Over the years, I’ve tried finding out why it’s called Sambaar Kaaram but nobody I know could come up with an explanation, only that it doesn’t have anything to do with Saambaar, something that I faithfully repeat every time I refer to it. I haven’t seen any reference to it on the Net either, well, beyond the first 50-60 results that Google threw up, anyway. I suspect this is what is called koora kaaram though the recipes vary in ingredients and proportions.
This kaaram featured in my previous post, where I showed off all my acquisitions from my recent trip home. It attracted the attention of Mathy, who wanted the recipe for this as well as some other kaarams mentioned there. I was able to provide a link to some of them but for this, had to ask my aunt.
It has a great aromatic smell, reminiscent of that of raw mango smeared with salt and chilli powder, which probably comes from the garlic (now figure that out if you can, that’s the irrational romantic in me speaking) but let me tell you this – its uses do not end with flavouring other dishes – it makes a great accompaniment to idlis with ghee! Let your imagination run riot!
Here’s the recipe:
Dry red chillies: 500 gm (remove the stalks)
Coriander seeds: 250 gm
Fenugreek/Methi seeds: 50 gm
Cumin/jeera seeds: 50 gm
Black gram/urad dal: A little less than 50 gm
Salt, to taste
Garlic: to taste
Dry roast the first five ingredients separately.
Let cool, whiz to a powder in the grinder.
Crush garlic roughly, add to the powder and whiz again. Not too much, though!
Store in an airtight container.
Sambaar Kaaram Red chillies Spice Mix