Ash Gourd Sambar
|Ash gourd||500 Gram, skinned|
|Red gram||4 Cup (64 tbs), cooked|
|Coconut||1 Tablespoon, grated|
|Sambhar masala||3 Tablespoon|
|Tamarind||1 Tablespoon (1 Lemon Sized Ball)|
|Fresh coriander||1 Tablespoon, chopped|
|Mustard seeds||1 Teaspoon|
|Fenugreek seeds||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Cumin seeds||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Turmeric powder||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
Cook the dal till soft and set aside.
Skin the ash gourd and preserve skins for use in chutney.
Chop off the soft portion of the ash gourd and reserve for use in soups.
Chop the rest of the gourd into 1 inch cubes.
Soak the tamarind in a cup of water and extract the juice.
In a deep thick bottomed pan place the ash gourd cubes and pour the tamarind extract overs it.
Add enough water to cover theft vegetable and cook it.
Tie up the coriander stalks together and float them into the mixture.
Add the sambhar masala and just enough salt required for the! vegetable and cook till the ash gourd becomes sort but not squishy.
By this time your neighbours would have come over to ask what cooking because the aroma of the sambhar masala would have invited them in.
Next, mash the cooked dal thoroughly so that it nas no identity of its own and add it to the vegetable.
Again add salt, now for the sake of the dal.
If you add all the salt right at the beginning the vegetable will absorb it all and taste like the salt pans of Mumbai.
The cooked dal will also contain some amount of water hut if you wish you could add more water to bring the sambhar to the consistency you desire.
Bring the mixture to the boil, let it simmer for five minutes and take off flame.
Heat the oil in a pan and place the mustard seeds in it.
When they splutter add the rest of the seasoning ingredients, stir fry for a minute and pour the seasoning directly on to the sambhar.
This is probably the high point of the cooking when the aroma of the seasoning infuses with the aroma of the cooked sambhar.
Cover the sambhar immediately so that the aromas infuse together.
Just before serving pick out the coriander stalks, sprinkle the chopped coriander on top and serve hot with rice, idli, dosa.