Savoring the rich flavors of Indian cuisine is indeed a delightful experience, and when it comes to South Indian cuisine, idli sambar takes center stage. This classic combination of soft, fluffy idlis and aromatic sambar is a popular breakfast or snack that has won the hearts of millions. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this step-by-step guide will help you master the art of making authentic idli sambar at the comfort of your home.
Ingredients for Idli:
1 cup idli rice (boiled rice)
1/4 cup urad dal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp salt
Water (for soaking and grinding)
Ingredients for Sambar:
1 cup toor dal (tur dal)
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small carrot, cut into pieces
1 small potato, cut into pieces
1 drumstick (optional), cut into 2-inch pieces
5-6 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
2-3 tbsp sambar powder (available in stores)
salt to taste)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
a pinch of asafoetida
- Wash idli rice and urad dal separately. Soak them in water along with fenugreek seeds for about 4-5 hours.
- Drain the water and grind the soaked rice and dal separately to make a smooth paste.
- Mix the batter together, add salt and let it ferment overnight (or around 8-10 hours).
- Grease the idli molds with oil and pour batter into each mold and fill it about 3/4th of its capacity.
- Cook idlis in a steamer for 10-12 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Once done, let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the moulds.
Preparation of Sambar:
- Toor dal is cooked in 2 cups of water until it is mushy and tender. Well combine and set away.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep-bottomed pan.
- Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and asafoetida when it begins to sputter.
- Cook the chopped onion until transparent after adding it.
Add the chopped tomatoes, stir, and simmer until mushy.
- Salt, turmeric, and chopped veggies should all be added. Mix well, then heat for a brief time.
- Add 3 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the flame and let the vegetables cook till they become soft.
- Add tamarind pulp and sambar powder, and let the sambar cook for a few more minutes until all the flavors meld together.
- Finally, add mashed toor dal and mix well. If more water is required, adjust the consistency by adding more.
- Cook on low heat for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve hot, puffed idlis with a ladleful of hot sambar, coconut chutney or tomato chutney for an unforgettable South Indian feast.
- Enjoy this traditional breakfast or snack with your loved ones, and relish the taste of a true Indian culinary gem!