There are many varieties of sambar powder that people make as it is one of the main dishes of the south Indian cuisine. I was quite used to the sambar powder that we made at home before my marriage. We not only used the sambar powder just for sambar alone but for many other porials (side dishes) also. It was like a multi purpose powder that could be used with various dishes. I never liked the sambar made with the powder that I purchase from the shops. One time I tried it and it was not an experience that I wanted to repeat. I feel that the shop-purchased powder has a pungent smell to it that ruined the sambar itself.
So, after getting married I was a bit apprehensive of the type of sambar powder that my in-laws would use. Thankfully my MIL made the exact version of powder that I used to make at home before my marriage. I breathed a sigh of relief. Here is the sambar powder recipe which could be used for side dishes also.
What U need:
Round red chillies (Gundu milagai) – ¼ kg
Coriander seeds – ½ kg
Curry leaves – 2 fistfuls
Cumin seeds – 100 gm
Black pepper corns – 100 gm
Turmeric stalks – 100 gm
Methi seeds – 50 gm
Raw rice – 200 gm (optional)
Rock salt – 1 tsp
What to do:
Dry the chillies, coriander seeds, turmeric stalks and the curry leaves in hot sun and to the on the day that you take this to the flour mill for grinding add the other ingredients. Usually I use all this powder in 2 – 3 months time.
If not you can dry roast all the items in a kadai except turmeric stalks and rice and grind them to a powder.
The idea of adding rice is because it acts as a thickening agent and while making porials it also coats the veggies well and quickly absorbs the moisture in the dishes.