Daikon in Sambar
Sambar is South Indian comfort food. It’s a mix of mashed nutty lentils, tomatoes and simple spices finished with the tanginess of tamarind. There are many different varieties and all families seem to have their own tricks. Regardless, you follow the same essential steps no matter of the type of sambar. Take a bowl of fresh basmati rice, ladle hot sambar over it and top it off with a splash of buttermilk or yogurt – you’ll be left warmed to your core and feeling content.
|Sambar (Spicy Lentil Soup)
~makes about 6 servings~
1. In a medium or large saucepan, heat about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds pop.
If the sambar is too liquidy, either let it boil longer or remove some of the liquid and whisk a little rice flour in it then add back to the pot.
**You can choose from a lot of different vegetables for sambar. Slightly porous veggies that will absorb the stew but hold up in the liquid work best. My favorite sambar varieties are:
Many of you likely read this harrowing article in the New York Times earlier this week about the problem of child hunger in India. For the last three years, Rajat and I have volunteered for the Akshaya Patra Foundation. Akshaya Patra, which means “never-ending bowl” in Sanskrit, feeds nearly 1 million children a day for only $28/child per year across India. Their mission is to eradicate hunger and increase education. The meals are customized by region, and interestingly part of the meal that children in South India eat is sambar and yogurt. We visited their Jaipur kitchen last year, and the scaling and technology is amazing. The Chapati Queen pictured below can make 10,000 chapatis in an hour! I’m trying to figure out how I can get one of these (and who will share that many chapatis with me!) . The Akshaya Patra model is even being studied by other countries because it’s considered one of the most effective.
We’re having an information session this Thursday, March 19th at 620 Eighth Avenue (btw 40th and 41st) in NY, NY at 6:30 pm. If you’re interested in attending, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daikon Sambar with Rice
Pearl Onion Sambar