Saturday, December 03, 2022

History of sambar

Sambar is a dish which is a lentil-based vegetable stew that is very popular in South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Seemandra also popular in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

When the Marathas took over Tanjavur in the 17th century, they brought with them their culture, a major part of which was their dietary practices. It is said that Sambhaji, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s son, was a great cook himself.

Most popular story in origin of Sambar it was invented in the kitchen of Thanjavur Marathas ruler Shahuji during the 17th century from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shahuji (r. 1684–1712), the son of Ekoji (r. 1676–1684), the founder of the Maratha rule at Thanjavur.

Shahuji, trying to make a dish called Amti, basically a dal that is a little watery and has a tangy taste. He experimented with pigeon peas instead of mung beans and tamarind pulp for Kokum (a plant in the mangosteen family). The other chefs telling him that tamarind is never added to Dal. Sambhaji laughed it off saying that he is just experimenting.

The court named it sambhar after the guest of the day, Sambhaji, second emperor of the Maratha Empire.

However, many Tamil Brahmins, native to Tanjavur disagree with this theory. They believe that a curry similar to that of sambar existed centuries before the advent of the Marathas.

It is said that the dish slowly made its way into kitchens across the state and eventually made its way to south India where it became a staple dish. There are many ways to eat sambar. It's a dish that can be paired with anything from Dosas to bread.
History of sambar