Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Moong dal        1/2  cup

Tur dal                          1/2 cup

Onion                        1 small

Tomatoes                  2 

Green bell pepper         1/2

Garlic                                       2 pods

Tamarind paste or pulp          1- 2 tsp.     

Sambar powder              2 - 2 1/2 tbsp.

Turmeric powder             1/2 tsp.

Curry leaves                                 a few

Cilantro for garnishing.

Wheat flour only if necessary           1 tsp.

For seasoning:

Mustard                       1/2 tsp.

Urad dal                       1 tsp.

Chana dal                      1 tsp.

Fried gram                        1 tsp.

Red chillies                       1

Asafoetida                      1/2 tsp.

Ghee and oil                    2 tbsp.

In a fry pan, add 1 tbsp. ghee and 1 tbsp. oil.

Season with mustard, the dals, asafoetida and red chilli.

Fry onion and  garlic till onion turns pink. 

Add bell pepper, tomatoes and fry for a while.

Add tamarind paste only if you want to.

This is really not necessary. In this case, you can  reduce the tomatoes to 1.

Add sambar powder and turmeric powder, mix well  and then one cup of water.

Bring to boil, lower the heat, add salt and when it boils well, add dal and let it boil for a few minutes.

Mix well. 

Clean and chop the cilantro leaves and add to sambar.

If the sambar is watery and you want it a little thicker, mix 1 tsp. of wheat (chapathi) flour to 1 tbsp. of

water and add the paste to the sambar when it begins to boil with the dal.

Take care to stir the sambar well as you add the  wheat flour paste, otherwise it will remain separate

as lumps.

This sambar goes well with Idli and Dosa and with rice.

There can be variations in the preparation of sambar.

1. Use only Tur dal (Red gram)

2. Use only Moong dal (Green gram)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Medu vada

Urad dal                        1 cup (200g)

Raw rice                        2 tsp.

Curry leaves                 a few

Cilantro (chopped fine)  2 tsp.

Onion  (optional)            1

Cumin seeds (Jeera)    1 tsp.

Black pepper corns       1 tsp.

Salt                                   1 tsp.

Soak urad dal in 2 to 3 cups of water for 2 hours.

Drain the water.

Grind the dal in a blender without water or adding very little water (sprinkling water each time you think it is needed).

 Add jeera and pepper corns to the dough. You can pound them coarsely if you don't like them that way.

Add finely chopped onion and chopped curry leaves and cilantro.

Take a spoonful of the dough on wet palm, spread it a little with  slightly wet fingers. 

Keep it thick and round and make a hole in the centre with your index finger.

Slide it into medium hot oil.

Fry till golden and remove onto absorbent paper.

You can refrigerate the dough for a day or two. But don't prepare too much dough as it always better to prepare fresh dough for tastier vadas.

Take care to bring the dough to room temperature before frying vadas in case you are storing it. Serve hot with coconut chutney and/or onion tomato chutney. 


  • Instead of  pepper and jeera, use 2 green chillies  chopped finely. You can add green chillies to pepper and jeera also, however reducing the quantity/number of all the three items.

  • Add finely chopped cabbage to the dough along with green chillies and onion.
  • Again, instead of cabbage, you can use palak/ spinach cut finely.
  • Add grated carrot.

The rest is your creativity.