For the coconut paste
50g coconut, grated
3-4 red chillies (whole)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (whole)
K tsp cumin seeds
5-7 peppercorns (whole)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chana dal
For the sambhar
150g tuvar dal
4-5 baby brinjals (cut into large dices)
1 drumstick (cut into K-inch sticks)
1 tsp urad dal (white, without skin)
5-7 Madras onions (peeled)
4 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
N tsp asafoetida powder
K tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 dry red chillies (whole)
1 tsp turmeric powder
4-5 cloves of garlic (cut into thick slivers)
5-10 curry leaves
1 tsp ghee made from cow milk (for garnish)
Salt to taste
Boil the tuvar dal with turmeric powder and salt to taste.
To make the coconut paste, roast the dry spices (turmeric powder, red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns, fennel seeds and the chana dal) on a griddle along with the grated coconut. Grind into a fine paste.
To make the sambhar, heat oil over a medium flame in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, cumin seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Add Madras onions, followed by garlic and vegetables. Add water and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tamarind pulp and pour in the tuvar dal and mix gently. Add the asafoetida powder. Mix well and cook until vegetables are soft.
Put in the coconut paste. Simmer till well cooked. If required, adjust salt and consistency.
Optionally serve with idli, dosa or rice.
A meal for two at Zambar costs Rs.1,500 (plus taxes). For reservations, dial 0124-4665639. Zambar, Level 3, Ambience Mall, NH8, Gurgaon.