For the 2nd day of cooking from Veena’s space, I made this perfect Saravana Bhavan sambar. Saravana bhavan is a popular restaurant in Chennai and this sambar replicates the one served there.
I’ve never been to this restaurant in India, but heard a lot about it. So we went to their Edison location in NJ, but lets just say the experience is nothing to talk about. The food was ‘meh’ and the service was ‘blah’ 🙂 But I want to visit the restaurant in Chennai some time. Hopefully that day will come sooner than later.
Coming to today’s sambar, I made it on a weekend when my sister and her family were visiting us. I served it with rice and it was liked by both adults and kids. I loved the addition of ground masala with coriander and fenugreek seeds — it adds a lot of flavor along with the sambar powder. Also the addition of fried gram dal or putnalu makes the sambar so creamy and delicious.
Saravana Bhavan sambar -- copy cat recipe of the popular South Indian restaurant sambar. The addition of ground masala with coriander and fenugreek seeds -- it adds a lot of flavor along with the sambar powder. Also the addition of fried gram dal or putnalu makes the sambar so creamy and delicious.
1 1cupsOnion shallotsMedium - medium, cut into chunks or use
1TomatoLarge , chopped
2 ~ 3tbspTamarindpulp
1tspSambar powder (I use MTR sambar powder)
8 ~ 10Curry leaves
2tbspsCilantro, finely chopped
For the Masala Paste:
2tspsdalFried grams / Putnalu
1TomatoMedium , chopped
Make the Masala Paste:
Heat 1tsp oil in a pan, add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies and putnalu; fry till fragrant, about 3~5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then grind to a paste along with tomato. Keep aside.
Cook toor dal and moong dal until soft and mudhy.
Heat 1tbsp oil in a sauce pan, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dry red chilies and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the onions (or shallots) and cook till turn translucent, about 3~4 minutes.
Add chopped tomato and cook till it gets mushy.
Next add tamarind pulp and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Add turmeric, sambar powder, salt and bring the mixture to a boil again.
Now add the cooked dals and the ground masala paste, add water to get to desired consistency. Simmer for 4~5 minutes on low flame. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with idli or dosa or even rice.