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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kohlrabi Sambhar / Knol Khol Sambhar



The delicious sambhar happens to be the comfort food in many South Indian homes from centuries. In spite of being a mandatory one on everyday menu, everyone cherishes it. It is part of a satisfying and nourishing meal to many and a major protein source to vegetarians.
Sambhar can be loosely defined as an Indian version of bean stew -cooked lentils and vegetables in a spicy, tangy broth. It is usually eaten with fresh, steamed white rice (which happens to be the staple carbohydrate of the region) and a generous drizzling of ghee. Substitutes for rice may be rotis or idlis.
Lentils / toordal is the preferred bean to prepare sambhar though masoordal can be substituted. Sambhar powder gives the sambhar its signature flavor which is nothing but a mixture of spices - toasted & ground and is very easy to prepare at home. It is hard to find a standard sambhar powder recipe since each family seems to have it's own favorite one. A good commercial brand like MTR's would be a good substitute during time crunches or if you are a novice cook.
The basic recipe of a sambhar remains the same and one thing that changes is the vegetable being used. Easily accessible, local vegetables keep rotating in the recipe and the name of the sambhar would tell us what vegetable has gone into it. For example, this kohlrabi sambhar is being prepared with kohlrabi, beetroot sambhar with beets and so on. Usually the sambhar served with idli / vadas would have shallots in it.

Ingredients for 8 - 10 servings:
1 cup toordal / lentils
1 kohlrabi (about 1 cup of cubes)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp sambhar powder (home made or store bought)
2 tsp chili powder
2.5 tsp salt
5 - 6 Tbsp of tamarind juice
For tadka: 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp each of mustard seeds & cumin seeds, few curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida and a red chili broken into little bits



Making sambhar:
Peel the skin of a kohlrabi and chop it into one - inch cubes.
Wash the toordal with water and throw away the cloudy water. Repeat this step once more.
Add 2 cups of water, kohlrabi cubes and turmeric powder to the dal container and place it in a pressure cooker and cook till the dal is almost mushy. Alternatively, it can be cooked on stovetop in a kadai / deep based pan adding water as needed and stirring in between.
Take a kadai / pan and add the cooked dal and vegetable. Mash it a little bit with the back of a ladle and add about 4 cups of water. Then add sambhar powder, chili powder, salt and tamarind juice. Mix well and turn on the heat. Turn down the heat to low flame when it comes to a rolling boil and allow the sambhar to simmer for a couple of minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chili and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to sizzle, add the asafoetida powder and turn off the stove. Add this tadka to the cooked sambhar and mix well.

Note:
1. If the toordal takes longer to cook, soak it in water for about an hour before using.
2. You can add a little jaggery or sugar to the sambhar.

This goes to
1. Susan's MLLA, guest hosted by Ruchika this month.
2. Yasmeen's Health Nut Challenge - Cruciferious Veggies

Post a Comment

20 comments:

Kiran said...

Nice and healthy sambar.

Kalyani said...

wow the sambar looks delicious ...............

R said...

have never tried making sambar with kohlrabi, looks delicious. will definitely try it out.

Life is beautiful!!! said...

Somehow I am not fond of this veggie :) Nice presentation of the recipe :)

nisha said...

I used to never buy this not knowing what to do with it. Sambar looks like a great idea.

ruchikacooks said...

Isnt it the beauty of sambar, you can hide any veggie in it ;)

Got both the entries, thanks!

Yummy Team said...

Healthy and delicious sambar..

Kalai said...

Lovely sambhar, a very healthy one too.

Madhu said...

Delicious....

Apu said...

This is just yummy!!

kitchen queen said...

lovely and nice sambar.I usually make only curry with knol khol but this is a refreshing change.

Priya said...

Such a delicious and tempting sambar..

simply.food said...

Lovely healthy sambar and beautiful click.

Srimathi said...

I got this veggie once from the organic farm and I had no clue as to what I had to due with it. My mom used to not buy this coz no one liked it at home and now I see your recipe. thank you for sharing.

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

sambar luks perfect,nice clicks...

DEESHA said...

this is the most commonly made sambar at home ... looks soo good

Sri Vidya said...

Suma thanks a lot for the comment... Could you please tell me your opinion about me site!!! Thank you

Kiran said...

Dear Suma I have some awards to share with you please accept them from my blog.

http://kiranjay.blogspot.com/2010/04/drumstickmunagakaya-curryhealthy-and.html

suma said...

Can we ever imagine our lives without this tasty dish?? Looks good..

Yasmeen said...

Sambhar looks so warm and appetizing.Thanks for the fabulous entry :D