Mooli Sambar

A lentil-based stew made with Daikon radish, known as Mooli in India
Ingredients - Makes approximately 1 litre
  • 300 g daikon radish or mooli, sliced
  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal) or split red lentils (masoor dal) (Split pigeon peas/toor dal will take longer to cook)
  • 4 cups water
  • 30 g tamarind
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp sambar powder (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 1½-2 tsp jaggery or sugar (white or brown)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • fresh coriander, chopped, optional
  • For the tempering
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp black gram or urad dal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 6-8 curry leaves, optional
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Cook the lentils till soft and mushy
  2. Use a {pressure cooker} to speed up the cooking
  3. Heat 1 cup of the water in a small bowl and soak the tamarind for 15-20 minutes. Or, you can also place the bowl in the {microwave} on high for 30 seconds. Cool and squeeze out the tamarind juice with your fingers. Strain and set aside the juice
  4. In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the radish slices for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the remaining 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Mix in the tamarind juice, sambar powder, jaggery and let the mixture boil until the radish slices are completely cooked
  5. Mash the cooked toor dal slightly and mix into the sambar. Adjust salt, add fresh coriander and let it simmer for 5 minutes
  6. In a separate pan, get the tempering ready. Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds and urad dal until they start to brown. Add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves and fry until the mustard seeds splutter
  7. Turn off the heat, add a pinch of asafoetida. Mix the tempering into the sambar and serve hot with rice. Sambar is also served with Idli, Dosa or Vada
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