Yogurt and Spinach Sambar

Sambar is a very important recipe of South Indian cuisine. It’s a tamarind based gravy with generous amount of pulses( mostly tuvar dal/ pigeon peas) and vegetables, thus making it rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. When served with idli or dosa or steamed rice, it helps in bringing a balance in the menu. There are many varieties of sambar.

Today I have made a sambar with yogurt as it’s base and lot of spinach. I learnt this recipe from my dear friend Shalini:)
Its a mildly spiced and an aromatic sambar. My family enjoyed it and I hope you all will enjoy too:)

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Ingredients

Chopped spinach( Palak) – 3 cups
Well beaten Yogurt- 2 cups
Tuvar dal ( pigeon peas)- 3/4th cup
Turmeric powder- 1/4th tsp
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Oil- 3 tsps
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds( methi/ vendayam)- 1/2 tsp
Hing- 1/8 tsp
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Chana dal( chick peas/ kadalai paruppu)- 2 tsps
Red chillies- 8
Cloves- 4
Cinnamon- 1/2 inch
Cardamom- 4

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Method

Wash spinach well. Cook till becomes soft by adding little salt. Don’t add water. Gently mash the cooked spinach with the back of a ladle.

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Wash and soak tuvar dal for 20-30 mins. Drain the dal, add 2 cups of water and turmeric powder and pressure cook the dal for 4 whistles. It should be very soft so that it can be mashed well.

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Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, chana dal, red chillies, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Roast till the dal becomes slightly golden.
Keep from the gas, cool and grind it along with coconut to a smooth paste.
Add 1/4th cup of water to the paste, mix well and add to the cooked spinach. Mix well and let it cook for few mins( till it starts boiling).

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Switch off the gas. Mix 1 cup of water to the yogurt, salt to taste and mix well. Add this to the spinach mixture.
Add the cooked and mashed tuvar dal and mix well. Add more water if required to correct the consistency.
Let it simmer for 10 mins on a medium flame.

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Heat 2 tsps of oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add fenugreek seeds and hing.
Add the tempering to the sambar and serve hot with steamed rice drizzled with some melted ghee:)

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