Sambar is a popular and well-known south Indian dish that needs no introduction. Just like a Bhatura or kulcha is incomplete without Chole, Most of the south Indian dishes like Idli, Vada or Dosa are incomplete without Sambar. 

There are many variations when it comes to sambar. Every state in the Southern part of the country has its own variations of this recipe. Let's talk about these variations.

Tamilian Sambar: In Tamil nadu, people mostly make sambar with sesame oil mainly known as Gingelly. Tamilian sambar is moderate in species and not at all sweet. There are a Few Variations to the Tamilian Sambar Recipe also. This version of the Tamilian sambar is and I can never get tired of it.  

Kerala Sambar: In Kerala, people mostly make sambar in coconut oil. Also, they like to use sambar masala paste made using coconut. So if you do not have the taste of coconut oil, this will be a new recipe for you.

Karnataka Sambar: In Karnataka, a little bit of jaggery is added to the sambar This adds a sweet note to the sambar.

As I already mentioned, Tamilian sambar is one of my favorite versions of the sambar, so I mostly prepare that one only.

Sambhar recipe

What Actually Adds taste to the Sambar Recipe

Sambar Powder is actually the main ingredient, which adds taste to your Sambar Recipe. There are plenty of sambar powders that are available in the market. But the taste and smell of sambar made from Home Made Sambar powder are altogether different. 

You can also prepare Sambar Powder in bulk and store it. The Variation of sambar that contains coconut makes use of freshly ground sambar powder or paste.

Sambar Recipe made of Shallots or drumsticks is quite famous across the world. But, do you know a variety of other vegetables can also be added to sambar? 

To name a few: Radish(Mooli), Ash Gourd(white pumpkin), Yellow Pumpkin, Ladies Finger(Bhindi), Carrots, Bottle Gourd, and Capsicum. The variety of vegetables added to a Sambar also adds a distinct flavor to it.

Being rich in pulses and loaded with vegetables, sambar is an absolutely delicious and power-packed healthy recipe.

Let's Begin To make our Sambar Recipe.

Sambhar recipe

Sambar Recipe

Mouthwatering Sambar Recipe to Go well with your Idli, Vada or Dosa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 people


  • 100 gms Tur dal / pigeon pea lentils Tur dal / pigeon pea lentils
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Chopped vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, bottle gourd)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup Chopped tomato
  • 2 Drum sticks (cut into 3 inches pcs)
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sambar powder
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seed
  • 2 pcs Dry red chilli
  • 6-7 Curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Hing/ Asafoetida


  • Rinse the Tur Dal with Water a couple of times and drain all the water used for Rinsing.
  • Add the Tur Dal in a pressure Cooker.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a cup of water and mix them.
  • Cover the Pressure Cooker and cook for 5- whistles. After the pressure releases check the dal.
  • In a pan, Add the chopped Vegetables. To this add ½ cup Chopped onions and tomatoes.
  • To this add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, salt, and one cup water. Cook the Vegetables on low to medium flame.
  • Keep Checking the vegetables and occasionally Stir Them. The vegetable should be just done and not be over cooked.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, add the tamarind paste ( if you do not have paste,soak a little tamarind, extract the pulp and put), cooked dal and 1 ½ tsp of sambar powder.
  • To adjust the consistency you can add water and cook the the sambar comes to a boil.
  • Now, to temper the sambar , In a small pan add 2 tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add little Hing (asafoetida), 1-2 dry red chilies, and a spring of curry leaves.
  • Let all the ingredients fry for a minute. Add the tempering to the sambar.
  • Close the Lid and let the sambar cook for 4-5 mins.
  • Serve Piping hot Sambar with Idli, Vada, Dosa, or Simply relish it with rice with a dollop of Ghee.


  1. You can soak  Tamarind and extract the tamarind juice if you do not have pulp.
  2. Regular Cooking oil can also be used in place of Gingelly oil.
Keyword healthy, South Indian, traditional

About the Author Sonia Gupta

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