Sambhar is a southern Indian spice blend, and the southern equivalent to garam masala. The nutty flavor comes from the addition of channa dal, yellow split peas, and urad dal, small white lentils. I don’t add the customary amount of fenugreek seeds, as they can make the sambhar overwhelmingly bitter. For a more traditional sambhar spice blend, double the amount of fenugreek that is listed below. Add sambhar to soups, stews, and sauces and sprinkle onto meat before broiling or grilling.
Place all of the spices in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the spices until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the skillet starts to smoke, stirring often, about 3 1/2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill and grind until powder-fine. Store in an airtight glass jar for up to 4 months.
Makes about ¾ cup