5 June 2008

Traditional Lunch Series - Day 5 (Carrot Sambar, Avarakkai Curry)

Here's wishing my dear friend Sig and her partner of 10 years Siv a very Happy Anniversary! Here's to many many more decades of togetherness, love and warmth sweetheart.

Nothing much to ramble or 'show' today. The menu was an attempt to clear up the Sword beans (English equivalent of Avaraikkai ) my help had chopped up yesterday. The fat sweet carrots found themselves sliced and being thrown into the Carrot sambar...where they swam until they were devoured by us.

Recipe for Avaraikkai Curry (Dry Sword Beans Saute)
Serves 3

3 cups finely sliced beans (first top, tail and remove the stringy fibre if any from the sides)
1 tsp oil
1 pinch asafoetida
1 long dried red chilli
1 tsp udad dal
fat pinch turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp scraped coconut

1. Pressure cook the chopped beans in one of the separators of the pressure cooker, for two whistles and on sim for another 4-5 minutes. Take care not to add water to the container in which you are cooking the beans or they will get mushy on pressure cooking. Cooking them dry is akin to steaming and they get soft yet hold their shape at the end of the cooking process.
2. In a wok, heat the oil. Put in the asafoetida, then splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add the udad dal, saute till golden. Throw in the cooked beans with salt and turmeric. Stir to mix well and garnish with fresh coconut.

Recipe for Carrot Sambar
Serves 4

3/4 cup tur dal pressure cooked in 2 cups water, mashed well
3 medium carrots, scrubbed and thickly sliced
1/2 cup thin tamarind puree or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
3 tsp sambar powder
1 tsp oil
Tempering: asafoetida, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves
Salt to taste

1. Pressure cook the carrots in the other separator while cooking the beans with a sprinkling of water and pinch of salt.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil, temper with asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves.
3. Add the cooked carrot slices. Saute for a few seconds. Add the mashed dal and tamarind puree / paste. Bring to a simmer.
4. Make a slurry of the sambar powder in 1/2 cup water, add it to the pan, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, taste and adjust.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice and a dry curry.

You can also add raw carrots in stage 3, add some water, cover and let the carrots cook in the pan itself. Pressure cooking makes this very quick, and you can save over 8 minutes while waiting for the carrots to cook in the pan. You can leave the sambar thick or thin it with some water to get a desired consistency.

Making a variety of sambars using the same technique
Sliced radish, beetroot chunks, bitter gourd slices, pumpkin chunks can be similarly used as a substitute to carrot to get radish, beetroot, bitter gourd, pumpkin sambar respectively. Capsicum squares can also be used, but these can just be sauteed in stage 3 instead of being pressure cooked.


Sig said...

Thank you darling dearest... Love the flowers... I just woke up and was feeling lonely and sad and you and Raaga totally made my day... Hugs to you!
Enjoying this traditional lunch series... I envy those guests!

Happy cook said...

That carrot sambar with rice. I owuld love it.
Last time i had sambar with rice was when my sis was here and that was 2 weeks back.

Suganya said...

Nandita, I am bookmarking the whole series. Its been months since I made bell pepper rice.

Nandita said...

Sig - with online connections like ours, you must knows you are always in my thoughts- sad that we don't catch each other on chat often...saw that Sex and City is releasing in Bombay today, but your review has dampened my enthu to go watch it:)
Glad you liked the flowers :)

Happy Cook - Carrot sambar is no great shakes when it comes to taste, esp when you compare it with onion sambar, but is good enough for a daily meal, also gives us a healthy dose of vitamins :)

Suganya - more coming up :) At the end of it, I will index all these recipes neatly...you can bookmark the final list!

Nupur said...

Gosh, that first picture is so gorgeous I have been staring at it for a few minutes...can't take my eyes off.
I love this series :)

Preeti Sharma said...


My mouth is watering reading about all this delicious south indian food. Nothing like some rice, sambar, poppodoms and pickle (sp??) to make me feel content.

Lucky guests :-)

SoupRecipe said...

Hi, your blog is nice...I like your blog...
Wanna exchange link? My blog is about soup recipe, please leave me a msg if you want exchange link with me. Thank you.

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Jyoti said...

hey there...not sure if you remember me...sooz's wife? Jyoti...from Bangalore. Love your blog ....have been checking it out for quite sometime now..started my own blog a very recently..its very basic at the moment...you can check it out here http://domesticgoddess-feasts.blogspot.com

madteaparty said...

I am loving this series! I'm in the middle of a serious tambram cooking phase - made your bittergourd pitlai a couple of weeks back. Lip smacking!

Nandita said...

Nupur- thanks girl:) I know you love ethnic food and I had that in mind when I started this - glad you like this.

Jyoti- Hi! So wonderful to see you here...will surely check out your blog and keep a look out :) Lavs also bumped into here at her friend's recommendation and wrote in to say that it's such a small world :)

Anita- I knew you'd like this, was wondering how come not heard from you in the last 5 posts :)glad you liked the pitlai, was going to make it today, but the LPG gave me the ditch and had to stick to microwave cooked masoor dal and palak.

Vishwas said...

Hey Nandita,

what a surprise...was surfing through food section and bump into your blog.

Great blog...

fanatika said...

What beans are this? Canned ones?
No fresh coconut here either. Could I cheat a teeny bit with coconut milk and sambar powder? :) Will add cornflour or something if it becomes too runny..

AnJ said...

Hi, could you please share a recipe for sambar powder? I couldnt find it on your blog. Have tried MTR, but find the spice overpowering the flavours.
Thanks, Anjali


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