- Type: Street Food / Breakfast
- Place of Origin: India
- Region: South India
- Main Ingredients: Urad Dal, Parboiled rice, Tamarind broth, lentils, vegetables
Street food is considered to be cheap yet tasty food. However, this can sometimes be unhealthy also due to the use of extra oil or spices. Street food that can be cheap, light, and at the same time tasty also is what we call Idli Sambar.
Idli Sambar is one of the most healthy and light Street food. A soft and fluffy rice cake made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented rice and lentils, Idli and the Sambar is a lentil-based curry made with vegetables with the topping of seasoning and tamarind. A savory Street food breakfast originating in Tamil Nadu is also a popular cuisine in South India. While walking in the streets of Tamil Nadu, one can easily find vendors selling Idli Sambar. People often used to eat it as breakfast while going to work and also prefer to eat it at night as well.
There are several proofs from history which prove the origination of Idli Sambar from Tamil Nadu. Idli was used as itali in one of the earliest extant Tamil works, Maccapuranam from the 17th Century, and the word Sambar is derived from the Tamil word champāram, which was also used several times in the 1530 CE Tamil Inscription. However, some sources also claim that the origin of the Idli Sambar is Karnataka, where Idli Sambar is also very famous and liked by the locals.
Making of Idli Sambar
Making of Idli- Urad Dal, Parboiled rice, Fenugreek, and salt to taste
- Take 2 cups of Parboiled rice and 1 cup of Urad dal with 1tnsp of fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and let them soak in separate vessels for min 4 hours
- Now wash and drain the parboiled rice and add the required amount of water and blend it in a smooth paste. Apply the same process with urad dal
- Now in a Container add both the paste and salt and mix well. Cover the container with a lead and keep it aside for 12 hours for fermentation.
- After the fermentation mix the idli batter again and now in the greased (with oil) idli moldput a spoonful of the idli batter
(Tips – Fenugreek seeds are very important to be soaked in Urad dal, as it will give the idlis a fluffy texture but do not add a lot of fenugreek seeds as it will make the idli batter)
Making of Sambar- Split Pigeon Pea (Toor Dal), Sambar Masala, Vegetables, Tamarind, Jaggery, and Spices
- In a pressure, take ¾ cup of Toor Dal with 2 cups of water and pressure cook it for 2-4 whistle to get a soft and mushy texture of dal
- Now as the pressure cooker releases the steam, open the lid and mash the dal with the help of a masher. Keep it aside
- For the Sambar Powder, on medium flame dry roast 4-5 red chilies, 1tbsp chana dal, and 1tsp of Urad Dal until it turns to golden color, now add 1 tbsp of coriander seeds and roast it until it leaves its aroma. Remove it to a plate and let it cool.
- Now take ½ tsp of fenugreek (methi) until it turns slightly dark, now lower the flame and add ½ tsp of cumin and roast till it leaves the aroma. Turn off the flame and let it cool
- Now grind all the ingredients in a fine powder
- In a large pot, heat 1tsp of oil and add 1 medium size diced onion and sauté for a minute then add 1-2 drumsticks, 1 large tomato chopped, and 1 medium size diced carrot and again sauté it for 2-3 mins. (can also add eggplant, potatoes, and ladies finger)
- Then add ½ tsp red chili powder and pour 4-5 cups of water and mix it and let it cook
- In a bowl put 1 tbsp of warm water and add 1-2tbsp tamarind and 1 tbsp Jaggery and let it soak for a while.
- When the vegetables are cooked add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 ½ to 2 tbsp of Sambar Masala, and salt to taste, cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies turn soft.
- Take out the tamarind seeds and add the tamarind-jaggery (as per required) water to the Sambar
- Now add the mashed dal to the pot, mix it and bring it to a boil.
- In a small pan heat 1 tbsp of Oil and ½ tsp mustard seeds, 4-5 fenugreek seeds, and 1-2 broken red chilies, once the mustard seeds pop add 7-8 curry leaves.
- When the curry leaves became crisp add 1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing).
- Add the tempering to the Sambar and Close the lid.
[Homemade Sambar Masala- For the Sambar Powder, on medium flame dry roast 4-5 red chilies, 1tbsp chana dal, and 1tsp of Urad Dal until it turns to golden color, now add 1 tbsp of coriander seeds and roast it until it leaves its aroma. Remove it to a plate and let it cool. Now take ½ tsp of fenugreek (methi) until it turns slightly dark, now lower the flame and add ½ tsp of cumin and roast till it leaves the aroma. Turn off the flame and let it cool. Now grind all the ingredients in a fine powder]
One serving of Sambar contains 122 calories, out of which carbohydrates comprise 72 calories, proteins account for 20 calories and the remaining calories come from fat which contains 31 calories. One serving of Sambar provides about 6 percent of the total daily calorie required for a standard adult diet of 2000 calories.
One medium-sized Idli has 36-38 calories out of which 3 grams consist of protein, 2-4 grams of dietary fiber, and 5-10 grams consist of carbohydrates
Made with a light fermented batter consisting of parboiled rice, urad dal, and a few seeds of fenugreek, steamed and turned into rice cakes and paired up with delicious and tangy Sambar made with lentils, vegetables, and tamarind is a perfect breakfast street food to a start a day with.
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