- 100 gm parboiled pigeon peas (tur dal)
- Tamarind (about the size of a lemon)
- 1/4 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 50 gm French beans
- 1/4 cup diced potato
- 5 drumstick chunks—3 inches each
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Red chili Powder
- 3 red chilies
- 2 bean-sized chunks asafetida
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 11/2 tbsp sambar powder
- 1/2 tsp rice flour
- 250 ml water
- 2 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
Idli sambar are almost inseparable members on a traditional South Indian platter. Idlies are steamed cakes made of fermented rice-and-lentil batter. The first menu item in any South Indian restaurant is invariably idli. Sambar is basically spiced lentil soup. The main ingredient in Sambar is tamarind concentrate. The tanginess of tamarind cuts through soft and bland idlies, making the whole idli-sambar combination a big hit in Indian cuisine.
Fermentation provides mild sourness to idlies and blends well with contrasting flavors, such as spicygun powder, rich coconut chutney, and tangy sambar. People who don’t consume spice can have sugar, milk, or curd with idli. Sambar, however, can also be prepared with moderate use of spices.
The fermentation involved in making idlis is extremely beneficial for gut health. Idlis are perhaps one of the world’s healthiest breakfast—they are fermented, steamed, and extremely gentle on the stomach. Idlis are so healthy that, in South India, that they are one the first solid foods introduced to infants.
Sambar is rich in protein and contains antioxidants from tamarind. Drumsticks, also known as Moringa, have anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties. The vegetable,and many other parts of the Moringa tree, have been used in Acient Indian medicine (Ayurveda) from time immemorial.
How to make Idli Sambar
To prepare idlis, grease idli molds with sesame oil, pour idli batter into the molds and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: Do not fill the molds completely. Ensure that there is room for batter to rise.
March 30th is celebrated as World Idly Day!