Sambar and rice in a bowl is my favourite comfort food, among other kinds. Everybody likes their sambar different – sour, spicy or even sweet sometimes. I like mine a tad sour and loaded with veggies. However you may like your sambar, one thing has to be consistent – your sambar powder. Like many people, I would buy mine too. MTR, Everest and other companies do have some really good spice mixes for sambar, rasam and other south Indian favourites. But I’ve always wanted to make my own powder to see how different it would taste and if it was something I could sustain doing regularly. Again, most households have their own version of sambar powder. Turns out, I can.I looked up a few recipes, asked a few people, read a few pointers and tweaked it accordingly. And now I’m wondering why didn’t I do this sooner!
Recipe adaptation: Veg Recipes of India
Yield: 200 grams
Time: 20 mins approximately
Coriander seeds – 1/2 cup
Jeera/cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp
Whole black pepper – 1 tbsp
Methi/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Channa dal – 2 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tsbp
Hing/asafoetida – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tbsp
Curry leaves – handful (3-4 sprigs)
Dried red chillies (Kashmiri/byadagi) – 10-12 big ones (alter the chillies as per your taste. I also deseeded a few so I get the colour and not too much of the heat)
Dry roast all ingredients, except turmeric, one after the other till they are aromatic and keep them aside.
Coriander and cumin will turn lightly dark and fragrant. Mustard seeds will pop. Hing will turn slightly darker in colour. Curry leaves will go dry and crisp up. Look for these signs before you take them off the heat.
Grind all the ingredients in your mixer jar (using the small one) in one or two batches till fine.
Store in an air tight jar in your pantry.