Some marriages are made in heaven and meant to last forever…..you know what I mean!! I’m talking about the classic combo….Sambar and Potato Roast !! If you haven’t yet tried this combo, I recommend that you try and enjoy it…..a combination to die for 🙂 I’m here today to share Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe, another variation of sambar. You can prepare this sambar with small onions/pearl onion or regular onions cut into quarters. But, the shallots (chinna vengayam) version is more relished as they have a distinct flavour which make this dish what it is.
The best part about the Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe is that you can accommodate any combination of MOST vegetables, so you don’t have to stick to just onions. There are hundred ways of making this quintessential Tamil dish. And people make it to suit their taste. This recipe may look like there’s a lot of work to do. But, once you are organised, it’s really that quick and easy. You must be wondering, what the hell is this Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe. How is it different to the regular sambar?
Let me explain….We have two kinds of sambar, an everyday sambar- made using ready sambar powder (ground at home or store bought and stored in an air tight bottle for a month or two) and a special Arachuvitta Sambar. Arachuvitta means to “grind and add”, so in this case, the masala is freshly roasted and ground each time the sambar is made….so no stocking up in a bottle!! Together with the freshly ground spices, the Sambar tastes just out of the world. What’s annoying is peeling those little onions, the most laborious and time-consuming job that leaves you with smelly fingers for quite a while. The end result is so worth it!
Small Onion/Shallot (Chinna Vengayam) sambar is quite the universal favourite, but there are people who swear by radish or drumstick sambar….and I’m one among them. Not the radish, but drumstick sambar is my top pick. Or let me me put it this way, I like Drumstick Sambar to go with rice and the Onion Sambar for idli, dosa etc.
Off to Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe!!
Steps to follow for Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe :
- Grab all the required ingredients. Peel small onions (shallots) and chop tomatoes.
- Soak tamarind in half a cup of water and microwave for a minute and extract the juice by squeezing it with hand and discard the pulp.
- In todays recipe, I’m using both Tur Dal and Mung Dal. But, you can also prepare this sambar with just Tur Dal. Wash and soak dals in water for 10 minutes. Pressure cook dal along with water for about 3 whistles over high heat and the simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Open the lid once the pressure subsides and mash the dal to get a smooth texture.
- In a pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil and roast bengal gram, coriander seeds, red chillies, raw rice, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and cumin seeds given under the section “To roast and grind”. Roast until a fine aroma wafts and once the dal turns golden brown, add curry leaves and desiccated coconut and turn off the heat. Sauté the coconut in the heat of the pan.
- Let the roasted ingredients cool down completely. Now, grind to a fine paste adding water as needed. Keep it aside
Let’s get started with Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar or Small Onion Sambar:
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a heavy bottomed pan/vessel.
- Add mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Once the mustard seeds pop, add asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric powder and a little sambar powder. Sauté for few seconds and add the small onions. Stir until the onions turn translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and a little salt. Cover and cook for a minute till the tomatoes become soft.
- Open the lid and add the tamarind extract followed by the ground paste.
- Mix well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes till the raw smell of the paste goes away.
- Now, add in the mashed dal and mix well.
- The whole mixture will thicken. You need to add little water to prevent from too much thickening. Bring to a simmer, thin with some water and season the sambar with salt. Adjust water according to the consistency as per your requirement.
- You will notice the sambar colour and texture changes and the aroma further enhances as the ingredients in the ground paste blend well with the dal and onions.
- Now, add a little jaggery (optional) to give a hint of sweetness to sambar and bring the sambar to a boil. Do not overcook onions.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- You don’t need to give a tadka/seasoning as we have already done it at the beginning.
- Optionally, you can also give a tadka with some ghee to enhance the taste of the sambar.
- Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar is ready!! Serve with rice, idli, dosa, pongal.
- Steamed rice, hot sambar, a dollop of ghee , a potato fry and pappad on the side…..is great comfort food for me!!
A Quick Summary:
- 1/4 Cup Tur dal
- 1/4 Cup Mung dal
- 2 cups water to pressure cook dal
- 1 Cup Small Onions peeled
- 1 Tomato roughly chopped
- Gooseberry sized tamarind soak in half a cup of water and microwave for a minute
- 1 Tablespoon Jagggery
- Salt to taste
- Coriander for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 2 Dry Red Chillies broken
- A pinch of Asafoetida hing
- Few curry leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Sambar Powder
To Roast and Grind:
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Bengal Gram Dal
- 2 Tablespoons Coriander seeds
- 6 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 teaspoon Raw Rice
- 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- Few Curry Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
- Wash dals and pressure cook with 2 cups water. Mash the cooked dal.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan over medium heat and roast all the ingredients given under the section "To roast and grind" until a fine aroma wafts. When dal turns golden brown, add curry leaves, desiccated coconut and turn off the heat. Sauté the coconut in the heat of the pan. Cool down and grind to a fine paste adding required water.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
- Add mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Once the mustard seeds pop, add asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric powder and a little sambar powder. Add the small onions and stir until the onions turn translucent.
- Now, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute.
- Add the tamarind extract followed by the ground paste.
- Mix well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add mashed dal, thin with some water, add jaggery, season with salt and boil.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with coriander.
- Serve with rice, idli, dosa, pongal.
- Adjust spices with red chillies. It is also not required to add the whole ground paste. Add as required to suit your taste and store it for another use.
- You can use either tur dal or yellow moong dal or a combination of both the dals like hoe I used today.
- Try dry roasting moong dal and prepare sambar, it adds an extra flavour to the sambar.
- If you wish you can add 3-4 small onions while grinding the paste, this gives an amazing flavour to the sambar.
- This sambar should not be too tangy unlike our regular sambar. So, adjust tamarind extract accordingly.
- You can finally temper with ghee for more flavourful sambar or tempering can be done just once at the end which retains the flavour for a longer time.
- Vegetables are optional. The sambar is excellent with just shallots and tomatoes but you can also add other vegetables for added nutrition. Other veggies you can add : Yellow pumpkin, drumstick, carrot, brinjal, capsicum, avarekkai.
- Asafoetida is essential. It gives a unique flavour to the sambar.
- Adjust water according to the consistency as per your requirement.
- Addition of sambar powder while tempering and jaggery at the end is optional but it enhances the taste of the sambar.
Hope you enjoyed Arachuvitta Vengaya Sambar Recipe!!
Many more to come!!…..STAY TUNED!!
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Happy Cooking 🙂