How to make sambar



Sambar is a famous vegetarian curry made in Southern India. It is served with dosa, idli, or rice topped with a spoon of ghee as an option. Vegetables, to dal, and lentils are used for making this popular vegetable curry. Vegetables can be used in different combinations resulting in a number of variations in sambar.


¾ cup Toor dal (pigeon peas)

1 cup vegetables ( single or mixed as per choice) like okra, yam, pumpkin, brinjal, lima beans, drumstick, radish, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, raw mango, tomato, shallot onions, etc.

1 ½ tbsp tamarind juice

1 tomato

1-2 green chilies

8-10 shallot onions / 1 onion (chopped)

2 sprigs curry leaves

1 tbsp sambhar powder

2 red chilies (dry)

5-7 fenugreek seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp mustard seeds

Few leaves of cilantro (for garnishing)


Take a pressure cooker, add 2 ½ cups water and toor dal. Keep on a high fire. When the first whistle sounds, lower the flame and cook for five minutes. Once pressure is released from the cooker, mash it well.

In a deep vessel heat some oil, add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves, and dry red chilies and allow them to splutter.

The next thing to do is sauté the green chilies and onions in a pan. Add the vegetables and some water and cook till soft. An alternative is to cook the dal and veggies in the pressure cooker in separate containers.

Once the vegetables are cooked well, add the mashed dal, sambar powder, salt, and tamarind juice. Add some water and boil it well. Then reduce the flame to low heat and allow the mix to simmer for around 20 minutes. Add the fried seasoning to it and boil for a further five minutes. The flavors will blend well and sambar will give out a nice aroma. Garnish it with chopped cilantro and serve with dosa, idli, or hot rice.

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