You can make sambar without sambar powder if you have the spices that you usually use for Indian cooking. The spices needed are turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, asafoetiida (sometimes I skip asafoetida).
How To Make Sambar Without Sambar Powder For Rice, Idli, Dosa
Actually, coriander powder is the most important spice for sambar recipes without sambar masala.
There maybe other ways to prepare sambar without using sambar masala, but this is how I always make it without the sambar powder or sambar masala and it turns out yummy.
In case you wish to buy sambar powder online, you can buy sambar powder here
You can use your favorite vegetables, tamarind extract and the above spices and make the sambar and add the seasoning and garnish with cilantro leaves if you like.
Even tamarind extract can be skipped if you are using at least 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes which will add enough sourness to the sambar.
See here recipes for making instant sambar powder
I mostly add all these spices along with a couple of spoons of sambar powder which will make it sambar powder. But if I don't have sambar powder, I make the sambar using the above mentioned spices alone and it always turns out tasty and good.
(Adding sambar powder is a bonus as it makes the dish more flavorful, but it is not necessary if you have the above mentioned spices at your home). I sometimes even skipped fenugreek powder (although I don't recommend it) and it turned out fine.
Adding fenugreek powder makes it more healthy and flavorful and it is viewed as a necessary ingredient for sambar, so try to add a pinch of fenugreek powder if possible.
However, you may skip it too if you don't have it. The spices I really want to add to the sambar if I don't have sambar powder are turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder.
And we add a good amount of coriander powder, (about 4 spoons for 2 cups of dal) but we add only a little of other spices.
So if you have coriander powder and little turmeric and red chili powder you can easily make sambar without sambar powder.
See collection of easy sambar recipes for vegetarian lunch or dinner or See here how to make simple sambar without vegetables
So here is how you can make sambar without sambar powder following this simple sambar recipe using spices.
Sambar Recipe Without Sambar Powder
- 1.5 cups toor dal (yellow split pigeon peas)
- 2 cups vegetables sliced lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 4 tablespoons coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek powder
- asafoetida a pinch, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt adjust as required
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 5 dry red chilies
- 1 string curry leaves
- Transfer the cut vegetables to the pressure cooker.
- Wash the dal (yellow pigeon peas) to the pressure cooker.
- Add the salt and all spices - mix well.
- Add the water and mix well.
- Close the pressure cooker with the lid. Make sure you put the safety valve and follow all directions mentioned in the manual of the pressure cooker.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or until 3 whistles have come.
- Switch off the pressure cooker after 10 minutes and wait for it to cool down.
- Meanwhile make tamarind extract by dissolving the tamarind paste in half a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Once the tamarind is dissolved, you can filter the tamarind extract and keep it aside. (you can skip using tamarind if you are using at least 3 tomatoes in your vegetables).
- Once the pressure cooker is cooled, you can open the cooker and see if the lentils and vegetables are cooked well and are soft enough.
- Add the tamarind extract to the cooker, mix well and heat for another 1 to 2 minutes stirring occasionally. You shouldn't close the cooker at this time, just keep it open and cook for 2 minutes.
- Now your sambar is ready with the blended dal, vegetables, spices and tamarind extract.The only step remaining is to make the seasoning which we will do now.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add red chilies and curry leaves fry for a few seconds.
- Pour this seasoning on the sambar and gently mix the contents. Delicious and simple sambar using spices is ready to serve!
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