One of good things we had going during our short stay in Madras, was the proximity to good restaurants. It was also the first time I had paneer butter masala and chhole with kadi patta in them but let's not go there! :) (Though not autehntic, I didn't mind it btw) One of the restaurants, called Grand Foods, also sold fresh masala powders. Their sambar, kolambu and rasam powders were the authentic Tamil version. (They also made the yummiest paddus (guntpungulu) loaded with ghee - so, so good!!). Here I have the Aachi sambar powder for when I want a Tamil sambar. Our Huli is similar to sambar but there are differences in the ingredients in the powder (here is the huli pudi) as well as the fact that we use jaggery and coconut in ours and is thicker.
1 big bunch spinach (or amaranth greens), chopped
1/2 cup toor dal
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 tbsp homemade sambar powder (or Aachi brand)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate/paste
Salt to taste
For the tadka:
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A few pinches of asafoetida
1 green chili, split
a few curry leaves
Pressure cook toor dal in 3 cups of water, along with chopped spinach, tomato and turmeric powder. Whisk a little to blend the dal and the tomato.
In a pot, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the remaining tadka ingredients and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the cooked dal, sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt and bring to a boil.
Serve hot with rice, topped with ghee.
A quick look at some of the lunches from last week. The amazing corn-black bean salad and the Karnataka style vegetable pulav. Plus a black bean burger with cheese (and mayo!) but hey, I skipped fries and I had roasted brussel sprouts on the side!