Vendhaya keerai sambar is simple sambar with methi leaves (vendhaya keerai), made similar to the keerai, just give it a sautee and make sambar. I have never tried this so far, so have been doubtful if it would taste bitter. But it was not at all bitter. I guess since we use tamarind and the sambar powder for spice, it turns out without bitterness dominating in this. I guess in South Indian households, we use the methi leaves with just 2-4 leaves in the plant, unlike the North Indian households, which uses a more matured plant leaves of methi. I have always used the more matured plant of methi than the younger ones. Nevertheless the sambar turned out yummy. Usually, when ever I get a pack of methi leaves and palak leaves from Mustafa, Vj gives a look, at times asks – why these? Coz, he is not a big fan of these. I make mostly methi thepla, rarely aloo methi. But this time, he himself asked me to buy and try making sambar. I am glad I tried, its really tasting good and very healthy too, which Vj also will eat.
Soak tamarind in hot water and extract juice from it with a cup of water. Separate the leaves of methi from the plant. Wash it and keep aside. Pressure cook 1/4 cup dal with a cup of water for 4-5 whistles in medium flame. Mash and keep aside.
Heat a kadai with oil, temper with mustard, red chilli and add asafoetida followed by onion, fry for a minute. Add tomato.
Fry until tomato turns soft. Add methi leaves.
Just sautee until the leaves reduce in volume. Boil tamarind extract, sambar powder, turmeric, salt in a heavy bottom pot.
Add the sauteed items to it and boil in medium flame until the methi leaves gets cooked.
Add cooked mashed dal and mix well. Adjust water quantity if too thick and boil for 3-4 minutes or until the desired consistency reaches.
You should add enough tamarind for this, otherwise, sambar may be bitter.
It will be very mildly bitter when you have the methi leaves.
I do not add curry leaves for keerai sambar.
I tempered with methi seeds and then realised no need for methi seeds as we already are making methi leaves sambar. So skipped in the ingredients in this post.
Enjoy with steamed rice and your favorite south Indian side dish.