I think many of you have tasted this Hotel Sambar in HSB (Hotel Saravana Bhavan), which has a chain of branches worldwide and I think no intro is needed about the taste and hygienic food served there. This hotel and the sambar served there have so many cherishable memories in my heart. After marriage, when I moved to Chennai, the first dinner with hubby is in HSB only. As my Mil’s house is very close to the main branch in Vadapalani, at least twice in a week we go to this restaurant and I have tasted almost all the food varieties in the menu card there, wonderful 8 years in Chennai!. Coming to the recipe, the secret is in the grinding of tomato and fried gram, which makes a drastic difference from other sambar recipes. This Saravana Bhavan Style Sambar Recipe pairs well with idli, dosa, ven pongal, vada, rava upma too.
- Idli Sambar Recipe
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The secret of this Saravana Bhavan Style Sambar Recipe / Hotel Sambar is in grinding of tomato and fried gram, which makes a difference from other sambar.
- 1/2 Cup Toor Dal
- 1/2 Cup Mixed Vegetables Carrot, Brinjal, Drumstick, Potato
- 1 Small Tomato
- 1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 3 tsp Sambar Powder
- Salt As Required
- Tamarind Small Gooseberry sized
- 1.5 tbsp Coconut
- 2 tsp Fried Gram
- 1 Small Tomato
- 1 tbsp Oil / Ghee
- 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Urad Dal
- 1/4 tsp Methi Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Jeera
- 1 Red Chilli
- 1 Green Chilli
- 8 to 10 Shallots
- 2 Pinch Hing
- 2 Sprig Curry Leaves
Rinse the toor dal, pour 1.5 cup of water and pressure cook it for 5 to 6 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, mash the dal well. Soak tamarind in hot water for 20 mins, squeeze the pulp and extract tamarind water.
For grinding, chop coconut into small pieces and tomato roughly. Then chop tomato, brinjal, carrot and keep aside.
Transfer the ingredients 'To Grind' to a mixer. Then grind it to a smooth paste by adding very little water.
To a pan, pour 1/2 tbsp of oil and add tomato. Then add brinjal, carrot and saute everything for a while. Now pour little water and boil for 5 to 6 mins in medium flame, till the veggies get cooked.
Add turmeric powder, required salt and sambar powder.
Then add cooked dal and the grinded coconut paste. Let it boil for another 3 mins till the raw smell of the coconut paste leaves.
Pour tamarind water, mix well and cook covered for 2 mins.
For tempering, peel the skin of shallots, slit chilli and get ready with the other ingredients. To a pan, pour oil / ghee, add mustard seeds, urad dal and let it splutter.
Then add methi seeds, jeera, chilli, shallots and saute a little.
Add hing and curry leaves. Now pour the tempered items over the hot sambar.
Serve this hotel Saravana Bhavan style sambar recipe with ragi dosa.
1. I used brinjal and carrot. Other veggies like drumstick, potato etc., can also be added.
2. Adjust chilli and sambar powder as per spice level preferred for this hotel sambar.
3. Don’t add tomato or tamarind more than mentioned, as this sambar should not be too tangy.
4. Don’t skip fried gram, as this the main ingredient, which gives texture, thickness and flavour to the sambar.
5. Pour tamarind extract only after the veggies get cooked, else it won’t get cooked afterwards.
6. Tempering, at last, helps to retain the flavour for a long time.
7. Use ghee for tempering, which adds more flavour to this saravana bhavan style sambar recipe.
8. Shallots are a must for this sambar along with the veggies as it lends more taste. Don’t use regular onions.
9. This sambar thickens very soon, so add hot water accordingly before serving.
10. If preferred, very little jaggery / sugar can be added, at last, to enhance the taste.