Sambar is a popular lentil-based vegetable stew in South Indian cuisine. It is a staple food in many households and is typically served with rice, idli, dosa, or vada. The key ingredient that gives Sambar its unique flavor and aroma is Sambar powder. In this article, we will discuss how to make homemade Sambar powder that is healthy, flavorful, and easy to prepare.
What is Sambar Powder?
Sambar powder is a blend of spices that gives Sambar its distinct flavor and aroma. It is a key ingredient in many South Indian dishes, especially Sambar. The powder is a combination of various spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chilies, turmeric powder, and asafoetida. Each spice has its unique flavor and aroma, which contributes to the overall taste of Sambar.
Ingredients Required for Making Homemade Sambar Powder
To make homemade Sambar powder, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup fenugreek seeds
- 20-25 dried red chilies
- 1/4 cup turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp asafoetida
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Homemade Sambar Powder
Follow these simple steps to make your own Sambar powder at home:
Step 1: Dry Roasting the Spices
- Heat a pan over medium flame and add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds.
- Dry roast the spices for 2-3 minutes or until they turn aromatic and start to crackle.
- Add the dried red chilies to the pan and roast for another minute.
- Remove from heat and let it cool.
Step 2: Grinding the Spices
- Once the spices have cooled down, add them to a blender along with turmeric powder and asafoetida.
- Grind the spices to a fine powder.
- Sieve the powder to remove any coarse particles.
Step 3: Storing the Sambar Powder
- Transfer the Sambar powder to an airtight container.
- Store it in a cool and dry place.
- The Sambar powder can be used for up to 6 months.
Health Benefits of Homemade Sambar Powder
Homemade Sambar powder has numerous health benefits due to the various spices used in it. Some of the benefits are:
- Coriander seeds are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cumin seeds help in digestion and improve immunity.
- Mustard seeds have antibacterial properties and are good for the skin.
- Fenugreek seeds help in controlling diabetes and cholesterol levels.
- Dried red chilies help in boosting metabolism and reducing inflammation.
- Turmeric powder has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and helps in reducing inflammation.
- Asafoetida aids digestion and helps in reducing bloating.
Homemade Sambar powder is easy to make, healthy, and flavorful. It is a key ingredient in many South Indian dishes and gives Sambar its unique flavor and aroma. By making Sambar powder at home, you can ensure that it is free from preservatives and additives. So, next time you plan to make Sambar, try making your own Sambar powder and see the difference in taste.
- Is it necessary to dry roast the spices before grinding them?
Yes, dry roasting the spices helps in releasing the essential oils, which enhances the flavor and aroma of the Sambar powder.
- Can I adjust the spice levels according to my taste?
Yes, you can adjust the amount of dried red chilies according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder Sambar powder, you can reduce the amount of red chilies.
- Can I use store-bought spices to make Sambar powder?
Yes, you can use store-bought spices, but it is always better to make your own Sambar powder to ensure that it is free from preservatives and additives.
- Can I use this Sambar powder for other dishes as well?
Yes, you can use this Sambar powder in other South Indian dishes like Rasam, Kuzhambu, and Poriyal.
- How long can I store the Sambar powder?
You can store the Sambar powder in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for up to 6 months.