This tiffin sambar recipe is easy, quick and perfect for the morning rush hour. This is truly a one pot recipe and requires no grinding or separate vessel for seasoning. There are many methods to make this sambar. Some of them are complicated and some of them are easy. Mine is the second kind where you pretty much throw all the ingredients into a pressure cooker and forget all about it till you are ready for breakfast.
For those who are wondering what is the difference between regular sambar (consumed with rice) and tiffin sambar, here you go sambar vs sambar. 😀
- Tiffin sambar is usually less spicy and has less sourness than the usual sambar.
- We don’t usually add tamarind so an additional tomato is added.
- Only red chilli or green chilli is used instead of chilli powder and sambar powder.
- Since we don’t add chilli powder or sambar powder, the sambar is more yellow than brown.
- This is a side dish for idli, dosa, uthapam, vada, upma etc.
Iron rich vegetable Drumstick or murungakai is the best choice for any sambar. So here is the
Recipe for Drumstick / Murungakai tiffin sambar
Sambar tastes better when dal is perfectly cooked and mashed. So wash and soak toor dal in water before you work on the other ingredients.
Ingredients for seasoning
Fenugreek / Menthi seeds
Washed curry leaves
Washed and chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
Finely chopped onion
Ingredients for Sambar
Drumstick – 2
Tomato – 2 large or 3 medium sized ones – cut into 4 large pieces.
Carrot or brinjal or beans or any other vegetable chopped – 1 cup
Onion – Chopped into large pieces
Garlic – peeled
Toor dal – 1 cup
Green chilies – slit length wise – depends on taste.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds stop spluttering, add cumin seeds, menthi seeds, red chili, curry leaves and garlic one after the other. Add one item, stir fry for one or two minutes and then add the next.
Then add the finely chopped onions and stir fry till it is golden yellow and well cooked.
Add salt and turmeric powder.
Then add drumstick first and stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add chunky onion pieces. If you get small onions / shallots where you live, add them instead. They greatly improve the taste and flavor of sambar.
Then add cut brinjal. Let the oil coat the surface of all the vegetables while you stir fry in medium to high heat.
When all the veggies are nicely fried, add water and bring it to a boil. There is a reason why the veggies are stir fried before water is added. This will help them from getting too mashed along with dal.
When water comes to a rolling boil, taste it to see if you have to add more salt. I usually add 3 to 4 cups of water for 1 cup dal.
Add the now soaking dal and close cooker. Wait for 10 whistles (Depends on stove temperature, cooker and amount of dal).
Leave it closed till your idli is ready so the flavor does not escape out 😉
Enjoy your breakfast – fluffy white idli with tasty drumstick sambar – A well balanced breakfast.
Some actually dip the idli pieces in the sambar and eat them. Some dunk the entire idli and let it soak in the sambar. Ghee is usually added to the sambar when fed to kids.