How to Make Sambar at Home

How to Make Sambar at Home

About Sambar:

Sambar is a very famous South Indian dish made with pigeon pea, mixed vegetables, tamarind pulps, herbs, spices, and a special spice powder known as sambar powder.  You can serve this sambar with steamed rice, idli, and dosa.  This is a very healthy, easy, and quick to make sambar recipe.  This is a vegetarian recipe.


  • 1-1/2 cups toor dal.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • Water as required.
  • 2 drumsticks cut into small pieces.
  • 10-12 shallots.
  • 1 medium sized onion thinly sliced.
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped.
  • 1 carrot chopped.
  • Chopped bottle gourd.
  • Chopped pumpkin.
  • Some chopped French beans.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil.
  • 2 chopped brinjals.
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds.
  • 2-3 dry red chillies.
  • 1/4th teaspoon hing (asafoetida).
  • Red chilli powder to taste.
  • 2-3 slit green chillies or to taste.
  • Some finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Some curry leaves.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons of sambar powder (homemade or store brought).
  • 1-2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp or to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar or jaggery.
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder.

Note:  You may increase or decrease the quantity of ingredients depending on your taste and for how may people you are making for.  You may add any vegetables of your choice.

Boiling of Toor Dal:

  1.  Wash the toor dal 3-4 times and soak for at least 20-30 minutes.
  2.  Take a pressure cooker and add soaked toor dal, salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1-2 teaspoons of cooking oil, and water as required and mix all the ingredients well.
  3.  Cover the pressure cooker lid and pressure cook the dal on a medium flame for 4-5 whistles or until dal is well cooked.
  4.  Turn off the flame and let the cooker to release the pressure itself.
  5.  When cooker released all the pressure, remove the lid and mash the dal until its smooth.
  6.  Transfer the dal into a bowl and keep aside for later use.

Method of Making Sambar:

  1.  Take a kadai and turn on the flame.
  2.  When kadai is hot, add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil.
  3.  When oil is hot, add the dry red chilles and 1/4th teaspoon hing and cook them for 10 seconds.
  4.  Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let it splutter.
  5.  Add sliced onions and saute on a medium to high flame until onion turns translucent.
  6.  Add chopped vegetables and shallots and mix well.
  7.  Saute the vegetables on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes, stir occasionally.
  8.  Add chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  9.  Cover the lid and cook the tomatoes on a medium flame until tomatoes are soft.  Stir occasionally.
  10.  Add the 1-2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp or to taste and 1/2 cup of water and mix well.
  11.  Cover the lid and cook the vegetable on a low flame for 4-5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  12.  Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, red chilli powder to taste, coriander powder, and slit green chillies and mix well and cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  13.  Add sambar masala and mix well.
  14.  Add cooked dal and mix well.
  15.  Add water as required, salt to taste, and 1 teaspoon of sugar/jaggery and mix well.
  16.  Cover the lid and cook the sambar on a low flame for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are well cooked.  Stir occasionally.
  17.  Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  18.  Cover the lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  19.  Turn off the flame and transfer the sambar into a serving bowl and serve hot with steamed rice, dosa, or with idli.
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