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Monday, September 7, 2015

Ulli Sambar ( Spicy lentil cooked with Shallots )

Shallots or the tiny onions have a sweet and mild flavour. They Southern states of India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu employ a lot of shallots in their cooking while it is eaten mostly raw in the Eastern State of Odisha, mainly as an accompaniment for the watery rice dish of Pakhala.

Since, I bought a large lot of shallots for Onam, I was left with more than a handful even after I had finished with the Sadya which involved some marathon cooking. After making rasam the other day, I felt like having some delicious Ulli Sambar for lunch yesterday. It is just like any other sambar but no other vegetables should be added as the shallots have a very mild flavour. However I do add some carrots and a bit of a tomato .

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 25-30 mins

Ingredients -

  • a fistful of toor dal
  • 1/2 cup peeled shallots
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • a lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • 1 tsp sambar masala
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chilis
  • 1//2 tsp mustard seeds
  • a large pinch of asafoetida
  • a small pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tsp oil
Preparation - Soak the tamarind with 1 cup hot water for 10 mins. Squeeze out the juice and discard pulp.

Cooking - Wash and cook the dal with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker. Also add the carrots and tomato to the pressure cooker. Remove from flame after 2-3 whistles.

Keep aside till steam escapes. Open the lid and mash the dal.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add the green chilis, half of the curry leaves and the shallots. Fry for 3-4 mins.

Add the fried shallots to the mashed dal along with the tamarind water and the sambar masala.

Let it boil for 10-15 mins till the shallots are tender and the raw smell of tamarind goes away.

Heat the remaining oil . Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chilis. Fry for 30 secs before pouring it over the dal.

Serve hot with white rice , curd and some appalam.



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