I have had several requests for the sambar powder recipe. As I have mentioned before, the taste of a good sambar depends almost completely upon the powder used. Of course, these powders are available at retail outlets all over the country. These, however, a characterless and highly avoidable as you will land up with an insipid sambar. It is best to make the powder yourself – a fairly simple process.
There are several variations of the sambar powder. Almost each household has their own ‘secret’ recipe. Some contain sesame seeds, others roasted coconut or even a little jaggery. My recipe is the very basic recipe. But this will also give you a flavourful sambar. It’s aroma should pervade your entire house during the preparation process.
Sambar powder can be stored for about 6 months without refrigeration. But please keep in mind that the longer it is stored, the less the aroma.
100 gms dried red chillies
200 gms coriander seeds (sabut dhania, kothamalli varai)
50 gms pigeon peas (tur dal, thuvaram parupu)
50 gms Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai paruppu)
2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dhana, venthiyam)
2 tsp black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch, kurumilagu)
Roast each of the above ingredients, separately
Grind all of them together into a fine powder
Store in an air-tight container (will stay good for at least 6 months, though the aroma will decrease with time)
Use while preparing sambar (please refer to my sambar recipe under main dishes)