Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Any dish cooked on a slow flame for a long time is bound to taste divine. I have read somewhere that chefs of Bukhara Restaurant of Maurya Sheraton in Delhi cook their Dal Makhani for over six hours! That is really something.. and it leads me to wonder how creamy, wonderful and comforting that dal would be!
One of my dishes that fit into this category (not six hours of simmering!) is my mom’s Sambar rice. I choose to make this on those days when I am in no mood for active cooking, but have a lot of time on hand – perfect for lazy Sunday lunches and an amazing crowd pleaser. A bowl of steaming sambar rice and potato chips for that added crunch would make any tummy truly happy. This recipe serves two growlingly hungry stomachs.
Rice: 2/3 cup
Toor dal: 1/3 cup
Tamarind: (soaked for a couple of hours): medium sized lemon
Vegetables (potatoes, drumsticks, green peas, carrots, tomatoes, beans, cauliflower, onions): 3 cups
Sambar powder (homemade or store bought): 2 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Curry leaves: Few sprigs
Corriander: to garnish
Gingelly oil: 5 tbsp
Ghee(to drizzle on the rice while serving): few tsps
Grated fresh coconut: 4 tbsp
Dhaniya seeds: 2 tbsp
Red chillies: 2 Nos
Chana dal: 1 tbsp
Corriander leaves (optional): 1 tbsp
For the tempering:
Red chillies (halved): 2 Nos
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Chana dal: 1 tsp
Urad dal: 1 tsp
Jeera: ½ tsp
Cashews (optional):1 tbsp
Hing: One big pinch
Cook the rice and the dal separately in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
Wash and chop all the vegetables into slightly larger pieces. Keep aside.
Roast all the needed ingredients and grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
Heat the tamarind water in a fairly large vessel. Add the sambar powder and the vegetables and curry leaves and boil for about 10- 15 minutes till the vegetables are cooked and all the raw smell disappears.
Add the toor dal and let it cook for a while. (Usually at this stage, I transfer all my contents to my pressure cooker because it is heavy bottomed. Also, I find it easy to cover and cook the dish slow flame for a long time over a slow flame)
Add the ground masala and let it boil for some more time.
Now add the cooked rice and add the needed salt.
Now add about a cup of water and lower the flame. Let it cook covered on the slowest possible flame for about a minimum of 25 minutes.
Give it a good mix once in a while so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Ensure that the whole thing has come together well. The end product should be in a pouring consistency. The sambar rice will thicken as it cools down.
Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
Now, in a separate pan or skillet, finish off the tempering and pour it over the sambar rice.
Serve this sambar rice with loads of ghee and potato chips or papads.
This Sambar Rice is my contribution to 'Festive Rice Event' by Torview