Sri’s Spicy Drumstick Sambar, Ingredients from “India Bazaar” Ft Myers Florida.

This recipe is from our good friend and web developer Sri, this Spicy Drumstick Sambar is his family’s secret recipe and he was kind enough to share it with SoupAday. Sri lives in Southern India and is the person who helped John and I get SoupAday off the ground. If anyone who reads this is interested in having a website developed and doesn’t know who to trust or where to go, look no further, Sri is your man. He can be reached at:, or you can hire him through under the company name “IndiQ”.

As for the recipe? It took two tries to get it right, it was worth the extra effort as it is simply delicious and unique. Sourcing the ingredients was the most difficult part, hopefully you are blessed with an Indian market that has fresh spices and quality dried ingredients as they make all the difference. We sourced most of ours in Ft Myers Florida at “India Bazaar” off of 41, a very clean and well organized gem of an Indian market. The owners Burt and his lovely wife who’s name eludes me right now, were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, the quality and freshness of their ingredients were beyond reproach. If you live in South West florida be sure to pay them a visit and let them know that said “Hi”.

Spicy Drumstick Sambar – Serves 4

1. Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
2. Tamarind (if using fresh) – inside flesh about the size of small lemon
3. Drumstick (not chicken, the vegetable) – 2 stalks (Cut them into 2″ or 3 ” pieces)
4. Tomato – 1 medium size
5. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tbsp
6. Sambar Powder (NO substitutions) – 2 tbsp
7. Whole Coriander Seeds – 1 1/2 tbsp
8. Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
9. Red Dried Chilli – 4
10. Grated Coconut, un-sweetened, fresh or dried – 2 tbsp
11. Asafoetida – 2 pinch
12. Cooking Oil (peanut oil is best) – 2 tbsp
13. Mustard Seeds (black, not yellow) – 1/2 tbsp
14. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tbsp
15. Stalk of Curry leaves (fresh)
16. Salt to Taste (start with 1 tsp)

To Prepare:

1. Using 1.5 cups water, pressure cook the dal and tumeric powder for about 10-15 minutes. Do not allow to burn, make sure dal is completely cooked.
2. While pressure cooking the dal, soak the Tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes to soften the pulp, remove the seeds and extract the thick juice, set aside.
3. Cook the Drumsticks with Tamarind Juice, Chopped Tomato, Sambar Powder, Asafoetida , Salt and 2 cups of water over medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile prepare the Masala mixture:
a. Use 1 tbsp of oil to roast ingredients 7,8,9,10. (if oil smokes or ingredients burn, start over)
b. Cool the toasted ingredients and then grind them to a thick paste.
* The best practice is to roast them one by one so you do not burn them*
5. Add the cooked dal to the prepared drumstick gravy, mix them well and allow it to simmer for 3 min. Add the masala mixture to it and adjust the salt for taste. Check the consistency of the sambar, it should be a little thicker than split pea soup. If it’s too thick add 1/4 cup of water and allow the sambar to cook on low flame for about 5 minutes.

6. Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan, add the mustard seeds, once they start to sputter add the fenugreek seeds, a pinch of asafotedia and curry leaves.
Toast the same both for a second and then add it to the sambar.
7. Serve the prepared sambar with hot rice.

*The prepared Sambar should neither be thick nor watery when first prepared, it will thicken overnight if you have any leftovers*

*To compliment the dish: Serve with fried pappads (similar to a fry bread) and roasted quick fried spicy potatoes.

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18 Responses to “Sri’s Spicy Drumstick Sambar, Ingredients from “India Bazaar” Ft Myers Florida.”

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