Here’s an easy canned pumpkin sambar recipe perfect for busy women and men.
I love canned pumpkin. Canning is just a form of food preservation. I have visited canning plants here in the US, as an engineer, and it is remarkable how efficiently these vegetables are processed without anybody even touching them.
Always read the ingredients. Canned pumpkin is usually 100% pumpkin. How awesome is that? That product just saved me time from going to the store, buying a section of yellow pumpkin, storing it in the back of the fridge, taking it after few days with half rotten parts, struggling with a huge knife to cut into chunks, scrape all seeds out and then cook it.
Parts of a typical Sambar
Sambar is a stew made of 4 basic parts:
1) Cooked toor dal – I always cook toor dal for 2 days together – refrigerate or freeze the next day’s portion.
2) Tamarind – You can soak tamarind in water. Again, I do this in bulk too and store it in the fridge. Because tamarind is acidic, it preserves really well. Nowadays, you get 100% tamarind puree (no preservatives) that I also completely recommend.
3) Sambar powder – It is nothing fancy – basically roasted lentils with some south Indian spices in certain proportions.
4) Vegetables – Drumstick, zuchinni, brinjal,carrot, frozen veggies etc work very well. I used canned pumpkin here.
Pumpkin Nutrition Info
Did you see the Vitamin A content of canned pumpkin? At 250% it is off the charts in providing you a very valuable vitamin. As an added bonus, we get iron at 6% of daily value -a much needed mineral for vegetarians.
Pumpkin Sambar Recipe
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
for making sambar:
⦁ Tamarind – Soak a golf ball size of tamarind in 2 cups of water (maybe more if you are storing for later)
⦁ Toor daal – 1/2 cup cooked and mashed
⦁ Pumpkin – 1/3 of a can
⦁ Sambar Powder – 3 teaspoons
for tempering (tadka):
⦁ 1 tablespoon oil
⦁ 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
⦁ 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
⦁ Curry leaves (depending on availability)
⦁ 2 pinches of hing
⦁ salt as required
1. Add tadka items
2. Add 2 cups of tamarind water
3. Add 3 teaspoons sambar powder and salt
4. Add cooked dal
Quick note – the dal should be well-mashed and hot. Only then will it emulsify well into the rest of the stew. Otherwise, you will have lentil puree at the bottom and clear liquid at the top.
5. Add 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
6. Boil well.
Sambar is ready!! Serve!!
Additional Notes and Resources:
South Indian sambar is like a soup – make it as simple or as complex as you wish. Bloggers like Subbus kitchen or Kanamma cooks can give you plenty of nuances and tips in elevating your day-day sambar to the next level.
Let me know your comments, your ideas and your success/ failure in recreating these recipes. My readers and I would love to hear from you!!