Soak tamarind in hot water.
Pressure cook dal with water for 4 whistles.
Clean and pat dry ladies finger with a clean kitchen towel. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Cube onion, tomato (if adding) and slit green chillies.
Heat kadai and add the cut ladies finger and fry with sesame oil, until black spots appear over its ridges and the slimy thing disappears.
Add more oil if needed. Fry in medium flame, stir occasionally in between to avoid burning.
Once done, keep that aside and add oil or ghee for tempering. Add mustard, after splutter, add fenugreek seeds followed by jeera.
Sprinkle asafoetida and then curry leaves. Add onion, fry till transparent and then add green chilli.
Tip in tomatoes (If adding) and fry for a minute.
Transfer to a vessel in which you are going to prepare/ boil sambar.
Meanwhile, you can extract tamarind juice and add water so that the tamarind juice is 2 and ¼ cups.
Bring to boil, add fried ladies finger.
Add turmeric, sambar powder, asafoetida and salt.
Boil until the ladies finger gets cooked. Roughly mash the cooked dal with a ladle.
Add dal to the boiling sambar and boil for 2 minutes or until the required consistency arrives.
Lastly tear some fresh curry leaves and mix.