Sambar

A South Indian dish, Sambar (sahm-buhr) IS served with boiled rice or, for a more substantial meal, with a meat or fish curry. If toovar dhal is not available, any type of lentil may be substituted.

8 oz. toovar dhal, washed, soaked in cold water for

1 hour and drained ;{ teaspoon ground fenugreek

2 pints water

11 teaspoons salt

2 oz. cup fresh coconut, chopped

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 oz. tamarind

8 fl. oz. boiling water

2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon asafoetida (optional)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 green chilli, finely chopped

In a large saucepan, bring the dhal, fenugreek, water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the dhal, un-covered, for 1 hour or until it is soft. Remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized frying-pan, cook the coconut, cumin and coriander seeds and cinnamon, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool. Puree the mix-ture in a blender with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Spoon the puree into a small bowl and set aside.

Place the tamarind in a small mixing bowl. Pour over the boiling water and set it aside until the mixture is cool. Pour the contents of the bowl through a strainer into a small saucepan. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press as much of the tamarind pulp through the strainer as possible. Discard the pulp in the strainer.

Place the saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the sugar, chilli powder, coriander leaves and the remaining salt. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a small frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, stir in the turmeric, asafoetida, if you are using it, the garlic and chilli. Reduce the heat to low and fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Spoon the contents of the pan into the dhal with the tamarind mixture and the coconut and spice puree. Stir well to mix. Return the pan to low heat. Cook the dhal mixture for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sambar into a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. .: % &1/2& i-6v

Samosas

Samosas (suhm-oh-suhs) are small pastry cones stuffed with spicy minced meat or vegetables. In India they are served as snacks but they can also included as part of a meal. Serve Samosas with a Mint or Tamarind Chutney.

8 oz. flour

2 teaspoon salt

1 oz. butter

2 TO 3 fl. oz. water

1 oz. butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 green chillis, finely chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

12 oz. lean minced meat

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons garam masala juice of I lemon sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and, with your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in 2 fluid ounces of the water and mix it in with a knife to make a smooth dough. Add a little more of the water if the dough looks too dry. Pat the dough into a ball and turn it out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead it well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and clastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set it aside while you make the filling.

In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion, garlic, chillis and ginger and fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.

Add the turmeric and chilli powder and stir well to mix. Add the meat and salt and, stirring constantly, cook until the meat is cooked and all the moisture has been absorbed.

Stir in the garam masala and the lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set the mixture aside to cool.

Divide the dough into 15 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball and roll it out into a circle about 4-inches in diameter. Cut each circle in half. Dampen the cut edges of each semi-circle with water and shape them into cones. Fill the cones with a little of the filling, dampen the top and bottom edges of the cones and then pinch them together to seal. Set aside.

Fill a deep-frying pan one-third full with the vegetable oil. Heat the pan over moderate heat until it reaches 360 °F on a deep-fat thermometer or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 50 seconds.

Carefully lower a few of the samosas into the hot oil and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the samosas from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Set aside and keep warm while you fry and drain the remaining samosas in the same way.

Pile the samosas into a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

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