Poondu Sambar recipe or Garlic sambar belongs to the South Arcot Cuisine. We use raw garlic pods to make this sambar which gives it a unique flavor and aroma. We do not use any onion or tomato to make this poondu sambar.
I learned this recipe from my MIL and came to know that a sambar can actually be made with just garlic alone only after my marriage.
Like I said earlier, this sambar does not have any other vegetables like we usually add in other sambar recipes.
If you happen to love garlic as much as I do, this will be a real treat for your lunch. The taste and flavor of this sambar is very unique and the best recipe to make when you do not happen to have any vegetables staring at you in your refrigerator.
This poondu sambar actually tastes much better the next day. Of course as we use dal, I usually reheat it once before going to bed and it stays good the next day. I will not advise you refrigerate it though as the entire flavour and taste will not be the same.
Note while making poondu sambar:
1. Use only country or “Naattu” poondu, the small variety to make this sambar. Avoid using the Chinese garlic that’s also called as “Malai” poondu.
2. Adjust the quantity of garlic pods according to your preference.
3. Do not add any other vegetable or onion for this sambar.
4. Vengaya Kari Vadagam or Thalippu Vadagam is very important for tempering, as this sambar gets its unique flavor and aroma from it. But if you do not happen to have, just skip it while tempering.
Poondu Sambar Recipe details below:
- Poondu (Garlic), peeled – pods from 2 medium sized bulbs
- Tur dal (Pigeon Peas) – 1/2 cup
- Tamarind – 1 small lemon size ball
- Sambar powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Vengaya Kari Vadagam – 1/2 tsp
- Whole dry red chillies – 2
- Asafetida – 1/8 tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 mins. Extract pulp and keep aside.
- Wash and soak tur dal for 10 mins. In a pressure cooker, place the dal, turmeric powder, enough water and cook for 2-3 whistles till the dal is soft. Mash well and keep aside.
- Place the peeled garlic in a mortar and just pound them once with the pestle. The garlic should just have a crack, just enough to let out its aroma. You can do them individually too if you do not mind the time it takes. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add vengaya kari vadagam, asafetida, broken whole dry red chilies and sauté for 1/2 minute.
- Add the tamarind pulp, salt and the garlic pods. Let it come to a bubbling boil.
- Add sambar powder, mix well and cook over medium flame for 2 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
- Add the mashed tur dal, mix well, simmer the flame, close with a lid and cook for 5-7 mins. The flavors would have merged by now.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, add fresh curry leaves, mix well, close with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Poondu Sambar is ready to be served with hot steamed rice.