Ratna Cafe Style Sambar | Sambar for Idli, Dosa| Tiffin sambar

Ratna cafe tiffin sambar
Ratna Cafe Tiffîn sambar is most sought after by its loyal patrons who prefer to douse their soft idlis in a plate full of sambar . It is not unheard of for patrons to request for additional cups of sambar rather than more idlis . Such is the craving and there is no denying that people order idlis just to drink that yummy sambar . 
An attempt to recreate that taste at home .
Ratna  cafe tiffîn sambar 
To be roasted and ground to paste
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp Chana dal
  • Big pinch of asafoetida powder or crystal
  • 1  tsp pottukadalai ( fried gram to be added while grinding )
  • 3-4 red Kashmiri chilies
  • 3 -4 tbsp desiccated or  fresh grated coconut
  • 2 tsp gingelly oil ( sesame oil ) 
To be ground with above roasted ingredients to a paste
  • 4-5 small shallots
  •  1 medium ripe tomato
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 tbsp jaggery . 
  • Other ingredients to prepare sambar
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 3 tbsp moong dal ( paasi parup )
  • Some vegetables like drumsticks ,carrots etc
  • 1-2   medium Size ripe  tangy tomatoes finely chopped .
  • 10- 12  shallots
  • 1 green chilly slit 
  • A pinch of turmeric powder 
For tempering 
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 2 tsp oil/ ghee 
  • Some curry leaves and fresh coriander leaves for garnishing 
1. Pressure cook toor dal and moong dal  with 1/2 cup of cubed yellow pumpkins and  1 ripe tomato 
Mash well  after cooling , by adding some water and keep aside . 
2. Roast and grind to paste above mentioned ingredients under roast and grind  heading along with shallots , tomato  , green chilly and pottukadalai . ( fried gram ) Keep this paste aside . 
  • Take a pan add some oil and first  splutter mustard seeds , sautée the green chilly , shallots , curry leaves .
  • Add chopped tomatoes ,mash lightly while sauteeing , add other vegetables  like drumstick , carrots,  ( don’t add too many vegetables as you will have observed that hotel sambar don’t have too much vegetables but thick sambar liquid . )
  • Add little water , salt , turmeric powder and let this veggie mixture cook till softened but not mushy  .
  • Next add the mashed dal  pumpkin, tomato ,mixture to the cooking vegetables and keep stirring with ladle in a light mashing way so that vegetables and dal blend well .
  • Next add the ground sambar masala paste by diluting further and keep stirring sambar mixture as now the sambar gets thicker and likely to stick at bottom so you need to dilute till a semi thick sambar consistency is achieved .
  • Adjust salt . 
Don’t allow sambar to boil over but simmer gently in a low flame .
Temper with cumin seeds , curry leaves and red chilly either in ghee or sesame oil ,
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves . 
This sambar tastes delicious when  served with soft idlis and ghee drizzled on top . 
Makes excellent accompaniment for  Pongal or dosa too . 
Note : As tangy tomatoes have been used, this tiffin sambar doesnt need tamrind water, if you have doubts, use a small pinch only .
A tiny bit of tamrind may be added while roasting ingredients and ground along with the roast and grind ingredients mentioned above . 
Ratna Cafe tiffin sambar


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