Traditional South Indian dish - Sambar recipe

Sambar is generally made using tur dal and vegetables. You can use any vegetables of your choice such as onions, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjals, beans, cabbage, knolkol, raddish etc., you can use any one or a mix of these vegetables. It is a side dish served with plain rice or with Idli or Dosa.

Ingredients for Sambar

  • 1 cup turdal
  • 2 medium sized drumsticks
  • 1 brinjal
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 lady fingers
  • 1 radish
  • 1 big onion
  • Lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chillie powder
  • Ssalt to taste
  • Few curry leaves and coriander leaves

For seasoning

  • 3 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cuminseeds
  • Chopped onion
  • 2 dry chillies

Prepring sambar powder

Sambar Powder is a spice mix used in sambar. It is also refered to as sambar podi or sambar pudi or sambar masala. The sambar powder can be made in large quantities and stored for 6 months or more. Of course the freshly made sambar powder has a special taste.

You can also buy the ready powder but then you are missing the fun and the lovely aroma of the freshly made sambar powder.

Ingredients for Sambar powder
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
Preparing Sambar powder
  • Roast the sambar powder ingredients on low flame. Grind to fine powder.

Method of preparation

  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes. Get pulp using 1 cup of water and keep it away.
  • Take a separate bowl, then wash turdal and cook in two cups of water till dal is very soft. If you use a pressure cooker it will take about 15 minutes.
  • Cut all vegetables and cook them along with some water in a separate pan.
  • Then add salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder as required in the vegitables.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked dal and tamarind paste (water). If needed, add more water as it is boiling but do not let it get too watery.
  • Now add the sambar powder and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • For seasoning, take oil in a pan put mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onion pieces, dry chillies and curry leaves.
  • Finally add coriander leaves for garnishing.
  • Now your sambar is ready, serve hot with rice.