In Karnataka if you ask most people what is their favorite type of sambhar you will get an echo of Chakota Huli as the answer. Most people other than SIs think sambhar is only of one kind, a dal with mixed vegetables. One would be enlightened only if one came to the south or if the SI shared their daily food.
This huli is sometimes found on thali menus in restaraunts too. When I visited Shravanbelagola, Belur and Halebid we were served this sambhar. I liked it so I decided to try it at home and Usha Aunty, my neighbor came to my help.
This is a sambhar with chakota greens and peanuts. Here in karnataka sambhar is called huli which literally means sour. Just like maharashtrian sour dal is called amti yet this one is quite different. This sour dal is balanced with jaggery too. The greens themselves have a slightly sour nutty taste and the nuttiness is further enhanced with peanuts.
I followed Usha Aunty's instructions and the Chakota huli tasted better than the restaraunt version. Wasn't that expected!
2 cups chopped chakota greens
1 cup yellow lentils/ Toor dal
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon MTR sambhar powder
few curry leaves
1 small lemon sized ball of tamarind
2 teaspoons jaggery powder
2 tablespoons peanuts
4 cups water
salt to taste
In a pressure cooker heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves, lentils, chakota greens in that order. Stir for a while. Then add the sambhar powder, peanuts and water. Close the lid and allow 3-4 whistles. Let the steam subside.
Meanwhile soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp. Keep aside.
Once cooled open the cooker and add the tamarind pulp and jaggery and bring to a rolling boil for 5 mins.
Serve hot with steamed rice. In the platter above you see our humble lunch of rice, Chakota huli with fried preserved chili and rice sandage.