¾ cup tuvar dal. Cook in a pressure cooker or in a microwave with ½ tsp turmeric and enough water so you have at least a cup of stock you can reserve for the rasam, along with a spoonful of the cooked lentils
1 tsp canola or vegetable oil
1 sprig curry leaves
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
2 cups of red pumpkin, peeled and cut in a ½-inch dice. Microwave the pumpkin with ½ cup of water for about 7-8 minutes until tender
1 tsp tamarind extract, or a 1-inch ball of tamarind, soaked in water, then juices extracted by crushing with fingers
A pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 tbsp jaggery (an unrefined Indian sugar)
For the ground masala:
½ tsp vegetable or canola oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram dal
1 tsp udad dal or black gram dal
3 dried red chillies
¼ cup grated coconut
A generous pinch of asafetida
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
Stir fry the ingredients for the ground masala except the coconut in the oil until they are toasted and lightly golden.
Transfer to a blender. In the same pan, fry the coconut until it just begins to brown.
Add to the blender. Grind the masala with just enough water to make a fairly smooth paste.
For the sambar:
Heat oil in a large saucepan
Add the cumin and mustard seeds and asafetida.
When the seeds sputter, add curry leaves and then tamarind extract plus 1 cup water.
Let the water come to a boil, then add the ground masala.
Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add the cooked pumpkin pieces and stir in.
Add the cooked tuvar dal and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add jaggery and stir in. If the sambar is too thick, add some water.
Serve hot with rice.
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at http://holycowvegan.net/2008/10/plate-of-south-indian-comfort-sambar.html