Friday, 12 March 2010

Mor Sambar

Thank god, I had the opportunity to visit my native place Kumbakonam during this vacation and also do my favourite activity of shopping in front of Kumbeswaran temple. This is a nice long stretch with shops on both sides selling indigenous utensils, gift articles, junk jewellery and toys among other things. While my mom was buying the ‘Pambu Panchangam’ for us, I was looking for cookery books and came across this ‘Samaithu Paar’ (Cook and See) by Meenakhi Ammal. It has some interesting traditional recipes and this was one of them. Me being me, I could not just go strictly by a book and had to do it my way while taking the idea and key ingredients from the book.
This is a very simple recipe and is slightly different from Mor kuzhambu and pachadi in terms of preparation but way different from the two by taste. Here is my version of this simple recipe...
½ cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
1 cup sour curd/yogurt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
6 dry red chillies
2 green chillies
Salt as required
1 cup cubed and cooked pumpkin
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 sprig curry leaves
Rinse the dal and soak in water just enough to cover the dal for about 20 minutes. In a deep dish add oil and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add fenugreek seeds, red chillies (break them open), grated ginger and green chillies (just cut them into two pieces before adding. Also add curry leaves followed by the sour curd and cooked pumpkin. To cook the pumpkin, just boil in water or if desired add little tamarind juice to the water. In the meantime coarsely grind the soaked dal and add with rest of the ingredients in the deep dish. Allow it to boil once and cook in low flame throughout. Season with required amount of salt and serve.
You could do this dish with brinjal (egg plant) or ladies finger (okra) by just stir frying them in little bit of oil. The dal in the dish is helpful towards daily protein intake in a vegetarian diet. Due to the nature of ingredients and also because the spices are not ground, this dish will taste best if allowed to rest for about half a day with the flavours from fenugreek soaking and heat from the chillies oozing !!

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