Wash and pat dry curry leaves and keep aside till required
Wash and finely chop and keep aside coriander leaves
Soak tamarind in boiling water (just to cover it by 1 inch) for about 10 mins. Mash it in your hands and strain and discard the seeds and skin.
Wash and cut radish into 2 inch thick roundels, now cut each roundels into 4 quarters.
Pressure cook all ingredients under ‘to pressure cook‘ till 1 whistle now simmer on medium flame for another 20 minutes. Remove from fire. By now it should be mashed to a ‘baby food consistency‘, if not mash it.
Meanwhile, dry roast all ingredients under ‘dry roast‘ for 5 minutes on low flame till you get the fine aroma of the roasted spices.
Add to the soft and mashed lentils, the roasted spices, radish, tamarind water, salt, fenugreek and asafoetida; cook on high heat for one whistle, simmer on medium flame for another 10 mins and take of from heat. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Meanwhile in a non-stick pan heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
Reduce flame and add curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds till they curl and get fried up.
Add the sliced shallots and sauté till translucent. Add this mix to the ready sambar.
Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle ghee if you so desire.
Serve with brown rice and pappadam.
Bawarchi of the Week
A self-taught cook, Abraham Chacko says his mother is his inspiration: As a child, he would follow her around the kitchen as she prepared flavorful, lip-smacking dishes.