Sambar Recipe

 Sambar Recipe |How to make Sambar Recipe (this is a south Indian popular recipe)

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     Sambar recipe with Step by Step:

Sambar is a south Indian recipe which is prepared by every south Indian for eating along with breakfast or meal as a side dish. Into the south Indian much people us enjoy it's teast with some hot Italy, dosa, vada or with plain rice. Sambar is an everyday dish in south India. People are eating this dish in every restaurant and every hotel as a breakfast or or meal. 
Sambar is one of the most popular traditional Indian dish that is not only delicious but also very popular in India. It also provide complete nutrition to our body. 
A large Indian population are intake lentils or Dal for  their protein intake. So in the south India sambar is taken as a healthy protein  diet. There is a variety of vegetables are used for preparing sambar recipe so it obviously become nutrient rich dish. Most Indian traditional people's are make their sambar powder spice at their own home so that they active a good own taste. 
In the modern present time people brought this spice from the market or store.

What is Sambar 

Sambar is south Indian dish made with lentils, Mixed Vegetables, Tamarind, herbs, spices & a special spice powder known as sambar powder.

How to Sambar made 

In the south India there are a different way in which people made sambar. But this is how we make sambar at home. 

First dal is rinsed well and pressure cooked until soft. 

And then when dal is getting cooked, then mix vegetables and again Cooke it with a lots of water until they turn tender and soft. 

Then mix the sambar powder in so it is flavoured with this powder then the tamarind juice and salt is added followed by the mashed dal.

At last an aromatic tempering is done to give a final touch to the sambar. This is done by frying the spices & herbs in pure ghee & poured over the cooked sambar.

This spice powder is very important to make a good sambar recipe. A variety of spices and lentils are used to make this powder. That's why it generate a specific small on sambar recipe 

Step-by-Step Method of Sambar cooking with Image :

1. Cook 3/4 Cup toor dar with 2 cups water till it has to be soft and mushy. For it you can use only the toor or a combination of the toor and moong dal and mascot dal.  The taste of the sambar depend on the dal used.

To get the taste of hotel type sambar use mascot dal and took dal in equal quantities. If cooking dal in pressure cooker, let it whistle for 2 to 4 whistle  on a medium flame. If using a instant pot, pressure cook for 9 mins. If you do not have a cooker, then cook in a pot adding more water as needed. 

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If once the pressure releases, mesh to dal with potato masher or with as ladle. Dal must be soft and fully cooked. That gives a pod texture to the sambar. Traditionally it was mashed with a wooden masher. 

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Make Spice powder 

2. While the dal cooks, make the Sambar powder. If you have ready market or store purchased sambar powder then you skip this step of sambar powder preparation. On a medium dry roast 4 to 5 dried red chillies, one tablespoon Channa day & 1  tablespoon urad dal till golden. Then add one teaspoon coriander seed fry until aromatic. Remove to a plate. 

Dry roast 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds ( fenugreek seed)  until slightly dark.  Lower the flame, then add 1/2 teaspoon cumin and fry for a minute until aromatic. Cool all of them and powder finally. Keep this aside. 

Prepare Vegetables 

3. Rinse and chop all the Vegetables of your choice. I generally use shallots or small onions, tomato, drumsticks, bhindi(okra)& carrots.

  • 1 medium onion (diced)  or 12 to 15 shallots (peeled) 
  • 1 to 2 vegetables drumsticks (cut to 3 inch pieces) 
  • 2 to 3 okra ( brimful)  ( 1 inch pieces) 
  • 1 medium carrot ( dies to 1inc cubes) 
  • 1 large tomato ( diced or chopped) 
  • Optional- Red unpin ( 2 pieces diced to 2 inch each) 
  • Optional- Eggplant / brinjal 
  • (quartered or diced)
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How to make Sambar recipe 

4. heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large pot saute onions for a minute and then add all vegetables. Sure for 2 minutes and then stir in and add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder ( optional). Pour 5 cups water & give a good stir.


5. When the water of pot is turns hot, take some hot  water with a ladle and pour it to a small bowl.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoon tamarind (the size of a small lemon)  & 1 tablespoon jaggery (optional)  set aside to soak.

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6.When the vegetables are cooked, add 

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
  • Samba powder from step 2. ( or 11/2 to 2 tablespoon  store bought) 
  • 3/4 tablespoon  salt 
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes .we usually cook until the veggies are soft cooked and drumstick seed turn tender. 

8. Add mashed dal and mix it well. Now taste it & ads more salt and tamarind water if needed. If you feel it is too thick you may add mare hot water. I do not add any more. 

