Only recently realized that I am missing one of the most common side dish of South Indian Cuisines – The Sambar (സാമ്പാർ). This lentil-based vegetable stew is prepared as a semi-thick gravy dish with tamarind and a special masala mix. Sambar is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines and is served as a side dish for boiled rice and also for dosa /idli.


For Dal

  1. Toor dal : 1 Cup
  2. Turmeric powder : ¼ T- Sp
  3. Asafetida/കായം : small piece

For Vegetables:-

  1. Water                : 2 Cup
  2. Carrot                : 2 (big)
  3. Cucumber : 1(medium)
  4. Drumstick : 10 pieces
  5. Yam pieces/ചേന : ½ Cup
  6. Potatoes : 2 (medium)
  7. Brinjal                : 2
  8. Water
  9. Tamarind/പുളി : lemon size
  10. Chopped onion                : 1 (medium)
  11. Green chilli : 3
  12. Salt for taste
  13. Oil : 1 Tbl- Sp
  14. Chopped tomato : 2 ( medium)
  15. Cilantro generously
  16. Asafetida powder : A small pinch
  17. Water : 7 Cup

For roast and grind:-

  1. Channa dal : 1 ½ Tbl Sp
  2. Coriander seeds                : 2 Tbl- Sp
  3. Jeera : ¼ T- Sp
  4. Dried red chilly                : 15 (Adjust)
  5. Fenugreek/ഉലുവ : a pinch
  6. Asfoetida/ കായം small piece
  7. Coconut ¾ Cup
  8. Curry leaves

For seasoning: –

  1. Oil/ghee : 2 T-Sp
  2. Mustard seeds : 1 T- Sp
  3. Jeera : a pinch
  4. Dried red chilly : 4


  • Cut the vegetables in medium size pieces and keep it aside.
  • Squeeze the extract from the tamarind in ½ cup of water
  • In a pan/kadai, dry roast all the items listed for roast and grind (except Coconut) until brown, let it cool completely and make a coarse powder, then add the coconut and enough water to make a fine paste.
  • In a pressure cooker, add washed dal along with ¼ T- Sp of turmeric powder , 2 cup of water and asafetida piece and cook it for about 4 whistle /until cooked well. Smash the dal well and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan and sauté the onions along with green chilli, till transparent, then add all the vegetables and sauté it for about 2 minutes.
  • Then add 2 cups of water and salt; cook it.
  • Once the vegetables are 75% done, add half portion of tamarind juice, let it boil, check the sourness and add if you need more. Normally in this ratio we need this much tamarind only. But it is depending on individual taste.
  • Check the salt and add if you need.
  • Then add the ground masala smashed dal and 5 cup of water; mix it and let it boil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, close the lid and cook it until all the vegetables are done.
  • Finally add the asafetida powder and chopped cilantro; take it out from the stove.
  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add mustards and wait for spluttering; then add jeera, followed by dried red chilli and curry leaves.
  • Add this into the sambar and mix it.



  • Quantity of water & and cooking time for Toor Dal varies
  • Adjust the quantity of vegetables and can use variety of vegetables for sambar.



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