Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )

Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )

For the next few days - we are going to be having traditional Tambram food for lunch. When it's just me, I usually make one-pot meals which have a fair balance of carbs, proteins and loads of vegetables. Now that I have company for the next couple of weeks, proper lunch it is!

I'm just doing this for fun to chronicle how many such traditional (read non-fusion) recipes I can cook :) Anyway it is also a great way to share authentic (almost) recipes from my heritage with anyone who may be interested

All items are accompanied by rice / broken wheat and with lots of yogurt to end the meal.

Serves 3-4 people

Day One - Sunday

Menu

  • Vengaya Sambar
  • Potato Roast
  • Vendakai Curry
  • Special add on: Fried vadam
Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )For the next few days - we are going to be having traditional Tambram food for lunch. When it's just me, I usually make one-pot meals which have a fair balance of carbs, proteins and loads of vegetables. Now that I have company for the next couple of weeks, proper lunch it is! I'm just doing this fo...

Summary

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    Ingredients

    For Vengaya Sambar (Onion sambar):
    Tur dal (pressure cooked with pinch of hing and mashed)
    3/4 cup
    Medium sized onions (peeled and quartered)
    5
    Oil
    2 tsps
    Asafoetida 
    pinch(fat)
    Fenugreek seeds
    1/4 tsp
    Mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves
    2 sprigs
    Dried red chilli broken
    1
    Turmeric powder
    1/4 tsp
    Ready tamarind paste soaked in water and extracted (or 1 lemon sized ball ) 
    2 tsps
    Sambar powder
    3 tsps
    Salt  or to taste
    1 tsp
    For Potato Roast:
    Medium potoes, boiled, skinned and cubed
    5
    Oil
    2 tbsps
    For the dry marinade:
    Fine rice flour
    1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder
    1/4-1/2 tsp
    Salt
    1 1/2 tsps
    Red chilli powder
    2 tsps
    Coriander powder
    2 tsps
    For Tempering:
    Asafoetida 
    pinch(fat)
    Mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds
    1 tsp
    Fennel seeds
    1/2 tsp
    Bengal gram dal (chana dal)
    1 tsp
    Udad dal
    1 tsp
    Curry leaves
    2 sprigs
    Finely chopped coriander for garnish
    1 tbsp
    For Vendakkai Curry (Dry okra / lady's finger / bhindi saute):
    Thickly sliced okra
    2 cups
    Oil
    1 tbsp
    Mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp
    Broken dried red chillies
    2
    Udad dal
    1 tsp
    Turmeric powder
    1/4 tsp
    Salt
    1 tsp

    Steps

    1. Recipe for Vengaya Sambar (Onion sambar):
      Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )
    2. In a heavy pan, heat the oil. Temper with asafoetida, fenugreek, mustard, curry leaves, dried chilli and saute for a few seconds.
    3. Add the quartered onions, turmeric, pinch of salt, saute on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
    4. Add a glass of water, cover and cook till onions are soft.
    5. In a bowl, make a slurry with sambar powder, tamarind paste and 1/2 cup water.
    6. Add this slurry to the softened onions, bring to a simmer.
    7. Next add the mashed dal, salt, bring to a simmer.
    8. Check for salt and sourness, adjust and bring to a simmer again.
    9. Remove from flame and keep covered until ready to serve with rice.
    10. Recipe for Potato Roast:
      Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )
    11. Sprinkle the ingredients for the dry marinade on the boiled potato cubes, coat using light hands and keep aside for 15 min - half hour.
    12. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add all the tempering ingredients, stir around till the dals turn golden.
    13. Add the spiced potato cubes, toss well to coat with whole spices. Let the potato brown on a low flame. For this it is necessary that you don't keep tossing them around, keep them on a low flame and turn around after 10 minutes, to brown the other sides.
    14. Once ready, garnish with coriander and serve hot.
    15. Recipe for Vendakkai Curry (Dry okra / lady's finger / bhindi saute):
      Traditional Lunch Series - Day 1 ( Vengaya sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast )
    16. In a wok, heat oil. Splutter the mustard seeds, fry the red chillies and saute the udad dal till golden. Add in the sliced okra, tumeric and salt and saute on medium flame off and on for 7-8 minutes till okra is cooked yet lightly crunchy.
    17. Do not cover while cooking.
    18. Serve with rice and rasam / sambar / mor kozhambu.

    Notes:

    Vengaya Sambar (Onion sambar):

    This tastes better after 1-2 hours of making it, as the flavours improve with time.

    You can use chinna vengayam (Madras onions / Shallots) instead of regular onions.

    I will share with you the recipe for homemade sambar powder in a later post, you can use MTR sambar powder instead.

    Potato Roast:

    The udad dal, bengal gram, fennel seeds and curry leaves are not added in a typical Iyer style roast, I have incorporated some Chettinad flavours in this. So you can avoid them to make a simpler roast.

    Vendakkai Curry (Dry okra / lady's finger / bhindi saute):

    A curry in Tamil Brahmin cuisine is a dry sauteed preparation, not involving any gravy. Most 'curries' are prepared in the similar manner using a variety of vegetables.

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