Monday, June 05, 2006

Namboori Sambar

Namboori Sambar/Namboothiri Sambar is a local variety of Sambar very popular in some parts of Kerala...I'm not sure whether the name owes to the Namboothiri who cooked it or the cuisine style of the Namboothiri(Kerala Brahmins) sect....Namboothiris in Kerala are known to have a very elite culinary culture, a very tasty one indeed...Some sections of the Namboothiris are famous as 'Adukkala Namboothiris' or Kitchen Nampoothiris who cooked food in some of the famous Temples in Kerala like the Vaikom Siva temple(Muttassu Namboothiri family) or in the Royal families.It is quite interesting to note here that all the cooking ingredients are basically divided into 'Satwik' and 'Asatwik' according to the Indian Brahminical tradition. Satwik is considered to be divine and edible while Asatwik are not.So Non vegetarian, garlic,onions etc belong to the Asatwik category and Brahmins generally do not prefer them....It is believed that eating Asatwik food stimulates asatwik qualities in man....which means that non vegetarians tend to have more negative inclinations!! Ha! Ha!Could be true...We dont spare our fellow beings!!...Unfortunately we are weak hearted beings who succumb to the temptations...a chicken fry? Gone to thin air all our divinity!!...Well,may be it is 'Satwik' quality of the food that made it all the more very tempting.Interestingly Whatever could be the origin of the name but this sambar will make you lick all the five fingers!!(Not so pleasant a sight? Try it, and u can't resist it!).Unfortunately my Namboori Sambar has not come so photogenic to match its classic taste, but dont be put off, tis definitely an excellent sambar variety.


Ash gourd(kumbalanga/Gummidikaya)-200g(cut into pieces)
Red gram-50g
Turmeric-a pinch
tamarind paste-1/2 tsp
Green chilli-4-slitted
Asafoetida(Heeng/Kaayam)-a pinch(powdered)
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Salt-as required
Water-as required

For Grinding

Dry Red chilli-3
Dry Corriander seeds-2 tsp
Bengal gram-1tsp
Red Gram-1tsp
Fenugreek seeds-one pinch
Grated coconut-1tbsp
Water-As required

For seasoning

Gingelly oil-1tsp
Ghee-1 tsp
Mustard seed-1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds-a pinch
Asafoetida-a small pinch


Heat Ghee in a wok.Add all the ingredients for grinding except grated coconut. Saute them well,till you get that fine aroma.Grind them into a fine paste.Now Saaute coconut separately.Saute it for a couple of minutes.Coconut should not become red.Grind it into a coarse paste.Mix all the ground paste well adding water as required. Meanwhile pressure cook the ash gourd, red gram with green chilli and turmeric. Now add the ground paste to the cooked dal and mix it well.Simmer it for 2 minutes. Now Heat oil and ghee in a small wok and prepare the seasoning. Finally add the seasoning to the Sambar. 'Namboori' Sambar is ready.This goes brilliantly with steamed rice and even with Chappathi.For some real interesting info on Namboothiris, their origin and culture,try this link:
  • Namboothiri


    Bindu Vijayakumar said...

    Hi Indiandoc

    Your blog has some great recipes...need to check them out.

    KrishnaArjuna said...

    ID, sambar looks delicious. I am a huge fan of sambar and always looking out for different recipes..
    This joins my must try list!

    Vineela said...

    Hi ID,
    My mom mak ethis sambar.
    I will try this one day.Thanks for sharing.

    Anonymous said...

    Good Lord! you blogged so many recipes! I have to look at them one by one!

    archana said...

    Thank you for posting the recipe and giving a nice introduction for it.

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx bindu,ka,vineela,lg,and archana for dropping in....

    Anonymous said...

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

    Rashmi said...

    hi ID...
    jst a little confused with wat u mean by red gram...

    Anonymous said...

    Being a namboodiri myself, I didn't know that namboodiris use ghee for seasoning sambar!
    My grandmother used coriander seeds, red chillies, fenugreek, curry leaves and coconut for the masala paste and the seasoning was with coconut oil.
    Maybe its a variation of namboodiri cuisine according to regions.

    indianadoc said...

    >rashmi, it is tur dal, or tuvaraparippu
    >Anonymous, may be this namboodiri who started this sambar was a 'ghee priyan'!!Well, recipes are never really changes with hands,with region and with even the mood of the cook on a particular day!! ;)