Sambhar is almost everyone’s favorite and is believed to be a dish from South India. Sambhar which is so intrinsic to Tamil Nadu cuisine can actually track its origin to Maratha ruler Shivaji’s son. It is known that Shivaji’s son Sambhaji once attempted to make a dal for himself when his head chef was away.
S. Suresh who is the Tamil Nadu state convener of Intach gave a lecture on Tanjore Maratha history and told that he added little tamarind to the dal while making it. In fact the royal kitchen dared to correct him that tamarind was not used in dal. Suresh added that Sambhaji loved his own creation which later referred to as ‘sambhar’ on his name. This is how Marathas had their culinary contribution which got popularized in Southern India.
Sambhaji’s Sambhar is more lore than a recipe. His influenced sambhar was more a tamarind soup. Chefs admit that Tanjore Sambhar is the most savored one. K Natarajan, corporate chef at Gateway Hotels and Resorts said that Thanjavur Brahmin Sambhar recipe is mostly followed in today’s world. It has no onion and garlic and the dish is also not very heavy on spices.
By: Bhavna Sharma