November 18, 2008

Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar)

Winter's here. At least it feels that way in the morning, late evening, and night. When I first moved to Gurgaon 9 years ago, I was rather surprised to see people selling radish smeared with salt and masalas on the roadside. Wary as I was of roadside raw food, I mustered the courage to bite into a juicy radish. I must admit, that I'm hooked. The freshest, crunchiest and juiciest radishes make their way into the markets about now. And biting into one is a great thing to do when the scorching sun sends you signals telling you that he still rules during the day, no matter what the scene might be when he goes to bed.

I don't know of too many dishes that involve radish. Amma makes the loveliest mooli ki rotis. And amchis use it in a dish called sukke. A regular at our place growing up was radish sambar. I couldn't stand the smell of radish in sambar. I would try every trick in the trade. Try and get only the dal part of the sambar over my rice, conveniently leaving out the radish pieces. Or take the smallest portion of rice, about a tablespoon or so, for sambar and then rush to the rasam rice course like there was a race of some kind.

I suppose I have finally grown up. I made radish sambar at home. But I made it in the one way that I not only tolerate sambar, but actually enjoy it. And when the colder days come, my nirvana is simply: A plateful of steaming hot rice, a spoonful of ghee, ladlefuls of this sambar over it, appalams and potato roast on the side.


1/4 kg Radish, chopped into 2" sticks
2/3 cup Toor Dal

For the masala:

1/2 tsp Oil
1 tbsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Asafoetida
3 Red Chillies
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
2 tbsp Chana Dal
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tbsp Peppercorns

2 tbsp Scraped Coconut

For the tempering:
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 Green Chilli, slit
1 Red Chilli
4 tbsp Tamarind Paste
Salt to Taste

Cook the dal and radish in a pressure cooker with enough water.

Heat the 1/2 tsp oil in a small kadhai. Add all the ingredients for the masala except the coconut. Roast for 4-5 minutes on a low flame. Add the coconut and fry for another minute. Grind to a fine paste.

Heat oil in a vessel. Add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, red and green chillies and fry for a minute. Add the masala and fry for a couple of minutes more. Add the tamarind paste and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the cooked dal and radish and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

While I get ready to eat my meal, why don't you check out the blogs of my fellow marathon runners: Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Lakshmi, Lakshmi Venkatesh , Sripriya, Viji, Kamalika, DK, and Pavani.


Finla said...

I have never coked with radish. This sambar looks really yumm.
Love the colour too.

CurryLeaf said...

I agree with happycook.Never ever radish.the sambar is lovely though

Swapna said...

Looks good...Hi, I am in gurgaon too....Phase 5. maybe we can get in touch :)

Divya Kudua said...

I like radish only in sambhar..;-)great recipe and I love the color of the sambhar!!

lubnakarim06 said...

Recently i taste mooli. Sambar with mooli is an yum idea. Looks gr8.

Vcuisine said...

The series is going well Raaga. Nice recipes. Viji

Suganya said...

I usually don't add jeera and pepper to sambar. Sounds great.

Sig said...

raw radish as street food? Wow, I have never seen that. BTW, I like the color of your sambar... I am not a sambar fan, but this one's look - me likes... :)

Raaga said...

@Happy Cook & Curry Leaf: Do try it. This is an easy way to start :-)

@Swapna: My neighbour? :-)Let's catch up sometime.

@Divya: The only way? I'll treat you to my mooli parathas soon :-)

@Kitchen Flavours: It is yum... do let me know if you try it.

@Viji: Thanks :-)

@Sug: My paatti's recipe... through my mom :-)

@Sig: People only hear about the oily fatty street food of Delhi... cucumber, carrots, radish... all with some masala become crunchy healthy(??) street food :-)