Sambar recipe - in South India you can make sambar with just
one vegetable such as drumstick or whole okra (our favorites). We love
the drumsticks. Cook the toor daal in the pressure cooker separately.
In a separate wok-like container, put 3-4 tablespoons of oil, and
sprinkle asafoetida, mustard, 2-3 red chillies and curry leaves and let
sputter. Add 1 packet frozen drumsticks and saute for 5-10 mins on a
low flame. Then add sambar powder - about 2 teaspoons stirred in 1/2
cup of water (1 like MTR and Shakti among the store bought brands but
normally use home-made sambar powder sent by my mom from Madras). Add
about 2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate (I use Laxmi brand) and 6
cups of water and let the drumsticks cook for 20-30 minutes on a low
flame. When the volume reduces to half, add toor dal after mashing it
up and add water if needed to adjust the consistency of the sambar.
For special occasions, right before serving take 1 tablesppon of ghee
and sputter some mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and float on
top of the sambar. It smells divine.
Khichidi is a rice dish eaten all over India - its something typically
done when you don't want an elaborate meal, good on cold rainy days to
warm you up.
Drumstick is also called moringa - in telugu it is called mulankada and
in tamil murungakka. We eat the leaves (generally cooked with lots of
spices and moong/toor/chana daal), flowers, fruit. It is called
Drumstick because it looks like the stick you use for drumming.
Here's a picture on wikipedia -
Adding to this explanation: I just wanted to add this on the drumstick
topic. As Paddy said, it's a veg that looks like long (like 12-16"
inches) green drumsticks. They are usually cut into 2 - 3 " lengths and
can be found in South Asian grocery stores (i.e., whole), or, if
nothing else, in the freezer case (cut into the shorter lengths). The
outer part is very fibrous and not eaten. To eat it, you take the
drumstick into your mouth, bite down and scrape the softer inside part
(seeds, etc.) into your mouth with your teeth while you pull out the
fibrous outer part. That part is disgarded. At least that is how our
family eats it. It has a fairly mild taste, but it's hard to