Shwetha Bhat is passionate about food and cooking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and share recipes from her native Indian cuisine.
Tasty and Easy Sambar
Mangalore cucumber, also called Madras cucumber, is a commonly used vegetable in South India. It is often incorporated into dishes like sambar, chutney, curry, stir-fry, tambuli and many more.
Brown chana is a good source of vitamins, folate, manganese, iron and copper. It is also one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians.
Mangalore cucumber and brown chana sambar is sweet, spicy and sour sambar that pairs well with rice, dosa and idli.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 1 medium mangalore cucumber, cubed
- 1 cup brown chana, soaked overnight
- 3 cups water, or as needed
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon tamarind or tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon methi (fenugreek seeds)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons urad dal
- 4-5 red chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon hing
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 taspoon jaggery
- 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 red chilies, broken
- Wash 1 cup of brown chana. Add enough water and soak for 5-6 hours (or overnight).
- Wash and cube the mangalore cucumber (no need to peel off the skin). Set aside.
- Transfer the cubed cucumber to a vessel, drain off water from the chana and transfer it to the same vessel. Add water and mix once. Add salt, close the lid and cook both cucumber and chana well.
- In a vessel, soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil. Add coriander seeds, methi seeds and urad dal. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add red chilies and fry till the lentils turn golden brown. Add hing (asafoetida) and mix once.
- Add grated coconut and turmeric powder. Mix well and switch off the flame. Let the mixture cool down.
- Transfer the fried ingredients to a mixer jar, add water, close the lid and grind to a fine paste. The masala for the sambar is now ready.
- After cucumber and chana are well cooked, squeeze the tamarind into the water and add tamarind water to the cooked vegetables. Discard the residue.
- Add jaggery, mix and add to the ground paste. Add water as needed. Mix to combine the masala with the vegetables and add more water if needed to adjust the consistency. Adjust salt.
- Close the lid and cook over medium flame for 5 minutes or till the raw smell of the masala and tamarind dissipate. Switch off the flame.
- Make the tempering: In a frying pan, heat the ghee and splutter the mustard seeds. Add urad dal and saute till golden brown. Add broken red chilies and hing. Switch off the flame. Add the tempering to the prepared sambar. Close the lid for 5 minutes.
- Mangalore cucumber and brown chana sambar is ready to serve. Serve hot with rice, dosa or idli.
- You can replace tamarind water with 1 teaspoon tamarind paste.
- Increase the number of red chilies for a spicier sambar. You can use guntur red chilies instead of byadagi red chilies to increase the spiciness (or use both chilies to get good color and spiciness).
- Increase the amount of jaggery to make this sambar sweeter.
- Oil can be used for the tempering, but ghee enhances the flavor of the sambar.
- The consistency of this sambar should be a little thick.