Sambar..its an everyday recipe in most of the households in Andhra. When I thought of posting this recipe my dear hubby asked why I wanted to post such an easy recipe. This was the scene which happened yesterday in our house…

Me: I want to post my sambar recipe today in my blog.
DH: Sambar….. but its such an easy everyday recipe, who would read that?
Me: Yes, I know.. Do you know how to make it?
DH: Of course, its a child’s play.
Me: Then why don’t you make sambar today?
DH: Why not? Today I will show you how to prepare traditional south Indian sambar (with a proud “only I can do it” smile on his face)

After almost 2 hrs…

Me: Its almost two hours.. what are u still doing in the kitchen?
DH: I have almost completed it… but it didn’t actually turn out like the regular Sambar..I am mean it tastes good…but not like the one you make.
DH: I am not sure what went wrong.
Me : (Seeing the outcome.. of so called Sambar) What is this??? What did u add?
DH: Veggies, Tamarind juice, Sambar powder..
Me: What about Dal?

That was it.. at that moment I decided posting Sambar recipe is not at all a bad idea πŸ™‚


What do you need :

Toor Dal : 1 cup
Small Sambar onions : 10 -12 (to add as whole) OR Big Onions : 4 or 5, quartered
Assorted Veggies : 2 cups (Carrots, Radish, Bottle gourd, Drumsticks)
Tomatoes : 2, quartered
Green chillies : 2 or 3, slit ,depending on your taste buds
Curry Leaves : a few
Salt :according to taste
Sambar Powder : 2 Tbsp
Coconut powder : 1 tsp (optional)
Jaggery : 1 Tbsp (optional)
Tamarind : 1 large lemon sized (soak in hot water and extract juice)
Fresh Corriander : a handful

For Tempering/Tadka:
Ghee : 1 Tbsp
Hing : 1 large pinch
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp
Dry Red chillies : 2 or 3
Curry Leaves : a few

  1. Pressure cook dal with 2 cups of water. Mash and keep aside. ( I grind it in a Mixer for a min)
  2. Take a large cooking pot, and add 1 glasses of water(around 3oo ml). Bring it to a boil.
  3. Add all ingredients from onions to curry leaves.
  4. Add salt, and cover and cook for 5 mins, till half done.
  5. Then add Sambar powder, Tamarind juice and cook till veggies are done.
  6. Add cooked dal. Mix well. Add an extra glass of water, if you feel its too thick. Adjust salt and add more tamarind juice if required.(i like it a lil bit tangy).
  7. Add coconut powder and jaggery, mix well.
  8. Heat ghee a separate pan, add hing and then mustard seeds and let them splutter, red chillis and roast for a few seconds, finally add jeera . Don’t burn them. Lastly add curry leaves and immediately add to sambar.
  9. Turn off heat and finally add fresh coriander.
  10. Serve hot with Steamed Rice or with Idly, Dosa.


Mom’s Tips :
Coconut powder and Jaggery can be added depending on taste. You can even omit them if you want.
Mom usually adds them when making sambar for idly or dosa. For eating with rice, she omits them.
For step 2, alternatively you can add oil and do Step 6 and then Step 3 and 4. When they are half done add water. And proceed with Step 5.

Sambar Powder :


(For approximately half a Kilo)
Dry Red Chillies : 100 gms
Dhaniya/Corriander Seeds : 150 gms
Toor dal : 50 gms
Chana dal : 50 gms
Urad dal : 50 gms
Miriyalu/Peppercorns : 50 gms
Jeera : 20 gms(2 Tbsp)
Methi seeds : 10 gms(2 tsp)
Rice : 10 gms(2 tsp)

  1. Fry all ingredients seperately without oil.
  2. Grind together into fine powder.
  3. Store in an air tight jar.

Mom’s Tips:
For long time storage, double the ingredients.
Adding a few curry leaves also gives extra flavor. Don’t add too much as it gives the powder a greenish color.

Food Event :
Sambar is my entry to the event Flavors of South India, being hosted by Simply Food.

Sambar Powder is my entry to the event Back to Basics being hosted by Desi Soccer Mom.


9 thoughts on “Sambar and Sambar Powder/Thick Lentil Stew with Vegetables”

  1. Awesome sambar……… traditional presentation of a traditional dish….loved it…and the idly sambar is too tempting….
    Grt going and All the best….

  2. Sambar looks so yummy. Love your presentation and clicks.

    Regarding mango thokku, yes it will be tangy. But the salt and the chilly powder will give it a whole new taste along with tanginess.


  3. Thanks Siri… That was very encouraging πŸ™‚
    Thanks Vardhini…I would love to try the recipe soon.

  4. sambar and idlis look yummy..i love the mini idlis and the way you have presented it..nice pics…and thanks for adding my Fusion food:Pasta event on your sidebar…

  5. Thank you for sharing your mom's Sambhar powder recipe. I always use the MTR brand but I think it is time I try a home made version.

  6. We lived in India (New Delhi) for 5 years and I studied Bharat Natyam with Guru Dakshinamoorthy who was from South India. His wife often made sambar and idlis for me because she knew I liked them. Here in Italy I tried making them but it's always a disaster. I've kept your recipe so when we go back home to Sicily I will try it. I'm following you from Rome, where we're spending the summer. Thank you for the very detailed recipe. My daughter hungrycaramella.blogspot grew up in India and adores Indian food too, in fact we both miss India so much.

  7. @Ramya Thanks.. I will be sending my recipe to your event soon.
    @DesiSoccermom Homemade powder is always better, do try it I am sure u will like it.
    @Ciccia Happy to know that u love Idian food, do try it.. and let me know if its successful.. else you can come over to Germany, I can make it for u πŸ™‚

  8. Like you, I love eating idlis soaked in sambar. I use MTR sambar powder but now I have a recipe, I am definitely going to try and make it at home. πŸ™‚

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