Place toor dhal in a pan with 450ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
In another pan, mix together the tamarind pulp, and stir in 100ml water to make a watery juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the capsicum and tomato to the tamarind juice, and continue to boil until the vegetables are soft, and the liquid has reduced to almost half.
Meanwhile, grind the coriander seeds, channa dhal, coconut and chillies to a paste using a mortar and pestle or food processor. Add this paste to the tamarind sauce, then stir in the toor dhal until everything is well blended. Bring to the boil once again, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, and add the mustard seed, cumin seed and asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and the mixture is fragrant, remove from heat and stir into sambar. Serve hot.
Toor dhal used here is the most widely used one for sambar.
This absolutely deserves negative stars. If you look at the recipe, it doesn't call for salt, sugar, or even enough water! That amount of tamarind paste is far too much. Good luck trying to balance the sourness of the tamarind with that amount. The recipe doesn't even call for garlic, onion, or curry leaves. I know everyone makes sambar their own way, but this recipe is not written correctly. - 03 Aug 2015
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