Apr 1, 2007


This is a slightly different recipe than I've used in the past. I like this one and, of course, put my own twist on it. In fact, after a day thinking about it, I'm sure I will alter it again. I'll explain later.

I used 5 fresh red chilies which I seeded and de-veined. Original recipe called for 10 dried chilies, seeded. I also added a couple cardamon pods because I love this spice.

Heat a heavy frying pan and dry roast the whole spices over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Keep shaking that pan. When the seeds stop spattering, add the asafetida and turmeric and stir for a minute longer. Remove the mixture to a dry bowl. Add the oil to the pan and fry the dals until they darken, stirring frequently to prevent burning. I didn't exactly let them darken but I let them go long enough to change color and look toasty. Add them to the bowl of spices, mix well and let completely cool. In the meantime, I added about one teaspoon to the same frying pan and fried the chilies for about 5 minutes. Open some windows. The result of the hot oil and the hot peppers can make you cough. Remove the peppers and let completely cool on paper towels. Once cooled, I ground the spices in a spice grinder in three little batches. I ground the peppers in the food processor. I then ground everything in the food processor. I tasted it and wasn't happy. Too spicy, not enough body, fullness. As much as I love heat, I really love my sambar powder nutty and full and just a hint of sweet. Just a slight bit of heat is all I want. I mixed a second complete batch of toasted and ground spices and added that. Still not happy. Will make a third batch of toasted and ground spices and try again. In the meantime, store the mix in an airtight container.

Sambar Powder (Indian Curry)

5 fresh red chiles
1 tsp oil
25 grams coriander seeds -- (1 oz)
20 grams cumin seeds -- (3/4 oz)
15 grams black peppercorns -- (1/2 oz)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
15 grams fenugreek seeds -- (1/2 oz)
1/4 teaspoon ground asafetida
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
15 milliliters oil -- (1 tbsp.)
25 grams yellow split peas -- (channa dal), (1 oz)
25 grams white gram beans -- (urad dal), (1 oz)
2 green cardamon pods

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