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Sambhar powder, a blend of spices and lentils, is used in South Indian Dals. It is possible to buy Sambhar Powder from an Indian Grocer, but things always taste better if you make them yourself from scatch! I haven't made this yet but, personally, I would cut down on the number of chillies!! The amount it makes is an educated guess. Adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey.
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon asafetida powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons channa dal (split gram lentils)
- 2 teaspoons Urad Dal (split black lentils)
- 2 teaspoons split yellow lentils (toor dal)
- 20 fresh curry leaves, if available
- 12 whole dried red chilies, stalks and seeds removed,to taste
- Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a heavy pan, over medium heat, and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and coriander seeds.
- Stir and roast for 3-4 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to take care that the spices don't burn.
- Add the asafoetida and turmeric powders, stir and remove pan from the heat.
- Transfer spices to a bowl to cool.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and roast the three types of lentils for a couple of minutes.
- When they start to colour add the curry leaves and dried chillies, and continue roasting until chillies have darkened, again taking care the contents do not burn.
- Add the pan contents to the bowl and cool along with the spices.
- In small batches, grind the spice mix in a clean coffee grinder until fine.
- Store in a tightly closed jar away from heat and sunlight.
- This will last from several months to a year.