Vengaya Sambar is my second favourite sambar type, after the drumstick one course! This simple recipe is primarily made with pearl onions, arhar (tur) dal & sambar powder. Just like other varieties of sambar, this one pairs very well with plain steamed rice & a kootu on the side 😋 A lot of restaurants serve this sambar along with meals, dosa or idlis. It is absolutely lip-smacking & full of flavour. This recipe calls for small/pearl onions but they might not be available everywhere, in which case you can use regular onions (please don’t).
I usually make sambar for lunch as we don’t eat rice regularly at night. Serve it with a side fry of potatoes/beetroot/beans, some appalam, chilled curd, a simple salad & you have a satisfying meal ready to be enjoyed 😃 Try out the Vengaya Sambar recipe & you’ll be surprised how something as basic as onions can lift a dish this much!
Vengaya SambarCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium
A South Indian favourite made with lentils & pearl onions.
Arhar (tur) dal: 1 cup; soaked for 1 hour
Pearl onions: 1 cup
Tomato: 1; chopped
Tamarind paste: 1tsp
Sambar powder: 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Mustard Seeds: 1tsp
Heeng (asafoetida): 1/2tsp
Dried red chillies: 2
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Fresh coriander: A handful; chopped
- Add the soaked dal into a pressure cooker with turmeric, salt & 2.5 cups water for 4 whistles or until the dal is cooked well.
- In the same pressure cooker, add 2 teaspoons of oil and tip the the pearl onions in it. Roast the onions for 4-5 minutes. Once the onions are roasted, add the tomatoes, sambar powder & the tamarind paste.
- Close the pressure cooker and let the onions & masala to pressure cook for 2 whistles. When the pressure releases, open the cooker, add the dal & combine the sambar well. Check for seasoning.
- Take a small tadka pan with oil. Add heeng, mustard seeds, dry red chilli & let it crackle. Add the curry leaves and add the tempering to the sambar & bring to a rolling boil.
- Once done, add the chopped coriander & serve the Vengaya Sambar with steamed rice & a side dish.
- The sambar of course tastes best with homemade sambar powder but I’m often too lazy for that so I use this brand called Eastern. It’s good!
- Use regular onions (don’t) if you can’t find shallots.