Saturday, January 28, 2017

Japanese Mullangi Sambar - Spicy Lentil Gravy With Japanese Daikon/ Radish

I was flabbergasted when I received a couple of the just harvested jumbo size white radish from my neighbour. Each radish was at least 18 inches long with a crown of feathery green leaves. The sight of the fresh, tender and juicy vegetables triggered nostalgia of my Pati's (grandmother's) Mullangi Sambar. Her Mullangi Sambar had lots and lots of 'thaan' (a Tamil word, meaning vegetables in sambar or in other gravies) and the thick sambar was a mere coating for the vegetables! Thanks to the Japanese Mullangi, we got to relish my 'Pati Style' Mullangi Sambar after a very long time!


White Radish/Daikon - 2 (6 if they are native variety)
Split pigeon peas/ Tuvar dal - 1 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Tamarind - A plum size ball
Tomato - 1( Halved)
Salt - 1 3/4 tsps
Sambar Powder - 2 tsps
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chillies - 2 (broken)
Curry leaves - A few
Rice flour - 1 tsp (For thickening)
1. Wash, peel and make vertical slits along the Mullangis.
2. Now chop them horizontally so that the mullangi pieces look like sticks.

3. Pressure cook dal to a mushy consistency adding  two cups of water and turmeric powder.
4. Soak tamarind and tomato in boiling water. Squeeze and extract a thick juice.
5. Add salt, sambar powder and curry leaves to the extracted juice.
6. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Add broken red chillies and fry till they turn crisp. Pour the seasoning into the tamarind-tomato extract.
7. Set the seasoned tamarind-tomato juice on the stove.
8. When it starts to boil add the chopped Mullangi and cook on medium flame till the vegetable is done. Do not add more water. See that the tamarind juice is just enough to cover and cook the vegetable.
9. When the Mullangi becomes tender, add the pressure cooked and mashed dal and cook till you get a thick blend of the vegetables and dal mixture.
10. Mix little water with rice flour and add the paste to the sambar. Cook for two or three more minutes and switch off flame.

Enjoy the extra thick Japanese Mullangi Sambar with steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of fresh ghee. Enjoy the sambar with dosas, chapatis and poories as well.

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