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7. Squeeze up the tamarind and pour the tamarind water to the samber

 I prefer to filter the tamarind to remove the pulp.  Do not add all of the tamarind at one. You can retain little in the bowl and add later if needed.

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9. Bring it to a boil. Add chopped coriander leaves. 


10. Pour 1 tablespoon ghee or oil to a small pan.  When the ghee turn hot, add 1/2 teaspoon mustered, 1/2 teaspoon cumin(optional),1 pinch methi  seeds and 1 to 2 broken dried red chilies. When the mustard seed begin to pop, add 1 spring curry leaves. When the curry leaves turn crisp, Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon hing. 

11. Pour the tempting to the hot sambar.  Let the sambar for 2 to 3 minutes for a good aroma.  Some people prefer not to boil further after  adding the seasoning. You can choose  whatever you like. 

Serve hot Sambar with rice or idle. 

Tips to make best sambar powder :

  1.  Is the key to delicious 😋 and flavourful make good choice of the powder you're going to use. If you have any instant ready made powder you can use it. Add salt according to your taste. I suggest mtr powder if you cannot make fresh for your recipe. It is one of the popular south Indian brand. 
  2. A proper combination of the vegetables is also important. Use the vegetables for your choice. Vegetable like brinks, bottle gourd and cucumber do alter the taste of the dish. So use to vegetables which you think will suit your taste buds.  I generally do not add any of them. 
  3. We usually soft  cook the vegetables so that all the taste from the vegetables comes to the stock. This make the sambar mare tasty and flavorful.
  4. You can use the Indian variety Tamarind. If you prefer to use the concentrate then use the coupon as it it is salted and soiree in taste. Add tamarind to the sambhar one after the vegetable are cooked as soft. 
  5. Coriander leaves or cilantro is another herb which is much needed to flavor the sambar.only use smaller variety of coriander leaves  don't use  hybrid coriander leaves. It is not not best for a good aroma. 
  6. Samba is mostly made thick but of pouring consistency. Feel free to add water as desire to bring it to a consistency you like. The tamilnadu is much thicker  then the Andhra and Karnataka in south India. 
Tempering tips
  1. Usually Sambar was tempered with ghee. But however different region people are used different types of fats for it. In tamilnadu sesame oil is used. But in Kerala coconut oil is used. But ghee lends much perfect taste 😋 then any of these. 
  2. Fresh curry leaves are a very much important for tempering the sambar as it lend a unique aroma. If there is no curry leaves are available were You live then feel free to skim them. If you have available dried curry leaves then also it is OK 👌. 
Tips to refrigerate sambar 

If you plan to make sambar good enough for a couple of days. Then avide tempting the entire sambar. Just cool down to sambar and divided it to two parts of quantity and transfer the other part of quantity for refrigerator for refrigerate. 
Whenever needed, heat up the sambar until it begins to bubble well. Pour it. Your sambar with taste is ready. 

Don't store the entire sambar in one single pot because every time you take a bit from it reduces it's tast. 

If  now you want to cook this dish I suggest you first reading all the notes and tips to make the best out of this south Indian sambar recipe.  It keep good for 2 days web refrigerated. I shared these tips to the end of this post. 

Which deal is used to make sambar? 

Most traditional south Indian household use only toor dal /toor day or arhar dal or split pigeon peas to make sambar. But usually Turin centers and restorant use  a mix of toor and masoor dal to cut down the cost. 

I always use mix of mong dal and toor dal. This is a personal choice and you can experiment with different proportions of various days or use too far alone. 
In the summer season moong day is good because it reduses the body heat & is Light on the tummy. 

Moong dal lends a thick,  creamy  and delicious aroma to the aambar. 

As we know different kind of lentils provide different kind of nutrients to the body. So consider experimenting with different lentils.

Which vegetables are used in sambar 

A tredtional south Indian sambar calls for a lot of vegetables like pumpkin, bottle gourd, drumstick, eggplant, cucumbers, lady finger, sweet potatoes, onions and tomatoes.

The choice of vegetables is based on a personal liking and are optional. Every veritable give a different taste to the sambar. 

However a basic samba can be made only with only tomatoes and shallots. But including a wide variety of veggies will enhance it's taste and nutritions also. 

Share are some list  of vegetables that can be. Put on sambar:

  • Shallots or skill to medium size onion
  • Tomato 
  • Okra-ladies finger - bhindi 
  • Vegetable drumsticks (moringa)
  • Fresh beans
  • Carrot 
  • Golden pumpkin 
  • Brinjal - egg plant - baingan
  • Yellow cucumber 
  • Some time we can use spinach in south India called palakora(palak) which give very good taste. 
Variations Of sambar 

India's different region like a different taste of a same single dish as we discussed here as sambar. In south India sandbar dish make so many ways and every way give a different type of taste 😋. 

