Ripe mango and drumstick sambar

This is a rustic sambar. The mangoes to be used for this sambar are the ripe small cooking mangoes that are readily available in the markets during summer, in the Southern states of India. The sweetness of the mango is drastically reduced when you cook it in tamarind water and what you get is a perfectly balanced tart and spicy sambar with an underlying flavour of the mango. Pair it with murungakkay or drumstick and the taste is just out of this world.

Mangoes – 8-10
Drumstick – 2 (cut into 2” pieces)
Tamarind – size of large lemon (extract 2 cups of tamarind water)
Tuvar dal – 1/2 cup (cook with adequate water in pressure cooker)
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste


For the masala
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies – 3-4 
Asafoetida – a pinch 
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 20
Oil – 1 tsp


For tempering
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies – 1-2
Oil – 1 tsp


In a large kadai prepare the masala by frying all the masala ingredients except coconut in the oil till golden brown. Add the coconut and fry till it is also well browned. Set this aside to cool and grind with water to a fine paste.

In the same kadai take the two cups of tamarind water. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt and when it comes to a boil add the mangoes and drumstick. Allow to cook till the mangoes and drumstick are tender. Add the masala and mashed tuvar dal. Let it all boil for five minutes and remove from stove. Temper with mustard seeds, fenugreek, asafoetida and chillies in a tsp of oil. Serve hot with rice and ghee. Serves 6

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