Dec 20, 2008

Nenthrangai Sambar

When I first heard about this sambar, I was really surprised that I didn't know people make sambar with nenthrangai (plantain). Since I am from Kerala, I have tasted nenthrangai chips which my patti used to make with coconut oil. I have tasted home made chips and also store bought chips. But sambar is something I have not tasted or tried before. We had a small vacation in Atlanta, two week back. We went to my cousin's place and his wife told me about this sambar which her mother-in-law(my mom's cousin) used to make. I wanted to try this sambar immediately after coming back to Calif. Since I was sick all these days, I couldn't make it. Today I tried. Frankly speaking my husband was not sure about the taste and was scared to taste. But atlast he tried and said it came out really well(Thank god!) Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:-
  1. Plantain (nenthrangai) - 1
  2. Toor dhall - 1/2 cup
  3. Tamarind - a small lemon sized
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
For Grinding:-
  1. Coconut *** - 2 1/2 tbsp
  2. Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  3. Channa dhall - 1/2 tsp
  4. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  5. Red chillies - 1(acc to taste)
  6. Urad dhall - 1/4 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  1. Oil - 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  3. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4tsp
  4. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  5. Curry leaves - few
Cook toor dhall with a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside. Soak tamarind in two cups of water and take out the juice and keep it aside. In the mean time, fry the ingredients given for grinding, into golden brown and grind it into a fine paste. Remove the skin from plantain and cut it into medium sized cubes. Now take a pan, put the plantain pieces, add the tamarind juice, turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt and let it cook for 10 mts. It may take 7 to 10 mts to cook the plantain. Stir the ingredients ocassionally. When the plantain is 3/4th done, add the grounded paste and add water accordingly to let the mixture boil for another 3 mts. Now add the cooked toor dhall to it and mix everything well. Take a small pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida powder, to golden brown and pour it on top of sambar. Now sambar is ready to serve.

*** - I have started replacing coconut with almonds. In this recipe we can use 4 or 5 whole almonds in the place of coconut.
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