Pongal Sambar is a totally different Sambar from the standard Sambar what we prepare. It is generally prepared on the Tamil Pongal Festival days. It is one of the favorite dishes prepared in our native place which goes very well with the pink Pongal Rice. You do not need any side dish to go with it even though Papad and pickle are served with the rice and this Sambar. As you will see, you do not need a Sambar Powder to prepare this Sambar. This Sambar is generally prepared in huge quantity (many guests on the festival days). You can store it in refrigerator and use on the next day also. Do try and enjoy this special Sambar.
Tur Dal (Pigeon Pea Lentil) – 1 ½ cup (1 cup = 240 ml)
Tamarind – Medium Lemon Size
Dried Red Chillies – 8 to 10
Fresh Green Chillies – 10 to 12
Shallots (Small Onion) peeled – 15
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic Pods – 5
Grated Coconuts – 1 1 /4 cups
Vegetables for Sambar:
Purple Yam (Kandh) – 150 Gms
Colocasia (Arbi) – 150 Gms
Potato – 2
Chinese Potato (Siru Kizhangu) – 150 Gms
Yam (Suran / Senai Kizhangu) – 150 Gms
Raw Banana – 1
Broad Beans – 150 Gms
Tomatoes – 2
Cluster Beans – 150 Gms
French Beans – 150 Gms
Shallots (Small Onion) peeled – ½ cup
Green Mango (cut in cubes) – 8 to 10 pieces (If you do not have Green
Mangoes ready with you, increase the quantity of Tamarind)
Brinjals – 150 Gms
Raw Banana – 1
Carrot – 2
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to suit one’s taste
Oil (preferably Coconut Oil) – ¼ cup
Mustard Seed – 2 tbsp
Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
Shallots (finely chopped) – ¼ cup
Curry Leaves – 4 to 6 sprigs
Asafoetida – ½ tsp
Wash and pressure cook the Dal for 2 to 3 minutes. (Do not make it mushy). Keep aside.
Soak the Tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes and extract the juice.
Grind the ingredients under “For Grinding” together to a semi coarse texture.
Cut all the root vegetables to medium sized cubes.
Cut other vegetables into 2 to 3 inch long pieces.
Boil approximately 2 litres of water in a large vessel. Add all the root vegetables, Drum Stick, Broad Beans, Tomato, Cluster Beans and French Beans along with Turmeric Powder. (Add vegetables which need more cooking time first and less cooking time later). Allow the water to come to a boil again. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes in medium high flame.
Add the Shallots (Sambar Onion), Raw Mango, Brinjal, Raw Banana and Carrots. Stir then well. Now, simmer again for 8 to 10 minutes covered with a lid till the vegetables are cooked 80 percent.
Add the Tamarind Juice and coarsely ground Coconut mixture. Mix well. Adjust Salt, if required.. Add more water also, if required.
Cook for 5 to 6 minutes till the vegetables are cooked well. (Do not overcook them).
Heat Coconut Oil in a pan for tempering. Add Mustard Seeds and Urad Dal. When the Mustards crackle, add the finely chopped Shallots and Curry Leaves. Stir cook in medium flame for a couple of minutes. Add Curry Leaves. Stir cook till the Shallots turn slightly brown. Add the Asafoetida and stir for 1 minute. Add this tempering to the boiling Sambar and cover with a lid. Switch off the flame and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
This Sambar goes very well with the cooked Pink Rice (Pongal Sadam). In our native place, it is served with Papad and Pickle as accompaniments. You can also serve with Thayir Curry, Inji Pachadi and fresh Mango Pickle.