When dipping the slice of the soft idli into 'Sambar', this delicacy that comes in glorious shades of orange which enhance your appetite just by its aroma and making whole of south India so proud at heart, one must wonder how did it all begun?
Should't we know about the magnificent story of how it descended to our tables from the kitchens of Thanjavur Marathas!
Well, a note to those who have had nice naps during the history hours at school, I hope that reading this might surely prompt you to phone call mom or maybe finding a youtube tutorial about 'how to make sambar". (But don't worry, we got our awesome sambar powder from Sambar stories')
The word sambar simply means "spicy condiments” and was later evolved from the tamil word "Champaaram" . Who knew we had a cool Tamil vocabulary inside our heads!
The history of Sambar has many variations but the renowned on associated with Shahuji Bhonsle who was second Maratha ruler of Thanjavur (Tamilnadu). The story actually begun from 1530 CE but the ruling period of Bhonsle was during 1684-1712. Ha! our good old sambar!!
There was a feast by Bhonsle's for his cousin and son of legendary Sivaji, Sambhaji at the palace. Unfortunately there were no supplies for the already planned Maharashtrian dishes and Eurekaa! A new delicacy called Sambar was brought to the world and it was named after Sambhaji.
The other stories depicts that the name was derived from old tamil word ‘Chaampu’ which means an amalgam of grinding coconut and spices to be dissolved in tamarind pulp. It is also said that the name was evolved from south east Asian dish ‘Sambol’.
There are different variations to Sambar all along the South Indian states and it is also prepared by Srilankans. There are about 468 types of Sambars and is devoured passionately with lots of foods, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Do not forget to tell us about your favourite kind of sambar on comments.
Sambar is not only the true love to many but also a rich dish with nutritional values. Recent studies reveal that the rates of colon cancer is less in south Indians compared to North Indians and one of the major reason is consumption of sambar. Not bad, Huh?!
So, enough of story time. Now it’s time to grab a packet of sambar powder from sambar stories and make our favourite 'Sambar'