Sambhaar is a spice blend that is the southern Indian equivalent to Garam Masala, a spice blend used often in northern India. The nutty flavor comes from the addition of channa dal (yellow split peas) and urad dal (small white lentils). I don’t add the customary amount of fenugreek seeds as they can make the Sambhaar overwhelmingly bitter; if you crave a more traditional flavor, then double the amount of fenugreek. Add Sambhaar to soups, stews, and sauces or sprinkle onto meat before broiling or grilling.
- 3 dried red chiles
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon white lentils (urad dal)
- 1 tablespoon yellow split peas (channa dal)
- 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground peppercorns
- 40 curry leaves (optional)
Place all of the spices in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toast until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the skillet starts to smoke, stirring often, 3½ to 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight glass jar for up to 4 months.