I could not say NO to him and I thought it was a very simple task to make the sambar, with little bit of doubts I wanted to call and ask mom but no phone and no mobile, no internet also those days. All I remembered was seeing the plate in which mom gave the masala to grind at home, so I remembered all the ingredients although not perfectly the right proportions.
I planned to make sambar with drumstick and ladies finger. I fried all the masala and kept aside to let it cool so that I could grind to a fine paste.
On the other side I cut the drumstick and started to boil, put the fried ladies finger and cooked with salt. Then added the masala at this time I realized the sambar is still watery. Then I realized that I had forgotten to put the tur dal, just took a bit of the daal, washed it well and put it into the sambar. Now the sambar is boiling on and on, wondering why the daal is not getting cooked and instead the sambar was becoming thick, so all I did as to add water and again boil, you know what had happened the drumsticks and ladies finger got over cooked and mashed and invisible of the vegetables except the thread like sticks of the drumstick, in between the daal uncooked worrying me. Finally it was time for lunch now no more time to cook. So I just put the tadka and set it on the table for lunch.
My FIL comes to the table and starts his lunch at that time he just put the sambar on rice all he saw was sticks and mashed ladies finger and sambar so gooey and finally the great daal uncooked. All he said was to me you don’t know cooking right. That’s all, poor thing ate a bit of rice with great difficulty.
Then it was my hubby’s turn as he was out and when he came for lunch my FIL waiting eagerly to see his reactions. He saw the sambar condition and said OMG whats this soup or sambar, made fun of me so much by telling to everyone in the family and had a good laugh. Even today whilst writing this post I told my hubby I am writing my story about the disastrous sambar and there he laughs non stop.
Then on my FIL taught me all the dishes he knew and one thing was he encouraged me a lot, always said don’t worry if you make mistake you will learn and within few months I started making good food and he would enjoy every bit of my cooking.
Every Sunday I went home, would go to my mom sit by her side and write down all the method of cooking to experiment on them J. This sambar is one such Palakkad specialty of my mom.
During the past few years my sambar is loved my many people and has got me so many compliments. My mom loves it the most and says I make it better than her. When my uncles visit home they insist me to make the sambar. Even today I dread thinking of my first experience of cooking.
When I started my blog my daughter insisted that I put down all the recipes on the blog so that it will be of help to her and she will not have hard time as I have gone through to learn the recipes. Today internet and communications is a boon for the upcoming generations in all aspects.
You all must have a gr8 time reading this post. So here goes my recipe J, I avoid using any spice powders for my cooking. Instead prefer to use them in whole and it tastes better too.
Drumstick – 3 big sticks
Coconut – 1 cup
Whole dhanya - 1 ½ tbsp
Methi Seeds – 6 grains
Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
Asafetida – a generous pinch
Red Chillie whole – 6 nos
Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
Tamrind – little for your taste
Tomato – 2 nos.
Tur daal – 1 cup
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard – 1 tsp
Red chilli – 2 nos for tadka
Wash the daal and pressure cook to fine and keep it aside
In a kadai add, 1 tbsp oil, methi, asafetida, red chilli, dhanya, 1 sprig curry leaves and fry for couple of minutes and then add the grated coconut and fry till the colour changes to brown. Put off the flame and let it cool and then grind to fine paste.
In another vessel add the drumstick, turmeric, salt, water and allow it cook. When half done add the daal & tomato let this cook for 5 minutes.
Time to add the masala and let this boil well, add the tamrind pulp as much as you need and let this boil well and put off the flame. Check the salt at this level.
In another small pan, add 2 tbsp oil, mustard, broken red chille -2 nos and pour this on the sambar and garnish with curry leaves.
Enjoy your delicious sambar.
Sending this to :