Vengaya means onion in the Tamil language. Onion Sambar is one of the most favorite dishes in South Indian states which is ideal for a healthy breakfast. It is commonly served at every restaurant in South Indian and Sri Lankan states and also can be found in any restaurant that serves traditional South Indian dishes.
There are different ways to make Onion Sambar recipe and each one has its own twist. It is an onion and vegetable stew prepared with a mouth-watering tamarind broth which goes well with rice and also with idli, dosa, vada, Pongal, Upma, and some other dishes.
Onion sambar and potato roast also complement each other. You can prepare this sambar with small onions/pearl onions or big onions. Although, this recipe tastes heavenly irrespective of the onion you use to make it.
Spices: ‘The key to flavor and aroma’
Adding seasoning brings out a pleasant aroma in the dishes. Using fresh curry leaves in sambar brings out a tempting and unique aroma.
Turmeric brings out the flavor of the Red gram dal (Tuvar dal). In some cases, the vegetable oil used also plays a role in giving a different aroma and flavor to the recipe. In Tamil Nadu, sesame oil is used whereas in Kerala coconut oil is preferred. You can add coconut paste as well to add another dimension of flavor to this Vengaya Sambar.
Nutrition: ‘Your health always comes first’
Yes, Vengaya Sambar is super healthy. The main ingredients of this recipe are toor dal and sambar onions. Let us look at each one of them.
Toor dal: It is high in protein and fibers that help kids in their growth period. Hence, it is an ideal food to be included in breakfast.
Onions: It is an excellent antioxidant which helps to boost your immunity. Also, it helps to regulate your blood pressure.
Almost everyone can enjoy this recipe including diabetic patients, pregnant women and kids in their growing age. A healthy meal would be Araichuvitta Vengaya Sambar and steamed rice accompanied with a vegetable side dish.
Ingredients for Vengaya Sambar
- 250 gms Pearl Onions (Sambar Vengayam) peeled
- 1/2 cup Toor Dal
- 1 cup Tamarind Extract
- Salt as per taste
- Coriander Leaves handful
- 8 Red Chillies
- 3 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 2 tsp Channa Dal
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 4 to 5 Shallots (Sambar Onion)
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida Powder
- 3 to4 tblsp Coconut grated
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- Curry Leaves few
- Asafoetida Powder a pinch
How to make Vengaya Sambar
- Cook the dal in a pressure cooker till soft.
- Mash well and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan.
- Add the first four ingredients given for grinding and fry until golden.
- Remove from pan and combine with the onions and coconut.
- Grind to a fine paste.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan.
- Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida powder.
- After 15 seconds, add the onions and cook for a minute.
- Add some water and cook for another minute.
- Add the tamarind extract and salt.
- Simmer for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Add the cooked dal and mix well.
- Add the ground masala and stir to mix well.
- When the sambar starts to boil, garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve with steamed rice.