Sambar And Carrot Stir Fry

27-08-2007(Monday) is Onam.

Keralites celebrate this festival in memory of the golden era of King Mahabali whose spirit is said to visit the state at the time of Onam. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King, called ATHA POOVE.
It is an occasion for family gatherings. It is also a perfect symbol of communal harmony since all communities get together and celebrate this festival.
On the Thiruvonam day every one bathes and offers worship in temples early in
the morning. Then the gayest new garments are put on. Presents are distributed
to the younger members of the family.This is a time when malayalee households will be cooking festive delights for family and friends.The onam feast of delicious
food are served on plantain leaves. On this day ,the keralites will serve vegetarian
food only.Of the main cuisine to name a few sambar,olan,avial,inji puli, payasam
etc. Keralites celebrate Onam by organising community feast, cultural programmes, etc.Even thou the population of malayalees are minority here, but yet they do not fail to celebrate Onam .

Even thou I was born and raised all in
Malaysia, dad didnt fail on celebrating Onam and Vishu at home. I can still
remember during my school days,of what a celebration Onam was.Both dad and mom
takes leave from their respective offices every year,and mom would cook a feast for family and friends.House would be crowded including 12 of my best friends .After taking our lunch , we would go to school.Of course with a heavy belly,who could concentrate studies then!!Mom would cook all the traditional dishes and two type of payasam,pall payasam(made with rice,milk and sugar) and another green bean payasam (my favourite).Ah yes,if time permits I will make green bean payasam for ONAM.

I would like to wish all my malayalee friends and bloggers :

Here I would like to share two simple recipes, a
carrot thoran(side dish) and another, a simple sambar. Embarking on a discussing
of sambar ,god knows there are many recipes in preparing sambar.The interesting
thing is each race offers its own unique style ,contributing to a wide range of
sambar preparation.I know about 5 varieties of sambar recipes only.There are many ways to prepare which I have still yet
to discover.In time, I hope to increase my knowledge in the different type of
preparing sambars. First of all I would like to clear one simple point to my
malaysian friends about sambar.
There is a difference between sambar and the
dhall curry that you get in the mamak stalls for roti canai.Sambar is made with
toor dhall and dhall curry that we deliciously finger lick is made with
australian dhall/chana dhall. Both these dhalls differ in taste. Sambar is a
dish that is serve in the Indian restaurant when you go for lunch. In these type
of restaurants they serve sambar with roti canai too. They are equally finger licking good.
Mamak stalls are more famous to serve dhall curry to sambar. But nowadayz there
are some who do serve sambar in their menu.

In preparing sambar, I prefer to use malawi
dhall is equivalent in taste with toor dhall.I came to realize that malawi
dhall cooks and plays its role as a thickening agent more faster then toor dhall.
Its easily available in Malaysia and comes form our neighbouring country
Indonesia.To prepare this curry you can use toor or malawi dhall.

And for those who do cook sambar at home, why
not try this simple recipe.There is no grinding involved.You can even prepare it
for Onam.

Now to the 1st recipe :
Sambar ( A Curry Dish)

The main veges that I would recommend would be
drumstick / white radish or okra.Choose only one type of veges mentioned
for the sambar.And to go with it would be brinjals and tomatoes. If using
drumstick or white radish you can combine potatoes with it.If using okra
preferable with brinjal and tomatoes excluding potatoes.


1 cup toor dhall or malawi dhall
11/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies(slit in the middle)
1/2 tsp chilli powder (added in sambar so that
the dish dont look too yellowish)

2 large onions (chopped)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 dried chillies (split into 3)
a pinch of Asafoetida powder (Hing/Kayam)
1 sprig curry leaves
tamarind(size of a marble)
salt to taste

5 drumstick (cut into a few parts)
2 potatoes (peel of the skin , quarter and cut
into 3 parts)

2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 small brinjal (cut into 6 or 8 parts)

Pound together
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic


Wash the dal. Boil 3 cups of water and cook dhall in it.Add the pounded garlic/cumin paste and slit green chillies
into it. Leave the dhall to cook until tender.Mash the tamarind in 1 cup water
and strain.Leave aside.

After about 10 mins , add in turmeric powder,
chilli powder and Asafoetida powder into the dhall mixture.

Meanwhile in a wok, heat up 3 tbsp of oil,add in
dried chillies,followed by mustard seeds, fenugreek, and curry leaves.Mix in
chopped onions.Saute until onions turn transculent .Then add in all the
vegetables :tomatoes, brinjals ,drumsticks and potatoes. Stir fry all the
ingredients for a minute.

Check to see whether the dhall is fully
cooked.Transfer all the vegetables from the wok into the boiling dhall
mixture..Add in the tamarind juice and salt to taste. At this stage add in about
3 cups of water.Leave to simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked.In between
try smashing the cooked brinjals.This will help to thicken the curry.If the
curry is too thick you can add water .

Recipe source : My MIL's which I have varied

The 2nd recipe for today:

Carrot Thoran (Carrot Stir-Fry -A side
dish )

This is rather a very simple side dish.Carrots
once cooked with a bit of oil usually ends up sweet.So ,its a way to get our
kidz to take veges.Having kidz who are rather selective in their vegetables,this
dish seem to be one that they like!.This is one of my daughter's favourite dish.


2 cups grated carrots
1 onions (chopped)
1/2 a green chilli (sliced thinly)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp grated fresh coconut
salt to taste


Heat the wok with 2-3 tbsp of oil.Add in chopped
garlic ,onions and green chillies.Saute for a minute.Add in cumin seeds and stir
further.Saute until onions soften.Add in grated carrot and stir until all the
ingredients get well incorporated.Sprinkle some water.Mix in turmeric
powder.Leave to cook until carrot has soften.

Once carrot has soften add salt to taste and
grated coconut.Well combine all the ingredients.Finally add in curry
leaves.Close fire.This dish is ready to be served.Goes well as a side dish
for sambar or fish curry.

Thanks for visiting!
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