Idli Sambar

Ingredients for 4 adults
  1. Toor dal 1 small cup 
  2. Tamarind  -lemon size or Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon. 
  3. Onion big -1  cut into pieces. 
  4. Small onions ( shallots) - 10 -12 peeled and cut in two.
  5. Tomatoes - 2 cut into pieces
  6. Drumstick - 1 - cut into pieces of an inch or so. (optional)
  7. Sambhar powder* - 2 tea spoons
  8. Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
  9. Curry leaves - a few
  10. Coriander leaves - a few
  11. Oil - two teaspoons
  12. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon 
  13. Hing a small piece or powder 1/4 teaspoon ( two pinches).
For roasting and grinding:
  1. Coriander seeds - 2 table spoons
  2. Channa dal - 1 table spoon
  3. Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
  4. Dry Red Chillies - 5-6
  5. Fenugreek seeds 1/2 teaspoon 
Using a few drops of oil, roast the above till golden brown. Grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
  1. Dissolve the tamarind in 1 and  1/2  cups of water and keep it aside. ( if you are using raw tamarind, dissolve  using warm water, mash it with your fingers and filter to remove the debris and fibres)
  2. Clean the toor dal and put it in the cooker vessel.
  3. Add 2 cups of water and add the turmeric powder
  4. Pressure cook for 20 minutes ( till the dal becomes soft and mash able)
          Synchronize this process so as to start the sambhar preparation as below by the time the cooker is done. 

  1. Pour two teaspoons of oil in a skillet ( kadai).( you can also use ghee here for enhancing flavor and aroma) Put the mustard seeds. Wait till they splutter. Add the fenugreek seeds,hing and the cut drumstick pieces, cut onions and tomato.
  2. Saute them. Add the sambhar powder and saute for a minute.
  3. Pour the tamarind water.Add salt. Let this boil for 10 minutes till the raw aroma of the sambhar powder disappears.
  4. Take out the dal, mash the dal with a hand churner or a thick spoon and pour this dal water into the boiling sambhar. Add the ground powder here.
  5. Add the curry leaves, Coriander leaves. 
  6. Cook in a low flame till the smell of the dal disappears and you see the sambhar boiling with bubbles in them.
  7. If you had not used ghee earlier, you can add a spoon of ghee and remove from the heat.
Serve hot by pouring the sambar over the hot idlis. Those who desire can add a spoon of ghee or gingelly oil over this.