Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sambar and a dash of gyan

OK so this post is purely for my reference and will be of no interest to you. Like i mentioned before this food blog was started not because of my love for food and cooking, but because this was just an easier way to draft all the recipes i have tried. Otherwise i spend endless hours searching the net for the perfect this and that and at the end of it feel so irritated. So for the sambar i searched the internet quite a number of times to get an easy sambar recipe and ended up whipping up one of my own with outlines from here and there. I mean how much interesting can a sambar be anyway? I dont get many of the veggies required for the sambar from the local supermarket and so make it only when i visit East Ham (the ultimate desi area) and pick up ready made dosa maavu. It lasts us forever and by the end of it we get sambar sick.

Toor dal/urud dal- a cup
Water- enough to cook the dal
Salt- a few dashes
Turmeric- a pinch

Veggies- okra, beans, potatoes, drumstick, carrots, tomatoes, small onions (as you like it)
Large Onion- 1, thinly sliced
Garlic paste- 1 tsp
Green chillis- 3 thinly sliced
Sambar pwd- 3 tbs (heap)
Asafoetida- a pinch
Tamarind paste- 1 tsp diluted in half cup water
Oil- 2 tbs
Salt- to taste

To temper:
Coriander pwd- 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilli- 2 crumbled
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Oil- 1 tbs

Coriander leaves- to garnish

Cook the dal with turmeric, salt and water required. Mash and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and sautee the onions, green chillies and garlic paste. Once they become translucent add all the veggies, the sambar powder and a pinch of asafoetida. Mix well. The powder must coat all the veggies well. To this add the dal mix (i don't drain the water, but use it to cook the veggies) and if water is not sufficient enough, add water and also pour the tamarind water. Mix well. Check for salt and add the required amount. This must be cooked on low heat till the veggies are cooked and have taken in the flavour of the sambar pwd. When it starts to boil, take it off the heat and keep covered.
Just before you serve do the tadka. Heat some oil in a pan and when piping hot add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, throw in the rest of the items and mix well. Remove and pour into the sambar and mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Notes: I know this is an elaborate way of making sambar and there are simpler ways of doing it all at one go in a pressure cooker. My fear of cookers have put me off this process:)
You can add some more chilli pwd, as this is not a very spicy version and i prefer it to be more spicy but my overgrown baby (read Ro) cant handle spice and so i have to do accordingly.
Doing the tadka gives that extra flavour to the sambar and adding coriander pwd and cumin seeds is my personal choice because i like what they do to the sambar. But its optional and you can just temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
I also dont like my sambar watery and so this is a thick version.

Also, i am assuming there are hundreds of ways to make sambar and in the blog world itself i have seen so many of them. I hope i don't get a mail saying i have copied this off someones blog and declared it as my own. My reason for saying this is because i have been following a couple of blogs accusing people of plagiarism and patenting recipes. Doesn't this take the whole fun out of blogging? Why do people make such a big deal out of it. If it is a picture that was copied, I understand you have every right to be pissed. But this person has stated that the recipe matched more or less (but not 100 percent) and that credit should have been given to her blog for displaying it. If that was the case, each time we make something, we have to do a hundred searches online, see if someone else has made something similar and then give credit to whoever has. Isn't that silly and immature? Whether or not credit is given to the original recipe shouldn't be of concern here. If you do get it, good for you. It should be taken in the right spirit and you should be glad someone out there is trying out the recipe you posted. If it was that great a recipe then you probably shouldnt have posted it online in the first place. I personally would be thrilled if someone did try out a recipe from my post and wont accuse that person of plagiarism. And what amazed me was the number of comments saying she did the right thing and a couple of days later i saw the blog she was accusing and there again the same people have commented saying it was silly of the other to make this an issue in the first place. Hypocrisy? is that to be appreciated? Seriously people, get a life! So what if someone copied your recipe? Don't let it get to your head. Take it in the right spirit and move on!!!


Ambili Jayachandran said...

hey nish,

yesterde when i checked ur blog ( its in my fav list-btw) for new recipes, i just happened to go the blog which u ve mentioned.. I absolutely agree with u-i ve no idea y the hell the blogger got so worked up!!
one good thing is I got so pissed that I decided never to visit the blog again :)

nyways- kudos to u!

An Open Book said...

Exactly totally put me off that blog as well..and it did for a few others i know also..
And again thank a lot lot for following my blog:)

Enigma said...

Way to go Nishi.... hehe quite an effort u r putting in... Ya i guess many poepl make smabar differenly and anyway most of the kerala style will be almost same, nothin for people to make a big commotion abt similar recipies and all the stuff...

but gr8 to know that u tried smabr..heheh i hate smaber and mom loves it...she made some dayb4 and poured it onto the middle part of my rice so that i would be forced to eat it...but she does make it nicely and i guess its gr8..i prefer moru more thats the prob :)
But hats of to u for making it :)

miri goes phishing! said...

your sambar recipe looks interesting...its so different from mine...;)...for some reason i have this feeling that the lengthier the processes the better the dish wud taste...i might be wrong...but the shorter versions always makes me think its a short cut...;)

love your take on plagiarism incident we saw the other day...cudn't agree more...i wish i could confidently say it's put me off enuf not to go back to her blog...but her pics and recipes are so simple and creative....what the hell...i will follow my own advice to her n' move on i guess..

An Open Book said... maid in chennai makes the yummiest sambar ever and the funny part is only em and ro likes it, no one else. Mine is just about average. We are not big fans either, but with the occasional dosa we have, sambar seems to be a good option.
Miri...haha jus like u mentioned, i have this feeling tht the more expensive an ingredient is the better quality it will be and i have major trouble deciding to buy simple things like peppercorns in a supermarket cos there are so many brands. I have also been wrong with this conception:)
I wanted to be a bit more straight about the issue but Ro dissuaded me from it. I was just too pisd with the blogger.

Shades of Grey said...

I though sambar was a traditional dish passed on from grandmas...who the hell has a copyright to it???

An Open Book said... never know...there are these over protective bloggers out there who seem to be copyrighting all the ancient recipes jus cos they tried it and makes a big deal out of it if someone else tried it saying its been copied and calls it plagiarism

Reflections said...

U knw I learnt to make sambhar after 6 yrs of marriage....& I make it from scratch like I dont use sambhar powder...howzaaat;-D

And agree with u on tht plagarism bit;-D

An Open Book said... might taste amazing whn u make it with fresh spices and stuff right? Does urs last forver..cos much ever little dal i take, it lasts us forever and ultimately end us wasting it