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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mysore Saaru

Saaru is an equivalent term to sambhar in Karnataka and there are several prominent regional variations of this day-to-day dish in the state. Today's version is from the Mysore region that I had bookmarked from Asha's blog many years ago. One of my close friend's mother happens to be from the region and so I had the opportunity to taste Mysore saaru plenty of times in her kitchen even though I didn't know what it was at that time and realized it only after trying today's version. Unfortunately it was a period when I was neither interested in the cooking process nor favorable towards the sambhar dish itself considering my affinity towards Andhra pulusu, growing up. Now since I could appreciate the flavors of sambhar, I keep on rotating sambhar powder recipes for variety sake. If you are like me, here is a variety for you.

The sambhar powder prepared from the following measurements yield more than you require for one time preparation of the sambhar and so it can be prepared ahead and used as and when required. The original recipe uses only a couple of dried red chillies and so if you exactly follow the original recipe, the sambhar would be very mild for those who are used to the spice levels of any regular sambhar. My friend's mother sambhar never used to be bland and so I increased the red chillies' quantity. Or red chili powder powder can be added while preparing the sambhar. I used mixed vegetables instead of the onions alone used in the recipe.

1 cup toor dal / lentils
1 tomato finely chopped
1 cup mixed vegetables of your choice
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. thick tamarind puree (Adjust as needed.)
Cilantro to garnish
Ingredients for tempering:
 2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida powder
1 dried red chilli
Ingredients to toast and grind:
2 tbsp. toor dal / lentils
2 tbsp. dhaniya / coriander seeds
2 tbsp. grated dry coconut
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. rice
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 inch cinnamon piece
2 dried red chillies*
* I increased the quantity.

* Dry toast, cool and grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'to toast and grind'. Store the sambhar powder in a dry container. This powder can be prepared in advance and can be stored for about a couple of months.
* Pressure cook the lentils, vegetables and turmeric adding 2 cups of water.
* Heat oil in a sauce pan and add mustard seeds, red chili and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to crackle, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Next add cooked lentils along with the vegetables, tamarind juice, 2 tbsp. sambhar powder, salt and red chili powder if using. Add water to bring the sambhar to desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Bring the sambhar to a boil and then let it simmer for a couple of minutes on low flame.
* Garnish with cilantro and a tsp. of butter if preferred.
* Serve piping hot with some hot, steamed rice.

This goes to Blogging marathon #58 under the theme 'Bookmarked Dishes'. Check the link to see what other marathoners are cooking.



Srivalli said...

I have always been interesting in different sambhar recipes..good one..will bookmark for sure!

pals said...

Our own sambhar.... one can always experiment with it. Addition of cinnamon is something new to me. Will try this.

Sowmya :) said...

Cinnamon and poppy seeds sound interesting! I was also never intersted in sambhar growing up but now I realize the variety and flavor it can give. Sigh!

Priya Suresh said...

Might be a super flavourful saaru, i dont mind having this saaru rite now for my dinner, lipsmacking here.

Sapana Behl said...

Saaru looks very comforting and delicious.

Pavani N said...

Mysore saaru looks awesome. Sounds very flavorful and delicious.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Poppy seeds in sambar is a new one.