Sunday, November 23, 2008

saare saare sambhar ee!!

In 2007 December during a trip to Spain, me and my friend checked in at an authentic spanish restaurant in Seville... We ordered a full fledged lunch which was on offer…The menu said…soup…starter…main course and dessert , the description though were written in spanish.

After making ourselves comfortable and with excellent wine to help, we were enjoying the ambience and looking forward to the siesta which we badly wanted after the long tourist walks. In a few minutes the waiter served us the soup which looked dark orangish in color. One sip and glancing at each other we knew what we were gonna say….

“dei...ithu nammalude sambhar alle”

The waiter was bewildered how both of us told exactly the same comment in the same tone on the so called exotic Spanish soup which he served with so much élan.…Well the Spanish sambhar was our naadan sambhar , a lil less spicy though…Later when the waiter had gone back to get us the main course, it did cross our mind that the Spanish amigo who ran the restaurant probably might be a malayalee who branded the sambhar along famous names like the Paella. So strikingly same was it that we even tried to figure out any resemblance the waiter had with Columbus or Vasco da Gama…

Well we actually enjoyed “drinking” the sambhar as a soup and infact under circumstances (that heavenly wine ;-P) we did not find it odd at all.

Sambhar is an easy quick fix curry for anyone and it will go with practically anything from rice, idli, dosa and even chapatti.(seriously its awesome).. Since my old roommate was a Tamilian I learned their style of cooking sambhar... The recipe has been written based on how I do it which means it may not be the easiest way coz in the kitchen am more a perfectionist planner. Anyways the ingredients would be:-

1 cup dal
3-4 cups of vegetables (I normally use potato, cauliflower carrot, beans and Brinjal)
1 big onion
2 small tomatoes
Curry leaves
2 red chilies
3 green chilies
Jeeera and mustard
Sambhar powder (2.5 tbsp)
Chilly powder
Salt to taste
Tamarind paste (1 tbsp)

1) Pressure cook the dal with sufficient water for 3-4 whistles.
2) Meanwhile peel and slice potatoes, rest of the veggies and cook em(60%) in a microwave with sufficient water.(6-8 min)
3) Slice onions, green chilies, tomatoes and keep em aside.

Once they are ready.

1) Sauté the onions and green chilies in oil until they are transparent, following which add sliced tomatoes.
2) After 3-4 minutes add the sambhar powder along with half teaspoon red chili powder and mix them in low flame.
3) Meanwhile transfer the partially cooked veggies and cook this mix in little water with sufficient salt.
4) Once the raw smell of masala goes, add the cooked dal and water if necessary and allow it to cook.
5) After 2-3 minutes add the tamarind water and mix well.
6) In a separate pan sauté the chilies and curry leaves and transfer the content to the sambhar.
7) Serve it with rice or idlis.

And guys offer it to Salma Hayek or any Spanish beauty around...]
She might actually like the “soup”. ;-P


anudivya said...

Sambhar in Spain, very interesting...

Anonymous said...

anantham anjatham avarnaneeyam
ee mathewvinte saambhaaru polum...

Mishmash ! said...

appo spanish waiter nu ningalde malayalam manasilayo? !! :P

Paella is almost like a biryani, now u re telling that their soup is like our sambar , what more?!!

btw, what a stylish presentation....oru fancy restuarant-l serve cheyyunna pole undu :) when u serve me that , pls remove the cauliflower..i'm quite biased against that n a sambar!

silverine said...

Very nice picture. I am also against cauliflower and potatoes in sambhar one of my favorite gravies :) It is one of those things I can eat everyday! And Paella is actually Pulao that the Moors who ruled over Spain left behind.

anN-series said...

is this rice with 'creme de parippu avec pachakari'?

Tina said...

Sambhar kidu anallo.....

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

What a pic man. Awesome colors. I have always been suprised by your cooking posts, coz of the info about the dish or some other incident that made you prepare the dish. Nice tips for the preparation. Looking forward to more :)

Anonymous said...

Ello Mathew, I stumbled upon this site of urs quiet accidently and I liked the way ur posts are done.

But I must say, that's a completely new way of preparing Sambhar for me.:)) The next time when you make sambhar, try it without the English Vegetables which includes the Potato as well. i.e. if you can get hold of the 'nadan' veggies.

Divs said...

Hehee... i could understand malayalam!! Yay!! :D

Imagine 12 ppl uttering the same thing in a nice high end restaurant where the guy serving knows our local dialect.He almost laughed loud! :$

sambhar looks good!! but 'm not a cauliflower fan..

david santos said...

Good menu and good food!

Divz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Divz said...

the pic looks very artistic!!
so ethra spanish babes inne valachu ee sambhar soup kudipichattu??

Annie said...

Nazrani sambar is like this. But u try pattaru sambar with pumpkin as main vegetable/small onion/radish etc. Try each time with each veg

VIDYA said...

Sambar in spain! wHOA!, am reminded of a movie where mamukoya serves soup to some people, the soup being uppumavu+water :d

Your sambhar looks yumm, Minus the caulipoo it ll taste even better!

B said...

Sambhar in Spain-Wonders never cease. Did u actually find out if the chef or the owner was any way connected to South India, cud be..

My fren makes a killer sambhar that goes so well with plain rice and Kerala pappads..Yummy

Nithya Praveen said... Spain????? Wow interesting!

Varsha Vipins said...

Hey..good to see a Malayali..Sambar sambhavam adipoli..I can well imagine the situ..njananenkil chirichu avarde kayyennu adi vangichene..:D

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

ooh.i literally was trying to guess out the remaining bit what u had to eat..whether the snap shown was the main course or the presentation of the the restaurant!!!

ജെപി. said...

kuRe naaLaayi ii vazhi vanniTT
enthengilum thaamasiyaathe kuththikkurikkaam
my system is being reformated

Anonymous said...


I never ever read a cooking related blog so hilarious.....u rock...

anyways what was the spanish name for sambar...i would love to know...


silverine said...

Nuff of sambhar already! Please post something new! hmpph

mathew said...

apologies to all for delayed reply to the comments..


LOL!! evideyoo kettittu ondu!!

@Mishmash !
hehe..i think i try to find the indian connection every where..;-P

Yeah..interesting history..I got to read more on that after you mentioned in it...I put the cauliflower to avoid wastage!!hmmph!!!

that would make it french..;-p


thanks for glad to see some guys droppin by here..

thanks a lot...I would have loved to get hold of nadan veggies..unfortunately its hard to come by..thanks anyways for the tip..

hehe...yeah..i can see that its unpopular from the comments above...;-D

@david santos

valachu odichille...I am now more like a matador!!;-P

yeah..have had that kind of sambhar long ago..I love it...

I am sure if more people say about it I can get a spanish arrest warrant on me..!;-D

I should have actually checked that out..;-P


We had a laugh too..but after the waiter left the place..;-P

@A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby
ayyo..we never go to a restau with the camera..athinnu ulla patience onnum illa..

Thanks...that was 2 years ago..and hardly remember the name..:-(


Malar Gandhi said...

Ha ha...nice read. It happens some times, there is a quite bit of commonalities btn two cuisines, right!:)

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