For roasting, heat the remaining 1/2 tsp peanut oil in the same skillet or kadai.
When the oil is hot and shimmery, add red chillies and roast for a few mins on low-medium heat till they are light brown making sure to not let them smoke or burn. remove on to a plate. Add methi and jeera and roast till methi seeds are golden brown and both seeds are aromatic. remove on to the plate. Add urad dal and roast till golden brown. switch off the stove, add grated coconut and stir till the coconut is dry and aromatic making sure it does not burn. remove onto the plate.
Grind all the roasted ingredients along with some water to a smooth paste.
Pour the dal and the masala paste into the pot with the cooked Basale Soppu leaves. Season with salt. Add more water if it is too thick and give it a good stir. It should have a nice pouring consistency neither thick nor thin.
For the tempering, heat coconut oil in a small kadai or skillet. when it is hot and fragrant, add mustard seeds. when they are done spluttering, add garlic cloves and sauté till garlic cloves turn golden. switch off the stove and quickly pour the seasoning into the Sambar.
Always buy tender looking bruise-free leaves and stems. Discard stems that are stringy and mature.
For an Onion and garlic free version, just omit them and add a big pinch of hing to the tempering.
1/2 cup dal broth or the leafy green stock can also be used for grinding the masala
Basale Soppu plant is easy to propagate in your home garden using the stalk.