Drumstick sambar (nuggekayi huli) step-by-step recipe with photos.
Sambar is a South-Indian style dal made with toor dal (pigeon pea), tamarind, and an aromatic spice blend known as sambar powder. Sambar pairs well not just with steamed rice, but also with idli and dosa. This makes sambar an integral part of south Indian meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A traditional sambar has a good proportion of dal, made mostly with a single variety of vegetable, and is definitely made with homemade sambar powder.
Drumstick sambar is my favourite version of sambar. I can eat it with every meal of the day. Be it breakfast where freshly steamed idlis float in a pool of drumstick sambar or steamed rice mixed with nuggekayi huli and tuppa (ghee) at lunch – I cannot get enough of it.
Drumstick is a rare vegetable for us here in Melbourne. We either don’t get good quality fresh drumsticks or they are ridiculously expensive. So I make this sambar with frozen drumsticks that are available in the Indian stores here. They taste just as good as made with the fresh ones, even though I would always prefer making them with fresh drumsticks.
To make drumstick sambar, I saute some onions and tomatoes in ghee, and add drumstick, sambar powder, tamarind, jaggery and salt. Once the drumstick is cooked, I add boiled toor dal and let it simmer. I then make tempering (seasoning) in ghee which I mix with the sambar. You may choose to skip the onion and tomatoes and just boil the drumsticks, but making it this way definitely brings out the best taste of this sambar.
To make authentic Karnataka-style-sambar powder, click here.
For more Karnataka recipes, click here.
Drumstick sambar step-by-step recipe with photos:
1. Boil toor dal in a pressure cooker
2. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add onion and saute until it is translucent
3. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly mushy
4. Add chayote squash, tamarind extract, jaggery, sambar powder, salt. Add water and cook
5. Add the toor dal and simmer for 5-10 minutes
6. Prepare tempering (seasoning) in a small pan
7. Pour this tempering onto the sambar
Drumstick sambar served with idli
FOR THE SAMBAR: