Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Tomato ani Piyavache Kolmbho-Tomato and Onion(Shallot) Sambhar

Kolmbho is a Konkani name for sambhar.Piyavu means onion in Konkani.This is a lentil based dish that is cooked with tamarind pulp,vegetables and masala powder freshly made by roasting and blending spices.This is inseperable part of South Indian cuisine.It serves as an accompaniment with idli,dosa and rice.Again there are umpteen number of recipes when it comes to sambhar.There are a wide variety of ready powders available in stores.It can be even made at home with toasting and roasting spices which needs a little time and patience.There are innumerable recipes when it comes to sambhar and varies from person to person.I too prepare sambhar in 2-3 different ways(difference is in the proportion and contents used in the spice mix)and always prefer making it fresh.
Here I present one of my versions of sambhar with freshly roasted and grounded spices that is loved by my family members.Here I have tagged it as tomato and onion sambhar which may sound strange as in our community sambhar means mix of many veggies and need not be specified even if only two vegetables are used.Iam inspired by the south indian way of saying radish sambhar,drumstick sambhar where tomato and onion are constant and only one vegetable is used which highlights the name...so here I go with tomato onion sambhar!!!!

Tuvar daal(split pigeon peas)          1/2 cup
Small onions(peeled)                           20
Tomatoes(M),diced                              3
Tamarind pulp                                       a small cherry sized ball
Turmeric powder                                  3/4tsp
Jaggery/light brown sugar             3/4tsp
Asafoetida/Hing                                   1/4tsp
Salt                                                             to taste
Fresh chopped corainder                  2tbsp

For seasoning:
Oil                                                              1tbsp
Mustard seeds                                      1tsp
Curry leaves                                          6-8

For Masala:
Coriander seeds/dhaniya              3tbsp
Cumin seeds/jeera                            3/4tbsp
Fenugreek seeds/methi                  1/2tsp
Peppercorns                                       3-4
Garlic flake(crushed)                     1  (optional)   
Byadagi chillies                               5-7
Guntur chillies                                 3-4

Roasting masala-

  • Heat a tava(i use my cast iron chapathi tava)add little oil,once heated set to low flame and roast chillies to crisp without burning them.set on a plate.
  • Add coriander seeds and roast just till the aroma is felt(over roasting will change the flavour of sambhar)set aside.
  • Add jeera roast till it crackles,set aside
  • Add methi roast till colour changes/crackles,set aside.
  • Add the peppercorns and crushed garlic and switch off the flame.
  • When the spices are moderately cool blend to a powder(need not be extra fine)
Preparing Sambhar:
  • Wash and pressure cook the tuvar daal(split pigeon peas)with 1.5cups of water,pinch of turmeric and a drizzle of oil to 1 whistle then lowering the flame and cooking more 5 minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in a tbsp of water and squeeze well to get a thick pulp.
  • Dilute the sambhar powder with water to form a paste.
  • In a soup pot add take the peeled whole small onions,tomatoes and add a cup of water bringing it to boil
  • When the onions are tender add jaggery,salt to taste,tamarind pulp,turmeric powder,asafoetida and boil further.
  • Add the prepared paste and a  little water too.
  • Add cooked daal(with a wire whisk/buttermilk churner beat it well)adding required water to get a consistency and bring to a good boil and cook stirring in bewteen as daal sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Prepare the seasoning in a small pan and pour it over the sambhar.
  • Add fresh chopped coriander,also 1-2 fresh curry leaves torn into pieces.
  • Serve as an accompaniment with idly,dosa and even white rice.
  • This becomes thicker after sometime,so,add required additional water,boil and then serve.
  • The small onions used here are nothing but the regular onions which are small in size.
  • Can use pearl onions,shallots  too which also makes it more authentic.
  • Can add cut drumsticks to this along with onions while cooking..will be delicious.
  • This portion makes about 2.5ltrs(3 quarts apprx),so adjust the recipe according to needs.
  • A combination of different vegetables can also be made to make it a mixed veg sambhar.
  • The powder can be made and stored for later use.

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