Leeks Sambar

Leeks sambar is yet another a simple sambar recipe prepared with leeks and homemade sambar powder. Instead of grinding the coconut, I sautéed it along with leeks to enhance the flavor. This is a perfect side for rice and also for tiffin like idly and dosa. I cannot skip sambar when it comes to Tamil Nadu Cuisine so here I am adding  one more to my sambar category.

LeeksSambhar

I need to thank all my friends including my blogger friends for helping me out with this A-Z food challenge. The alphabet L should be an easy one right? But I have already posted Lemon rice, Lemon Rasam, Lemon Pickle. Laddu like Halwa I need to master it well. So picking a Tamil Nadu recipe starting with alphabet L became very difficult. That’s when I and Preethi had a conversation about  Vegetable Boxes. Like subscription boxes, you can sign up for organic vegetable boxes and get them delivered to your door step every week. These boxes always have unique veggies and when we were discussing Indian recipes with them, I got this idea of Leeks sambar. She tried endives curry and I tried leeks sambar.

LeeksSambar1

Leeks:

Leeks are vegetable that belong to the garlic and onion family. It is the bigger version of green onions. :-)  Even though it has lots of folate, Vitamin K and Vitamin B, I guess because of its availability it didn’t reach the mass like onions and garlic and became a regional veggie. It cannot be eaten raw like onions and garlic but once cooked it has mild onion flavor with a slight hint of sweetness. It perfectly fits in sambar and a great onion replacement.

Leeks

How to Use Leeks:

Buy leeks which have dark green leaves with white bottom. Yellow ones are not that good. Basically like green onion we use only the white and pale green part.

  • Chop the top layered part and wash them well in cold water.
  • Remove the bottom edge too.
  • Then either chop them length wise or in rounds.
  • For this sambar, I chopped them in rounds.

ChoppedLeeks

Now coming to sambar, usually we grind coconut or use coconut milk in sambar. But in this version I am just sautéing it along with leeks and it turned to really good. We all loved the texture. I served this with rice and the beet root curry.

LeeksSambar2

So here comes Leeks Sambar for L,        

Ingredients:

  • Leeks – 2 cups
  • Sambar podi – 1 tbsp heaped approximately 1.25 tbsps
  • Toor dhal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbsps
  • Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp (levelled) or 1 small gooseberry size
  • Water – as needed
  • Salt – 2 tsps
  • Rice flour – 2 tsps
  • Chopped Cilantro – for garnishing
  • For tempering:
  • Oil – 2 tsps
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Methi Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Hing – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 strand

Prep Work:

  • If you are using tamarind, soak the tamarind in luke warm water for about 30 minutes and extract 1 cup of juice. If you are using paste, mix 1 tbsp of tamarind paste in 1 cup of water and set aside.
  • Pressure cook ¼ cup of toor dal with 2 cups of water and once it is cooled down mash it well and set aside.
  • Mix the sambar podi in 1 cup of water and set aside. Mixing with water and adding ensures that there are no lumps.
  • Clean and chop the leeks as mentioned above.

Steps:

  • Heat the pan or kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and methi seeds and hing.
  • As they start to splutter add the curry leaves and chopped leeks.
  • Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.

LeeksSambharStep1

  • Now add the 2 tbsps of grated coconut and mix well. Sauté for a minute and then add the tamarind water/extract.

LeeksSambharStep2

  • Add salt and mix well. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add the sambar powder mixed water and mix well. Let it simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes.

LeeksSambharStep3

  • Add the mashed toor dal mix and add 1 cup of water depending upon the consistency.
  • Bring it to a boil and check for salt at this stage. If you need thick consistency, mix 2 tsps of rice flour in 2 tbsps of water and add it to the sambar and bring it to boil. If you need thin consistency add more water and bring it to a boil.
  • As it starts to boil, turn off the heat. Garnish it with cilantro and serve hot with rice or any tiffin items.

LeeksSambharStep4

Notes:

  • Grated coconut is completely optional. But it adds nice flavor and texture.
  • You can add veggies of your choice.
  • A small piece of jaggery can be added. As I didn’t add too much spice, I skipped the jaggery this time.
  •  Also while tempering you can add couple of red chillies.

LeeksSambar

Leeks Sambar
Leeks sambar is prepared with homemade sambar powder and instead of grinding the coconut, we are sautéing it along with leeks to enhance the flavor.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. Leeks - 2 cups
  2. Sambhar podi - 1 tbsp heaped approximately 1.25 tbsps
  3. Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
  4. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  5. Coconut - 2 tbsps
  6. Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp (levelled) or 1 small gooseberry size
  7. Water – as needed
  8. Salt – 2 tsps
  9. Rice flour – 2 tsps
  10. Chopped Cilantro – for garnishing
For tempering
  1. Oil – 2 tsps
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Methi Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Hing – ¼ tsp
  5. Curry leaves – 1 strand
Prep Work
  1. If you are using tamarind, soak the tamarind in luke warm water for about 30 minutes and extract 1 cup of juice. If you are using paste, mix 1 tbsp of tamarind paste in 1 cup of water and set aside.
  2. Pressure cook ¼ cup of toor dal with 2 cups of water and once it is cooled down mash it well and set aside.
  3. Mix the sambar podi in 1 cup of water and set aside. Mixing with water and adding ensures that there are no lumps.
  4. Clean and chop the leeks as mentioned above.
Method
  1. Heat the pan or kadai and add oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and methi seeds and hing.
  3. As they start to splutter add the curry leaves and chopped leeks.
  4. Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Now add the 2 tbsps of grated coconut and mix well. Sauté for a minute and then add the tamarind water/extract.
  6. Add salt and mix well. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Then add the sambar powder mixed water and mix well. Let it simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Add the mashed toor dal mix and add 1 cup of water depending upon the consistency.
  9. Bring it to a boil and check for salt at this stage. If you need thick consistency, mix 2 tsps of rice flour in 2 tbsps of water and add it to the sambar and bring it to boil. If you need thin consistency add more water and bring it to a boil.
  10. As it starts to boil, turn off the heat. Garnish it with cilantro and serve hot with rice or any tiffin items.
Notes
  1. Grated coconut is completely optional. But it adds nice flavor and texture.
  2. You can add veggies of your choice.
  3. A small piece of jaggery can be added. As I didn’t add too much spice, I skipped the jaggery this time.
  4. Also while tempering you can add couple of red chillies.
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40 thoughts on “Leeks Sambar

  1. Amara

    Love your innovative idea of using leaks in sambhar. Never tried them in Indian dishes. Will try it soon:)

  2. That is a quite innovative sambar. I have used leeks very few times as they are rarely available here. The sambar with sautéed coconut and leeks looks so comforting..

  3. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

    I have never heard of leek sambar. Love how flavorful, delish and comfy this sambar is. YUM!

  4. I guess finding a regional recipe starting with ‘L’ proved to be a challenge to all, doing south Indian states.
    You improvised with leeks over the obvious choice of lemon and came up with a yummy and comforting sambhar.

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