This spice blend recipe was passed down to me by a family friend and is tried and trusted. It is the key ingredient to making authentic sambhar masala or South Indian lentils.
50g coriander seeds
10 dried red chillies (mixed varieties, stalks removed)
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
1 tbsp chana dal (split chickpeas)
1 tbsp toor dal (split pigeon peas)
½ tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp turmeric powder
10 dried curry leaves
Dry roast the coriander seeds, black mustard seeds and dried red chillies in a pan on a low heat until golden. As soon as the spices have roasted, remove from the heat, empty into a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the lentils to the warm pan and dry roast. We roast the spices and lentils separately as they take different time to cook.
Add the asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves to the roasted spices and lentils, and blitz together using a spice mixer until a powder.