This has been an insane week around our house. We've been updating all our computer equipment and everything that that entails... don't ask. What with all of the shopping for HDMI cables at online places in Paramus New Jersey and Rancho Cucumonga (if only there were a Frys nearby) I haven't spent much time in the kitchen. In other words I haven't been cooking. We've had several dinner invitations at friends' houses (I love when people cook for me) and it all was topped off by a Valentines Day feast at our favorite date-night restaurant in Sonoma The Girl and The Fig. So finally, after all this bacchanal of cables and Divers scallops, it was time to step behind the range again and flip on all my burners.
The idea for this Kerala sambar was built around the fact that I brought home a doggy bag from last nights' dinner. So did Alan. Okay, entree in place, all I needed to add was a veg and something to fill out the meal. That's where the sambar comes in, a warming, nourishing soup, chock full of vegetables, that whips up in an hour or less. The perfect partner for a left overs kind of day.
Here's what to do:
In a heavy skillet put 2 Tbs of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot toss in:
1 and 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 and 1/2 Tbs of Toor dal
1 and 1/4 tsp of Urad dal
6 dried red chilies
When the spices are cooked, put them into a spice grinder or blender along with:
4 Tbs of dried grated coconut
A chopped 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
And a bit of water to make it all go round. Grind it into a paste.
2 cups of plain yogurt
1/4 tsp of turmeric
Meanwhile chop some zucchini (I used grey zucchini) into 1/2 inch pieces until you get 3/4 of a cup.
Now to put it all together:
In a large skillet or kadhai, heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot toss in:
1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 dried red chili broken in half
About 6 curry leaves
Finally, add in the yogurt paste mixture.