Today is Wednesday, and that means just two more days to go to weekend, just like my daughter I count the days. As I can get some sleep, only on weekends. I got some sleep last week, as clock went backwards I was happy thinking that for one day I gained an hour. Next day onwards story is same. Also weekends are days I can get some elaborate meal planning. So decide to try this Varuthaaracha sambhar. In my home state Kerala Sambhar is one of popular curry which shows its presence in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I always thought sambhar /sambar is only one type of curry that exists all over the South India. But later I found out that even in my home state sambar varies from south, central and north Kerala. I have already written about sambar recipe which common in south my hometown Thriuvanthapuram, Kerala. One common thing in the sambar recipe is that it has lentil ( toor dal) , mixed vegetables, sambar masala and tamarind. However certain ingredients and cooking style differs. In Palakad style of sambar, they fry the masala ingredients like coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, chana dal( Kadala parippu) and the red chilies in a pan until chana dal turns into brown in color then once it is cooled it is grind into a fine paste with fresh grated coconut. That I learned during my stay in Hostel at Pallakkad where I was teaching at Chittur Government College. This is also called varuthuarcha sambar, however in this case only spices are fried and coconut is not fried.
Then there is third version of sambhar, it is from North Kerala, Vadakkan style that we call it. Yes North Kerala has abundant history as it has been gateway of our trade with foreign country later turn into occupation of India and long rule of British in India. In Northern Kerala Cuisine, small onion/ shallots and garlic are important even they add small onion in their desserts. I was searching for this varuthaarcha sambar recipe for long time, even asked few friends, some gave me a vague way saying that fry coconut and garlic and make sambar. That’s it.
Then when I asked my friend Rema, she patiently wrote me back an entire recipe. I followed her recipe except some spice adjustment as my kids can’t eat too much chili. When I started making this sambar my hubby’s comment was are you going experiment a new version, make sure it is tasty otherwise you are wasting the ingredients. I told him the recipe was good, and it is one I am looking forward to make it for long time.
For this you need to fry coconut, small onion, garlic, and spices and grind into a paste then add to cooked veggies, and toor dal( I don’t have it in hand, so used masoor dal), along with tamarind juice. It is delicious and unique taste during coconut, garlic and small onions.
I have seen people fighting to write recipe about no garlic, no onion etc. I don’t comprise authenticity of dish, so tried this sambar recipe has garlic and onion. If you want to try Northern Kerala style sambar then give it a try, it is delicious. If you are strict no to garlic then don’t try it that is better than trying the recipe without garlic and saying northern Kerala style. Here comes the recipe.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.