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20 min


Sambar Photo 1


20 min


4 persons




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Author: Monica Feluchi

Sambar is a traditional South Indian dish, which is generally served with rice. It may be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper depending upon your taste and preferences. The dish is quite easy to cook, so, you won’t need much time to do that!


  • tamarind: 1 piece (soak tamarind in warm water for 5 min then squeeze and then strain tamarind water)
  • Toor dal: 1 cup
  • tomatoes: 1 piece (chopped)
  • vegetables: 1 cup (carrot, potato, eggplant, drumstick, beans - chopped)
  • curry leaves: 1 piece (small)
  • coriander leaves: 1 bunch (small, chopped)
  • dry red chili: 1 piece
  • green chili pepper: 1 piece
  • Sambar onions: 5 piece (shallot)
  • turmeric powder: 0.5 tsp
  • mustard seeds: 0.5 tsp
  • coriander seeds: 0.5 Tbsp (powdered)
  • hot pepper: 0.5 tsp (powdered)
  • Bengal gram: 0.5 Tbsp
  • urad dal: 0.5 Tbsp
  • Jaggery: 0.5 Tbsp (grated)
  • asafoetida: 0.25 tsp
  • oil: 2 Tbsp
  • salt: 1 tsp (to your taste)
  • water: 0.5 litre (or as much as needed)

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Wash, cut and parboil vegetables first. You will need eggplant, drumstick, carrot, beans, potato, and radish.

    Sambar Photo 2
  2. Then wash and boil toor dal with turmeric powder for about 2 minutes.

    Sambar Photo 3
  3. Heat the frying pan with oil and add mustard seeds. Then add Bengal gram, urad dal, onion and sauté the ingredients until they are almost ready.

    Sambar Photo 4
  4. Add asafoetida, fenugreek powder, dry red chilli, green chilli and curry leaves. Sauté the ingredients well. Then add tomato and sauté until the ingredients become soft.

    Sambar Photo 5
  5. Add parboiled vegetables, salt, red chili powder, coriander and turmeric powder. Mix well and sauté for about one minute.

    Sambar Photo 6
  6. Add roasted and ground spices (any you like) and mix the dish well. Then add water and let it boil.

    Sambar Photo 7
  7. Now, it is high time to add boiled toor dal and tamarind water. Mix well and wait until the dish boils.

    Sambar Photo 8
  8. Finally, add grated jaggery and salt. Stir the ingredients. Then remove the dish from heat. Dredge with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice. Enjoy this unique Indian dish!

    Sambar Photo 9

History of the Sambar:

Sambar is a traditional South Indian dish that originated in Tamil Nadu, India. It is a staple food in many South Indian households and is known for its unique taste and health benefits. It is said that sambar was invented by the Maratha ruler Shivaji in the 17th century. Over the years, different variations of the dish have developed based on regional differences and preferences.

Tips and Tricks for Sambar Recipe:

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for a few minutes to extract the pulp easily.

  2. Use fresh vegetables for the recipe to enhance the flavor of the dish.

  3. The consistency of the sambar should be thick and not watery. Adjust the amount of water accordingly.

  4. Use a pressure cooker to boil the toor dal quickly.

  5. Roast the spices for a few minutes to enhance their flavor.

  6. Use asafoetida sparingly as it has a strong taste.

  7. Adjust the amount of salt and spices based on your taste preferences.

Tips for presenting the dish:

  1. Serve sambar hot with rice or any other Indian bread, such as naan or chapati.

  2. Garnish the dish with curry leaves, coriander leaves, and chopped onions for added flavor and visual appeal.

  3. Serve sambar in a traditional South Indian style copper vessel for an authentic look.

  4. Accompany the dish with a side of papad or pickle to enhance the taste.

  5. Use a little ghee or clarified butter to enhance the flavor of the dish.

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