Sambhar, is similar to dhal but is lighter and a little but tangy. I decided to make this to accompany some idlis I’m making later. You will need a pressure cooker, or it will take much longer to cook.

I cup toovar dhal (yellow split lentils) or Masoor(orange split dhal)
1 chopped tomato
1 chopped onion
2 brinjals (baingan / eggplant), cubed  or 1 cup pumpkin cubed (optional)
1 drumsticks, cut into 4 pieces (this is a vegetable available fresh and frozen in Indian stores)
1 potato, cubed
1 tbsp tamarind (imli) pulp
 and salt to taste

6 to 8 whole dry kashmiri red chillies
1 tbsp coriander (dhania) seeds
1 tsp toovar or masoor (arhar) dal
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp oil

For the tempering or tadka
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai )
6 curry leaves (curry patta)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp oil

Heat the oil and roast all the ingredients for the sambhar masala in it.
Grind to a fine paste in a blender using a little water. keep aside.

Soak the dal for a few hours, rinse properly. Add some oil to a pressure cooker and saute the onions and potato, then add the tomato, brinjals or pumpkin, drumstick and potato and soaked dal with 2 cups of water. Add the tamarind pulp, the ground up masala salt and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.Prepare the temper/tadka or garnish by heating the oil and frying the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida until the mustard seeds crackle. Add this to the prepared sambhar and simmer for 15 minutes.

K-comments - Get all your ingredients together ahead of time so it's easier to prepare. If you can't find red kashmiri chillies, use any other kind of dried red chillies.

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