“Richa Hingle’s first cookbook is nothing short of phenomenal. …I can’t wait to keep cooking from one of the best cookbooks on Indian food (vegan or not) I’ve ever seen.” (Colleen Holland, Co-Founder of VegNews Magazine)

“Richa’s recipes for the vegan dietary lifestyle are rich and comforting. Love the refreshing take on some of the classics that often rely heavily on dairy. I can’t wait to sample them!” (Raghavan Iyer, author of 660 Curries)

“In this extraordinary cookbook, Richa Hingle masterfully combines the traditional flavors and techniques of Indian cuisine with streamlined cooking methods and healthier ingredients, resulting in the best collection of vegan Indian recipes anywhere.” (Robin Robertson, author of Vegan Without Borders, Vegan Planet, and others)

Sambhar Powder

Makes 1/3 cup                                 Soy Free,Nut Free, Gluten Free, Easy

Sambhar powder or spice blend is essential for making Sambhar (page 118) and other southern Indian soups and stews. It is markedly different from garam masala. This spice blend has split peas ground into it. The spice blend is usually paired with sour notes like tamarind in the dals or curries. Add it to any of the split pea dals for a variation of flavour.

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow split peas or split pigeon peas (toor dal)                                                  

1 tablespoon petite yellow lentils (mung dal) or split black gram (urad dal)

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

10 curry leaves, dry or fresh

1.2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon asafetida (omit to make gluten-free)

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the split pea and lentils and roast, stirring frequently, until they become golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds and roast until coriander seeds change color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the curry leaves and fenugreek seeds and roast until the curry leaves dry out, 1 minute.
  4. Mix in the red pepper flakes and asafetida, then remove from the heat. Cool completely. Grind the mixture, then transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 6 months.

Credit to “The Tadka Project” channel on YouTube

Our own Sambhar features in our popular South Indian Breakfast

South Indian Split Pea Stew with Veggies- Sambhar

Prep: 20 minutes (+1 hour soak)   I   Active: 25 minutes   I   Inactive: 25 minutes   I   Serves 4   I   Soy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free

What Makes the authentic Sambhar amazing is the tangible vegetables, each of which has its own taste and texture, all in a thin tangy soup of split pigeon peas, spiced liberally with sambhar powder and tamarind.

Split Peas:

1 cup split peas or split pigeon peas (toor dal), washed and soaked for 1 hour, drained

4 cups water

1/2 cup chopped eggplant (or use chopped potato or other vegetable)

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped drumsticks, winter melon, or okra

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar (optional)

1 to 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (concentrate) or tamarind pulp

The Tempering:

1 teaspoon safflower or other neutral oil

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

3 to 4 dried red chillis, broken into two pieces (or red pepper flakes, to taste)

10 curry leaves, coarsley chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup chopped red onion or sliced pearl onions

1 tablespoon Sambhar Powder (page 248) or storebought

2 medium tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander), for garnish

1 teaspoon lemon juice, for garnish

  1. Split Peas:

Combine the split peas in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and the vegetables. Partially cover, and cook over medium heat until the split peas are very tender, about 30 minutes. When you take a few split peas between your fingers and press lightly, they should easily become mushy. Add the salt, sugar, and tamarind and mix well. Mash half the split peas, and continue to simmer over low heat.

2. The tempering:

Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, and cook until they start to pop, about 10 seconds. Add the fenugreek seeds, red chiles, and curry leaves carefully, and cook for a few seconds. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sambhar masala blend, mix, and cook for half a minute. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and black pepper, and mix. Cook until the tomatoes are saucy, 6 to 8 minutes. Add this tempering mixture to the simmering stew. Mix well, increase heat to medium and bring to a rolling boil, 5 to 6 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt, spice, and tang. Add more tamarind extract if needed. Cook longer until desired consistancy is achieved. Garnish with cilantro (coriander) and lemon juice. Serve hot.