Maratha ruler Sambahji (1657 – 1689) once tried to make dal curry in the absence of his chef. He added tamarind to the dal and ended up creating a dish which came to be known as Sambar.
If you are familiar with cuisine from southern parts of India, you will know that Sambar is an integral part of any meal. Essentially, it is a lentil based vegetable stew, cooked with dal and tamarind broth.
Interestingly, the ruler of the animal kingdom shares this fondness.
Sambar | Binomial name: Rusa unicolor
This big deer is the favourite food of the Asiatic lion and Bengal tiger. When you are on a safari, the alarm call of a Sambar deer is usually taken as a sign that a tiger or animal of prey is around. This one watched us for a while before retreating back into the foliage.
When you are the tiger’s favourite meal, you have to be watchful all the time.
Conservation Status: Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)
Kingdom: Animalia | Class: Mammalia | Order: Artiodactyla | Family: Cervidae