Chow Chow Sambar ~ South Indian Lunch Thali

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For the second day of the Indian Thali series, I planned to post my own mini version of Ugadi Special. However, after thinking about it, I decided with almost the same dishes to present, with only one new dish, there wasn’t much I was going to bring forth. I was very happy that I was able to get my planned number of thalis all ready, just before the BM begins, leaving me unfretted and comfy to handle other things. Now that puts in spot and now I have to plan for another thali which will have to wait for the weekend!

Coming back to the post for today, it’s a simple luncheon that was prepared during a weekday. It features a typical menu that’s prepared at home and what we pack for lunch. Only this time we ended up coming to home for lunch. The thali features a Sambar, with Vegetables on the side. As many of you know, there are so many variations in making a sambar. Though a basic sambar recipe is pretty much the same, with different vegetables it’s prepared differently.

South Indian Thali
South Indian Simple Lunch Thali
The most important component in a Sambar that makes or breaks a Sambar, of course, is the Sambar Podi. This integral part of Tamil Cuisine is a delicious mix of lentils and spices. When it comes to the Sambars that we make at home, the best part has always been the fact that we use homemade Sambar powder. Though Sambar is typically not part of the Andhra Thali, it has now come to be considered a common dish. The sambar powder /podi that Amma makes, is something that’s been tweaked to our own taste, and trust me, it comes out simply delicious. So there was never a reason for us to try Store bought sambar powder. For a period in between when Parents had gone overseas, I was forced to buy a ready mix packet, that still needed to be sent to the mill. It was passable. We always felt that we needed to come out of our arrogant thought that our Sambar powder was the best.
Kakarakaya Vepudu ~ Bitter Gourd Stir Fry
To prove that, for our share, we have tried store bought ready to use Sambar powders a couple of times, only to throw them right away. We finally gave up the thought and decided to carry on until we can with the grinding business. A couple of months ago, Aashirvaad circulated its new Sambar powder for customers to try. Deciding that it was high time we came out of our archaic thoughts, we tried and to our surprise, we actually liked the Sambar. Since then I always buy a packet for occasional use.
Amma was also subjected to the same experience and was asked to try out MTR Sambar powder recently. After tasting her Sambar, I agreed that it surely tastes great, I wanted to try it on Hubby dear too. So here’s the Sambar with MTR Sambar mix with ground coconut garnish. It took the Sambar to a new level, I must agree!
Chow Chow Sambar ~ Chayote Squash Sambhar

Disclaimer: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I am sharing our personal opinions.

On the Thali today, we had Chow Chow Sambar, Dal Rasam, Bitter Gourd Stir Fry, Plantain Stir fry, Curds. When we plan for Bitter gourd poriyal, there always has to be something for me as I don’t eat that. Well for all the planning I thought I must change for my kids’ sake, it can easily wait as they hardly eat much of a vegetable, let alone Bitter gourd!

I have already posted another version of Chow Chow sambar

Chow Chow Sambar

Ingredients Needed

Toor Dal – 1 cup
Chow Chow / – 1 medium
Tamarind extract – 1 marble size
Tomatoes – 2 medium
MTR Sambar powder – 1 & 1/2 tsp
Coconut paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves few

Mustard Seeds, Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Dry Red Chilli – 2
Sambar Onion / Pearl Onions – 3 – 4
Asafetida / Hing a pinch

How to make the Chow Chow Sambar

Peel and cube the chow chow into 1 inch pieces.

Soak the tamarind and extract the pulp. I normally store tamarind extract for easy usage.
Wash and take the toor dal in a pressure cooker, along with the vegetables, chopped tomatoes, and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 2- 3 whistles or till the dal is cooked well.
Once the pressure falls, remove the lid, add the salt, sambar powder, tamarind extract and coconut paste along with enough water. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile in another pan, heat the oil. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds Urad dal, dry red chilis, sauté well.
Then add chopped onions, add the hing and when the onions turn colour, pouring this to the boiling dal.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, add coriander leaves and remove.
Serve hot with Steamed Rice.
Sending these for my Indian Thali Mela
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 15

Chow Chow Sambar ~ South Indian Lunch Thali

Cuisine Tamil Nadu
Dish Type Sambar Varieties
Author Srivalli
Tried this recipe?Mention @Cooking4all or tag #Cooking4all!

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  1. nice spread Valli 🙂 and I love chow chow sambhar a lot .. pity we dont get it a lot here 🙁 🙁

    btw guess this post needs to be updated with BM tag Valli 🙂

  2. Valli there is a store in Chennai which beats the MTR pwd..will give u the details…infact now I will have to ask you to send me some from there…with my daughter shifting here…
    The platter looks very appealing and I am actually a S.Indaian fan…just loving it.

  3. I actually prefer pappu chaaru over sambar. I don't mind eating sambar once in a while but on a daily basis, pappu chaaru gets my vote. Awesome thali!

  4. I used MTR for a while but then gave up as it lacked the flavor for the quantities it mentioned to be used. I have started using a new brand recently from kerala…but i wish to make my own sambhar masala0 know you have the posts for them..Chow chow sambhar is new to me…sounds like a chinese dish LoL…platter looks beautiful

  5. Personally i make my own sambhar powder and never tried any store bought till now,will ask my sister to send some MTR masala to give a try..FIngerlicking sambhar..

  6. Though I have tried a few store bought sambar powders, I have never liked them. I usually have a huge stock of amma's home made sambar powder at home and if it's not there, I don't make sambar till I get the next batch from her 🙂

  7. The platter looks nice, easy on the tummy and very healthy too. I am surprised that you don't eat bitter gourd :)), i successfully bullied my husband to start having karelas :))

  8. My hubby has tried Everest Sambhar powder during his bachelor days, sometimes ask me to try too!!! but i still don't have the guts to buy ready-made sambhar/rasam powder.
    Thali looks delicious!!! And you not eating bittergourd, very bad girl!!!!

  9. I have chow chow at home & i always make Kootu, now i think i will make Sambhar.. Even i use home made sambhar powder but i always keep a stock of store bought one.. a tsp or two of that & then adding ground spices..takes the dish to another level.. This time i am trying MTR else i always prefer aachi & shakti masala 🙂
    Thali is simple & nice.. like u said our regular sunday we love food don’t we 🙂

  10. Kudos to you for preparing this thaali during a weekday….the spread looks awesome though I've never gotten a chance of trying a store bought sambar powder. I'll be mocked upon in the family if I do (Typical Tamilian with so much pride in home made sambar powder). Lovely Valli …so comforting to see all the dishes.

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