Add tamarind, 1/2 tomato & 1 onion chopped, to the dal.
Pressure cook till dal is done very soft. (Approx. 4 whistles) Remove dal and beat with a whisk or churner till smooth. Grind to a paste, 1 onion, 1/4 tomato, jaggery, garlic, all dry masalas. Chop the remaining onion and tomato to medium or fine pieces. Heat oil, add seeds , curry leaves and allow to splutter. Add onion, pumpkin, tomato and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add paste, and cook for further 2 minutes. Add dal and bring to a boil on high. Add enough water to get sambar consistency. Check and adjust masalas as required. Simmer for 12-15 minutes on low, till the aroma exudes. Add chopped coriander before serving. Serve steaming hot with hot idlis, coconut chutney and ghee.
Note: You may substitute homemade masala with ready made. But you may even prepare the homemade powder in quantity and store in a clean airtight jar for 6 months.
If using ready made masala, supplement with the following:
1 tsp. dhania seeds, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 stalk curry leaves, 1/2 tsp. methi seeds. Roasted and ground together with the ingredients for paste.
Making Time: 30 minutes (excluding pressure cooking time)
Serves: 4-5 servings