This flavorful and spicy dal goes well with idlis and can be had with rice too
- Toor dal/arhar dal (split pigeon peas) – ½ cup
- Water – 7 cups
- Ground turmeric – ¾ teaspoon
- Drumsticks, cut into 2½ inch pieces – 2 no
- Tamarind pulp – 2 tablespoons
- Sambhar powder – 2 tablespoons
- Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon
- Table salt – to taste
- Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons
- Black mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Methi dana (fenugreek seeds) – ¼ teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 10 no
- Dried red chiles, stemmed and broken into 2 pieces – 2 no
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves – ¼ cup
- Place the dal a large bowl and wash well 2 to 3 times. Drain and soak the dal in the same bowl in 1½ cups water for 15-20 minutes. Drain.
- Pressure cook the dal add ½ teaspoon turmeric and take 2-3 whistles, or cook until the dal is soft. Mash the cooked dal lightly with a wooden spoon.
- Place another non stick deep pan on high heat, pour in 1 cup water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add drumstick pieces. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tamarind pulp, 2 cups water, sambhar powder, ¼ teaspoon asafetida, remaining turmeric, salt and continue to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or till the mixture reduces to half its original volume.
- Add the mashed dal, along with the water it was cooked in, to the tamarind mixture. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes more. This is the sambhar.
- Meanwhile, place a non-stick tempering pan on medium heat and pour in the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, remaining asafetida, broken chiles and sauté for second. Add the tempering to the sambhar and cover the pan with a lid to trap the flavors.
- Remove the sambhar from the stove top. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot with steamed rice or as accompaniment with dosa or idli.