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SUBMITTED BY: Nancy Josland Dalsin

Sambhar Masala 

1/2 cup firmly packed medium-size to large fresh curry leaves

1/2 cup dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed

1/4 cup yellow split peas (chana dal), picked over for stones

1/4 cup coriander seeds

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon black or yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon white poppy seeds

2 cinnamon stickes (each 3 inches long), broken into smaller pieces

1 tablespoon unrefined sesame oil or canola oil 

1. Combine all the spices in a medium-size bowl. Drizzle the oil over htem and toss well, coating the spices evenly with the oil. 

2. Preheat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mixture and roast, stirring constantly, until the curry leaves curl up and appear dry and brittle, the chiles blacken slightly, the split peas turn dark brown, the coriander, cumin and fenugreek turn reddish brown, the mustard seeds pop, swill up, and look ash-black, and the poppy seeds are tan, 3-4 minutes. 

3. Immediately transfer the pungent, nutty-smelling spices to a place to cool. Once they are cool to the touch pour half of the mixture into a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind until the texture resembles that of finely ground black pepper. Repeat with the remaining spices and thoroughly combine the two ground batches.



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