Milk Sambhar {Recipe}

milk sambarVery rarely do you get to see a drop- Jaw reaction at the mention of a peculiar food preparation. Milk sambar is just one of them. Sambar made of Milk? Is the first reaction. Doesn’t it curdle? I get immense pleasure in shaking my head confidently. And an added delight of more drop- Jaw dropping further! NO??? Well, NO. But still, care has to be taken to prepare with proper cleanliness. Wash all utensils again. I usually take all the ingredients I need from the store room stock. You never know… unknowingly the ingredients in the kitchen may have been mixed up with some unwanted ingredients like Curds, Lime etc. So fresh stock like Chillie powder, Haldi, Hing everything from store room. Salt is to be added just before serving, just in the amount to be used. Rest can be stored in the freezer for a couple of days. No. It dose not curdle even after two days, if done properly.
This is an ancestral recipe of our family. How did it come to existence is pretty interesting.

In our village we had a lot of Maratha community. The rest were Jains. Once a while, my grandfathers friends would have dinners in moonlight in the farms. The Marathas often came with their soupy Pandhra and Tambda Rassa. It was made from Lamb stock, and the water was often flavored with spices, and some ground Onion Garlic paste, Ground Coconut,and used as a sambar (known as Rassa) with Rice. The Rassa was so flavorful and aromatic, that my grandfather and his Jain friends though of adapting it with some”Jain” stuff. Since Milk was in abundance, they decided to give it a try. Everything was the same, except that milk was used instead of Lamb stock. Eureka! An aromatic Milk Sambar was thus born. Since then, this closely guarded recipe is prepared by all of us in the family.
I had read a story of a small old room without light. The owner opened the old room, and since there was no light could not see anything. So he never bothered to enter it. One day his son took a lamp and went to the room, only to find it full of treasure boxes overflowing with precious stones and Gold bricks.
Moral is, hidden treasures like this Sambar is of no use till it is brought to light with the lamp of a beautiful friendship, and share it with my wonderful friends. Only then, the worth of this sambar is truly valued…..
To all my dear friends…

(Sambar made of pure whole Milk)
1. 1 liter Whole Milk.
2. 1 large Onion, chopped.
3. 2 large Potatoes, peeled, cubed.
For Tadka:
1. 3 tabsp Oil.
2. Rai, Til, Curry Patta, Haldi, Hing.

To be ground to very very fine paste:
1. 1 large Onion roasted till soft on Coal/ gas burner.
2. 1 tabsp Garlic pods, peeled.
3. 1 tabsp dry grated Coconut, roasted till deep Brown.
4. 1 tabsp Garam Masala ( Maharashtrian style)
5. 1/2 cup cold Milk

Other ingredients:
1. Plain red Chillie powder.
2. Salt to taste.
3. Fresh chopped Coriander.

1. Tip all the ingredients for the paste into a Mixie add the 1/2 cup cold Milk,and grind to a very fine paste. Keep aside.
2. Heat Oil in a thick bottom pan, and splutter Rai , and Til.
3. Add Curry Patta, Hing, and add the chopped Onions.
4. Sauté till light golden Brown.
5. Add the cubed Potatoes, and Haldi. Sauté till the Potatoes are a little soft, and absorb some Oil.
6. Add 1 liter of Milk. Let the Potatoes cook in Milk till soft.
7. Add the paste, and Chillie powder.
8. Let boil once, and close flame. Add the chopped Coriander.
Do not close the Pan with airtight lid. Cover with a mesh- lid.
9. Just before serving, add Salt, and garnish with some more chopped Coriander.
10. Serve hot with Jeera Rice and Lime wedge.

Roma Patil

  1. My grandmother has been making this for over 60 years now. They used milk because making coconut milk was a tiresome process.

    There is a reason for the word – Sambhar – “Bringing it all together .” And Milk is not an ingredient that can be mixed with Tamarind or anything citrusy hence I will hold myself back to call it Milk Sambhar. May be we need to think about a name for the preparation mentioned above

    ThanK You