Sambhar, also spelled sambar or sambaar, and pronounced saambaar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder, originating from the Indian subcontinent, cooked with a tamarind broth. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. Sambhar in South India is the equivalent of dahl, in North India, miso soup in Japan or potatoes in the UK. The best way I can describe it is the best side dish that goes with all of the regions food.
The aromatic flavours of this traditional South Indian dish are truly irresistible. The speciality of this sambhar is that it is made with minimal oil and loads of vegetables which enhance its nutritive value. When served hot with nutritious Idlis or paper thin dosas, it makes a meal that is very hard to resist. Alternatively, relish this sambhar with steamed rice to make a wholesome meal.
As a North Indian, I would only really eat sambhar in restaurants until my housekeeper, Anitha came to work for us. She’s originally from the south and now this is a staple in our household. Anitha, using her many years of experience as a cook, kindly converted her home recipe for the Thermomix. And no, not for the Thermomix community or me in particular. She makes this dish so often that using the Thermomix, it reduces her time in the kitchen.
Please see my later post for Sambhar, but first I thought I’d share the recipe for the Sambhar Masala. Don’t be deterred by the preparation time, that’s mostly getting your spices out of the cupboard rather than cooking time.
Credit: A version of this recipe can also be found Indian cookbook produced by India when the they sold TM31. The Indian Chef, Shamim Ahmed worked at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi for 24 years as the Head of Mission Cook was instrumental in producing this book. I was convinced when my Mum’s cook made this dish. I thought she had taught him how to convert her recipe to the Thermomix and she said, “No, it’s in the basic book that was given to us when we bought the Thermomix”. When Vesta Appliances lost the distribution license in India for selling Thermomixes when the TM5 launched, I bought their stock and now sell them in my shop. The rest is history.
N.B. If you are a VIP One Girl Customer, you can also purchase a discounted version on my VIP Shop.