Authentic South Indian Sambar


My daughter waits for every Sunday to arrive, she demands Sambar will be made by Papa only, I can say that she has only encouraged me to collect more intel on sambar and now I am able to make authentic sambar, Chatni and Dosas which is now our every Sunday’s Morning’s breakfast.

Sambar is the most loved cuisine of South India and Sri-Lanka, Sambar is called Sambaru in Karnataka, Kuzhambu in Tamilnadu and Sambhar in North India. History says that the recipe’s origination was done by a Maratha ruler Sambhaji while preparing Dal Soup and adding Tamarind to it, when his head chef was away.

I had been to Kerala House near Vashi Railway Station, Navi Mumbai to enjoy the delicacy of Kerala’s Sambar rice, there they serve brown rice with traditional Sambar along with vegetable side dishes and Kerala papad, followed by yoghurt mixed with rice… Wow what a meal.

In Mumbai, if you walk out of every railway station you will find Vada- Sambar and Idli- Sambar stalls and you can see people enjoying this popular snack for breakfast or as an evening snack.

If I have to explain in Plain English what Sambar is?

Then it is flavorful lentil spicy stew of South India cooked with a variety of vegetables.

Let’s dissect the ingredients of Sambar in two steps:-

Step 1 : Ingredients for Pressure Cooking.

  • 1 – Cup Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas)
  • 1/4 – Cup split Masoor Dal (Orange lentils)
  • 1 – Large size Onion cut in small pieces
  • 1 – Medium size Potato peeled & cut in cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Carrot cut in small cubes
  • 1 3’inch size Brinjal cut in cubes
  • 5 to 6 – Beans cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Bottle Gourd cut in cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin cut in cubes
  • 4 to 5 – Drumstick 2’inch pieces
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder.
  • 3 Cup water

Step 2 : Ingredients for Sambar Tadka (Frying)

  • 4 or 5 Dry Red Chili deseeded
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 8-10 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Powder.
  • 1/2 Teaspoon authentic South Indian asafetida (hing) powder (turn the fresh rockhard asafoetida into powder to bring aroma to the Sambar)
  • 4 Orka cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large size Tomato finely chopped
  • 2 Table spoon Everest Sambar Powder
  • 3 Table spoon oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red chili powder.
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

Later stage

  • 2 Tablespoon Tamarind paste
  • Add the drumstick back which was earlier taken out (after the dal was pressure cooked.)

Chef’s Recipe:

1) Add 1 tablespoon oil in pressure cooker along with Toor dal, Masoor dal, Onion, Potato, Carrot, Brinjal, Beans, Bottle Gaurd, Pumpkin, Drumstick, turmeric powder and 3 cups of water.

2) Close lid and pressure cook on small flame till 2 whistles, once done let it cool for 15 mins. Open the lid take out drumstick pieces and mash rest of ingredients.

3) Take big Kadhai / Deep cooking Bowl and heat 3 table spoon oil, then add mustard seed, Curry Leaves, Dry red chili, okra, tomato, asafoetida, fenugreek powder and sauté well for 4- 5 minutes, once done add sambar powder, red chili powder and stir fry for 1 more minute.

4) Add pressure cooked dal and vegetable mash to tadka and mix well, then add 5 cups of water and check the consistency, add salt and bring sambar to boil.

5) Add tamarind paste to the boiling sambar and check its taste, At this stage if required, you can add 1 more teaspoon of Sambar powder/ tamrind and salt if you want more strong flavour to the sambar.

6) Boil Sambar on high heat for another 3 to 4 mins and close the gas lid, add drumstick pieces to Sambar.

Now your Sambar is ready to be served hot.

Enjoy and don’t forget to comment on same.

Important TIP :

  • 1 Cup = 300 ml size cup
  • There is a difference in Tablespoon and Teaspoon, read the instructions carefully otherwise you will spoil the taste.
  • If you don’t want to mash the vegetables that are pressure cooked you can directly add them to the tadka, it’s a matter of choice, but if you ask me, I like it in the mashed form.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Deepa PARIHAR says:

    Nice sir


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