Sambar masala is a blend of spices used in South Indian cuisine, particularly in the preparation of sambar, a popular lentil-based vegetable stew. Sambar is a staple dish in many South Indian households and is typically served with rice, idli (steamed rice cakes), dosa (fermented crepes), and other South Indian dishes.
The exact composition of sambar masala can vary from region to region and even from household to household, but it generally includes a combination of aromatic spices and herbs. Some common ingredients found in sambar masala include:
Coriander Seeds: These provide a mild, slightly citrusy flavor and are a key component of many spice blends.
Red Chilies: They add heat and color to the masala. The type and amount of chilies used can affect the spiciness of the final dish.
Fenugreek Seeds: These seeds have a slightly bitter taste and are used sparingly to enhance the overall flavor profile of the masala.
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram): These are roasted lentils that contribute a nutty flavor and also help thicken the sambar.
Urad Dal (Split Black Gram): Like chana dal, urad dal is roasted and adds a nutty taste to the masala.
Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds have a warm, earthy flavor that complements the other spices in the blend.