Sambar is a gravy in which vegetables are cooked in tamarind water along with the spices and lentils.In vengaya sambar , shallots are cooked in the tamarind gravy . This is a special kind of sambar and is usually prepared during special occasions especially when you have guests . At my place, my mom used to make on sundays or holidays. We used to have a relaxed lunch to relish this delicacy with hot rice. Shallots are available in plenty in singapore, but I buy them rarely. These days, I was craving for the spicy vengaya sambar and I made them during the last weekend .We enjoyed them with hot steamed rice. Dosas tastes great with this sambar. I usually refrigerate the left over and use it for dosas the next day.
Chinna Vengaya sambar!!
Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil and roast udid dal , channa dal,coriander seeds, red chillies and around 3-4 baby onions (shallots) till they turn golden brown. Cool and grind it to a paste.
Add warm water to the tamarind. Leave it for sometime and the squeeze out the pulp.
Heat the remaining oil . Add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds along with the curry leaves
Add all the shallots and saute till they turn slightly brown. Add the tomato if using . Now add the sambar paste along with salt and asafoetida. Mix well and pour the tamarind pulp. Add around 2 glasses of water and allow it to boil for around 10 minutes.(the raw smell of tamarind should go away and the shallot should be tender.) Now add the cooked tuvar dal. Mix well and cook till the sambar thickens.
Roast the grated coconut till it turns brown and add it to the sambar.