For the second day of the Indian Thali series, I planned to post my own mini version of Ugadi Special. However after thinking about it, I decided with almost the same dishes to present, with only one new dish, there wasn't much I was going to bring forth. I was very happy that I was able to get my planned number of thalis all ready, just before the BM begins, leaving me unfretted and comfy to handle other things. Now that puts in spot and now I have to plan for another thali which will have to wait for the weekend!
Coming back to the post for today, it's a simple luncheon that was prepared during a weekday. It features a typical menu that's prepared at home and what we pack for lunch. Only this time we ended up coming to home for lunch. The thali features a Sambar, with Vegetables on the side. As many of you know, there are so many variations in making a sambar. Though a basic sambar recipe is pretty much the same, with different vegetables it's prepared differently.
|South Indian Simple Lunch Thali|
The most important component in a Sambar that makes or breaks a Sambar, of course, is the Sambar Podi. This integral part of the Tamil Cuisine is a delicious mix of lentils and spices. When it comes to the Sambars that we make at home, the best part has always been the fact that we use homemade Sambar powder. Though Sambar is typically not part of the Andhra Thali, it has now come to be considered a common dish. The sambar powder /podi that Amma makes, is something that's been tweaked to our own taste and trust me, it comes out simply delicious. So there was never a reason for us to try Store bought sambar powder. For a period in between when Parents had gone overseas, I was forced to buy a ready mix packet, that still needed to be sent to the mill. It was passable. We always felt that we needed to come out of our arrogant thought that our Sambar powder was the best.
To prove that, for our share, we have tried store bought ready to use Sambar powders couple of times, only to throw them right away. We finally gave up the thought and decided to carry on till we can with the grinding business. Couple of months ago, Aashirvaad circulated its new Sambar powder for customers to try. Deciding that it was high time we came out of our archaic thoughts, we tried and to our surprise we actually liked the Sambar. Since then I always buy a packet for occasional use.
Amma was also subjected to same experience and was asked to try out MTR Sambar powder recently. After tasting her Sambar, I agreed that it surely tastes great, I wanted to try it on Hubby dear too. So here's the Sambar with MTR Sambar mix with ground coconut garnish. It took the Sambar to a new level, I must agree!
|Chow Chow Sambar ~ Chayote Squash Sambhar|
Disclaimer: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I am sharing our personal opinions.
On the Thali today, we had Chow Chow Sambar, Dal Rasam, Bitter Gourd Stir Fry, Plantain Stir fry, Curds. When we plan for Bitter gourd poriyal, there always has to be something for me as I don't eat that. Well for all the planning I thought I must change for my kids sake, it can easily wait as they hardly eat much of a vegetable, let alone Bitter gourd!
Chow Chow Sambar
Toor Dal - 1 cup
Chow Chow / - 1 medium
Tamarind extract - 1 marble size
Tomatoes - 2 medium
MTR Sambar powder - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Coconut paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander leaves few
Mustard Seeds, Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Dry Red Chilli - 2
Sambar Onion / Pearl Onions - 3 - 4
Asafetida / Hing a pinch
How to make the Chow Chow Sambar
Peel and cube the chow chow into 1 inch pieces.
Soak the tamarind and extract the pulp. I normally store tamarind extract for easy usage.
Wash and take the toor dal in a pressure cooker, along with the vegetables, chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 2- 3 whistles or till the dal is cooked well.
Once the pressure falls, remove the lid, add the salt, sambar powder, tamarind extract and coconut paste along with enough water. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile in another pan, heat the oil. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds Urad dal, dry red chilis, sauté well.
Then add chopped onions, add the hing and when the onions turn colour, pouring this to the boiling dal.
Simmer for couple of minutes, add coriander leaves and remove.
Serve hot with Steamed Rice.