Udupi Sambar is one of the popular Sambar varieties loved by all. It is hard to find anyone who does not love this variation. This is very popular in udupi rastorents.

Archvita sambar is another variation from Kerala. 

Andhra sambar  is one that is entirely unique and different from those variation as very unusual veggies like yellow cucumber, bottle gourd & pumpkin are used. 

I'd like sambar is another much loved variety that is also known as tiffin sambar. 


Sambar is a delicious 😋  thick lentil stew made with dad aka lentils, mixed vegetables, tamarind & spice powder known as sambar masala. Vegetables like drumsticks, tomatoes & okra are used. This south Indian sambar is the best you can make at home to enjoy with your rice. 

               Prep time.        Cook time
              10 minutes.       50 minutes 
              Total time.           Servings 
                 1 hour.                      4
                          Rajapu Rao

INGREDIENTS (1 cup =240ml)
  • 3/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas) 
  • 2 cups water to cook dal 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon tamarind
  • 1 tablespoon jageree (optional) 
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt ( adjust to taste) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric ( skip if in your sambar powder has it) 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon  red chilli powder (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves  (chopped) 
Vegetables for sambar
  • One medium onion diced (or 12 to 15 shallots) ( 150 grams) 
  • 1 large tomato (100 grams) 
  • 1 medium carrot diced (optional) 
  • 1 to 2 vegetable drumsticks (8 to 10 pieces, moringa ( 100 grams) 
  • 2 to 3 bhindi (okra optional ( 50 grams)) 
  • 1 green chili slit (optional) 
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds optional 
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustered seeds 
  • 1 pink methi seeds ( fenugreek seeds) 
  • 1/8 teaspoon asadoetide (hing) 
  • 1 to 2 dried red chilli 
For sambar powder or (2 tbsp redymade powder) 
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon Chanda dal(skinned split Bengal gram) 
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal ( skinned split black gram) 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds (jeers) 
  • 4 to 5 dried red Chili  (kashmiri or byadgi) (less spicy variety) 
  • Preparation for samba recipe
  1. Wash room day a few time in cooker or pot until the water runs clear. 
  2. Pour two cup of water and pressure cook for 2 to 4 whistle depending on the brand of cooker. I'd cooking in instant pot, press the pressor  cook button and set the timer  for 9 mins.if you do not have a prwssor  cooker,  it can be cooked in a pot until soft ( adding more  water as your need) 
  3. Rinse all the vegetables and scrape the drumsticks lightly and rinse it. Chop them to 2 inch pieces.  Peel the shallots as well and rinse. 
  4. Dice  tomatoes and chop okra to 1 inch pieces. If using pumpkin, peel the skin and dice keep all these aside. 
Make sambar  powder ( skip this if you have a powder) 
  1. While the day cooks, made the sambar powder. Dry roast red chilies, year day and chana dal until golden  and crunchy. Add coriander seeds and fry till aromatic. Remove it to plate. 
  2. Next add Merci seeds and saute until slightly dark. Then add curry cumin, fry for a minute. Cool those and powder finely in a spice jar. 
How to make sambar 
  1. Heat 1 tap oil in a pot. saute onions for 1 minute.  Add all the veggies and saute for 2 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the chili powder (optional) and pour 5 cups of water. When the water turns hot, take 1/4 cup hot water with a ladle to a bowl. Add remaining and Jaggery (optional) set aside to soak.
  3. When the veggies are cooked all dente, add turmeric, sambar powder and salt.  Squeeze the tamarind and pour the tamarind water. I prefer to filter the tamarind water while pouring. 
  4. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. When the pressure releases, mesh the day to smooth with as masher or ladle. 
  5. Stir it to the boiling sambar. Adjust salt and tamarind if needed. Bring it to a gentle boil and add coriander leaves. 
  1. Heat a small pan with ghee or oil. Add matured seeds, cumin, methi and red chilies.when the spices pop, add curry leaves. 
  2. The leaves will turn crisp, then add into hing and pour this to the simmering sambar. 
  3. Serve sambar with rice, idli, vada and dosha. 
Tips for refrigerating
  • Set aside the desired portion to refrigerate in smaller containers. 
  • Cool completely and refrigerate retain the taste of sambar, refrigerate within two hours of cooking. 
  • It keep good for about 2 to 4 days. Bring it to a boil  and make fresh tempering.