Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sambar Podi/Sambar Powder/Kuzhambu Milagai Thool

Sambar powder is one ingredient around which my whole cooking revolves. Though it plays an indispensable part in my cooking I have never ever tried to make it on my own. Even after being married for 4 years and a kid and 2 cross country shifts, I always carry this one ingredient wherever I go, made by Amma.
This time when i packed my bags to Coimbatore I made up my mind that i should get the recipe of this from Amma not to make it by my own, but to post it here. She always makes it in bulk for me and her. Even this gets distributed to my cousin at times. This time I captured each and every step of making this Sambar powder as i mention this in many of my posts. This process is to be followed while grinding the spices in the flour mill. I’ll come up with the procedure for grinding the sambar powder at home using blender in another post.

Vara Malli/Coriander seeds- 1/2 kg
Long red chillies-1/2 kg
Kadalai paruppu/Channa Dal-200g
Tuvaram Paruppu/Toor Dal-200g
Idly rice-200g
Cumin seeds-200g
Black peppercorns-100g
Vendhayam/Fenugreek seeds-25g
Asafoetida block/Perungaya Katty- 50g block, broken into little pieces
Turmeric bulbs/Verali Manjal-50g
How It Happened:

1. Heat a kadai, when it’s medium hot, add the coriander seeds and keep stirring until they turn warm. It should be hot enough to take in your hand. Transfer them to a clean, dry plate and allow them to cool. The coriander seeds should not become brown in colour.  This is done as the ingredients will endure another heating process while being ground in the flour mill (maavu machine). If its all ready roasted to brown colour then while grinding it will give an undesirable burnt smell.
2. Next add the channa dal/kadalai paruppu and keep roasting and stirring and when they start turning golden brown transfer them to the same plate with coriander seeds and set aside. They should not be fried until dark golden brown.
3. Add the toor dal and roast until slightly golden brown, transfer to the plate.
4. Add rice and fry until they swell and pop. Then transfer them to a plate. Normally we do call it ‘Pori arisi’
5. Add cumin seeds and roast them until warm and when they starting giving out the aroma transfer them to the plate. Do not allow them to pop or turn brown in colour. If they are over roasted then it will give a bitter taste to the powder.
6. Add peppercorns and roast until they pop. When they start popping keep stirring and wait for a minute, then transfer them to the plate.
7. Add the fenugreek seeds/methi seeds/vendhayam and roast until golden brown. It should not turn dark brown else give out a bitter taste.
8. Add 3 tbsp of oil in the kadai and when its hot, add 3 or 4 pieces of asafoetida per batch and fry them until they swell and are completely brittle and crisp. Transfer them to the plate. Switch off the flame. To check whether the asafoetida pieces are roasted well, tap them with the back of your ladle when they give out the tap sound and when they are easily brittle its the right time to remove them from oil.
9. The red chillies are to be sun-dried well. They should turn crisp and brittle. Amma dried it for 3 days in red hot sun. To check whether they are ready for grinding take a chilli and crush it, when it breaks immediately its ready.
10. Similarly sun-dry the turmeric bulbs for a day.
11. Now put all the ingredients together in an air tight container once when they are cooled, take it to the flour mill. Grind them to a very fine powder.
12. Bring home, slightly remove the lid of the container for them to cool as it would be hot after the grinding process. Once when they are cooled transfer the required amount to a clean, dry air tight container. Store the rest in another large air tight container and keep them in a dry dark place.

*Throughout the roasting process maintain the temperature at medium hot by regulating the flame.
*Sun-dry the asafoetida pieces for a day before frying them in oil.

* Follow the instruction carefully for the sambar powder to turn flavourful, aromatic and tasty.

1 comment :

  1. Wow that is a very awesome recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Pakistani Cooking Recipes are the best. I love all Pakistani Recipes and indian recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes