sambar recipe -

sambar recipe

If you love South Indian cuisine, you probably know the delightful dish called sambar recipe. This tangy lentil soup bursts with vegetables, spices, and aromatic her

bs. Many households consider it a staple, often pairing it with rice, idli, dosa, or vada.

What is the sambar recipe?

People from Tamil Nadu, a region in South India, introduced sambar, but now people all over the country and even internationally relish it. This thick and hearty lentil soup uses toor dal (pigeon peas), tamarind, and a distinct blend of spices. The sambar recipe powder, a spice mix crafted from roasted and ground coriander seeds, chilies, fenugreek, and other aromatic spices, distinguishes sambar.

The combination of ingredients like tamarind pulp, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and asafoetida gives sambar its tangy and rich flavor. Typically, chefs cook it with various vegetables such as drumsticks, carrots, potatoes, eggplants, and okra, enhancing both the texture and taste of the dish.

Ingredients needed for sambar recipe

To make sambar recipe at home, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. Toor dal (pigeon peas): This is the base of the sambar and provides a creamy texture.
  2. Tamarind pulp: Adds the tangy taste and acts as the souring agent.
  3. Sambar powder: Gives the dish its distinctive flavor.
  4. Vegetables: Drumsticks, carrots, potatoes, eggplants, and okra are commonly used, but you can add your preferred vegetables.
  5. Onion, tomato, and garlic: These ingredients add depth and enhance the taste.
  6. Curry leaves, mustard seeds, and asafoetida: These spices lend their aromatic flavors to the sambar.
  7. Salt and turmeric powder: To enhance the taste and add color.

By following a simple step-by-step process, you can create a delectable sambar recipe that is bursting with flavors. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences, making it a crowd-pleaser and the perfect accompaniment to your favorite South Indian recipes.

For a different twist on traditional recipes, check out this Bob Evans Recipe for Banana Bread.

So, why not gather the ingredients and try your hand at making this flavorful and comforting sambar recipe? It’s sure to become a favorite in your household and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!

Traditional Sambar Recipe

sambar recipe

Step-by-step guide to making Sambar

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, then you’ve probably heard of sambar. This flavorful and aromatic dish is a staple in South Indian households. With its unique blend of spices and vegetables, sambar recipe is a delicious and satisfying addition to any meal. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making traditional sambar at home.

  1. Start by soaking tamarind in warm water for about 15 minutes. Once softened, extract the juice and set it aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then, add curry leaves, dried red chilies, and asafoetida for additional flavor.
  3. Now, add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent. Next, add vegetables like carrots, beans, radish, and drumstick. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes.
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and sambar powder to the pot. Mix well and cook for a minute. This will help release the flavors of the spices.
  5. Pour in the extracted tamarind juice and add salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. In a separate pan, heat ghee or clarified butter. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Once they start spluttering, add curry leaves and dried red chilies for tempering. Pour this tempering over the simmering sambar.
  7. Continue to cook the sambar on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  8. Finally, garnish the sambar with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice or idli.

Tips for achieving perfect consistency and flavor

To make a delicious sambar, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh and seasonal vegetables for the best flavor. Popular choices include drumstick, eggplant, okra, and pumpkin.
  • Adjust the consistency of the sambar by adding more water if it becomes too thick or simmering longer if it’s too watery.
  • For a richer and creamier sambar, you can add a spoonful of coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Don’t forget to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Sambar should have a balance of spice, tanginess, and sweetness.

With these instructions and tips, you’ll be able to prepare a delicious and authentic sambar recipe right in your own kitchen. Enjoy this classic South Indian dish with rice, idli, dosa, or even as a tasty soup on its own!

If you’re looking for more sandwich recipes after trying sambar with dosa, here’s a Saint Paul Sandwich Recipe you might like.

Variations of sambar recipe

Sambar is a popular South Indian dish that is loved for its flavorful taste and the versatility it offers. While the basic recipe remains the same, there are several variations of sambar that you can try to add a new twist to this traditional dish. Here are some variations to explore:

Regional variations and their unique ingredients

  1. Tamil Nadu style sambar: In this variation, tamarind is used as the souring agent, along with a special spice blend called sambar powder. Vegetables like drumsticks, brinjals, and tomatoes are commonly added to enhance the flavor.
  2. Kerala style sambar: The uniqueness of Kerala style sambar lies in the use of coconut. The sambar is made with a freshly ground coconut paste, which gives it a rich and creamy texture. It is often served with a side of coconut chutney and dosa.
  3. Karnataka style sambar: This variation is known for its use of freshly roasted spices like coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chillies. It is typically made with a combination of toor dal and vegetables like lady’s finger, pumpkin, and drumsticks.

Quick and easy Sambar variations for busy days

  1. Instant Pot sambar: Using an Instant Pot can help you save time in the kitchen. Simply pressure cook toor dal, vegetables, and spices together for a quick and easy sambar. You can even add a twist by using sambar masala powder instead of making the spice blend from scratch.
  2. One-pot sambar: This variation requires minimal preparation as all the ingredients are cooked together in a single pot. It is a convenient option for busy days when you need a quick and wholesome meal.
  3. Sambar with leftover vegetables: Instead of using fresh vegetables, you can make sambar using leftover vegetables from previous meals. This is a great way to reduce food waste and enjoy a delicious sambar at the same time.

Whether you prefer the traditional recipe or want to experiment with different variations, sambar is a versatile dish that can be customized according to your taste and preference. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor the delicious flavors of sambar!

sambar recipe Accompaniments

When it comes to South Indian cuisine, one dish that stands out is the flavorful and aromatic sambar. This lentil-based stew is a staple in many households, served with a variety of accompaniments that enhance its taste and texture. If you’re looking to elevate your sambar experience, here are some popular side dishes to pair with it and creative serving ideas for an enticing meal.

Popular side dishes to pair with Sambar

1. Idli and Dosa:Sambar is traditionally served with idli or dosa, which are soft and fluffy rice cakes and crispy pancakes, respectively. The combination of sambar’s savory flavors with the mild sweetness of idli or dosa creates a perfect balance.

  1. Vada: Crispy and savory, vada is a deep-fried lentil fritter that pairs well with sambar. The contrasting textures and complementary flavors make this combination a favorite among sambar lovers.
  2. Pongal: Pongal is a creamy rice and lentil porridge, typically served as a breakfast dish. It complements sambar beautifully, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.
  3. Vegetable Stir Fry: Adding a side of lightly spiced vegetable stir fry, such as cabbage, carrot, or beans, provides a crunchy and healthy accompaniment to sambar.

Creative serving ideas for an enticing meal

1. Sambar Bowl:Serve sambar in a wide and shallow bowl, allowing room for various toppings and garnishes. This presentation style not only looks visually appealing but also allows for easy mixing and enjoying all the flavors together.

  1. Mini Sambar Shots: For a unique and fun presentation, serve sambar in shot glasses or small cups. This is a great option for parties or gatherings, allowing guests to have a taste of sambar without committing to a full bowl.
  2. Sambar Rice: Transform your sambar into a complete meal by mixing it with cooked rice. Top it with a dollop of ghee and serve with papadums for a satisfying and comforting dish.
  3. Sambar Soup: If you prefer a lighter version of sambar, dilute it with some vegetable or chicken broth to create a flavorful soup. Serve it in bowls with a side of crusty bread for a warm and nourishing meal.

Remember, the key to a delicious sambar experience lies in the combination of flavors and textures. Experiment with different side dishes and presentation styles to create a meal that tantalizes your taste buds and leaves you craving for more sambar goodness.

Health Benefits of sambar recipe

Nutritional value of Sambar ingredients

Sambar, a popular South Indian dish, is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. The key ingredients used in Sambar provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Lentils: Lentils are a rich source of protein and fiber. They are also low in fat and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and potassium.
  • Vegetables: Sambar is typically made with a variety of vegetables like drumstick, pumpkin, brinjal, and carrot. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, contributing to a balanced diet.
  • Tamarind: Tamarind adds a tangy flavor to Sambar. It is known for its antioxidant properties and is a good source of vitamin C.
  • Spices: Sambar is flavored with a blend of spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds. These spices not only enhance the taste but also provide health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

How Sambar promotes good health

  1. Provides essential nutrients: Sambar contains a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It is a wholesome meal that keeps you feeling full for longer and provides sustained energy throughout the day.
  2. Supports digestive health: The fiber content in Sambar helps regulate bowel movements and prevents constipation. It also promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for overall digestive health.
  3. Boosts immunity: The antioxidants in Sambar ingredients, such as tamarind and spices, help boost the immune system and protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress.
  4. Helps in weight management: The high fiber and protein content in Sambar can aid in weight management by reducing hunger cravings and promoting a feeling of fullness.
  5. Supports heart health: The lentils used in Sambar are low in fat and high in fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.

By incorporating Sambar into your diet, you can enjoy its delicious flavors while reaping the numerous health benefits it offers.

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Whether you’re a fan of South Indian cuisine or simply looking to broaden your culinary horizons, learning to make sambar can be a great addition to your recipe repertoire. This flavorsome and versatile dish offers a delicious blend of spices and vegetables that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Summarizing the key points of the Sambar recipe

In summary, here are the key points to keep in mind when making sambar at home:

  1. Gather your ingredients: You’ll need a variety of vegetables, lentils, tamarind pulp, and a selection of spices to create the flavorful base for your sambar.
  2. Prepare the lentils: Boil the lentils until they are cooked and tender, and set them aside.
  3. Prepare the vegetables: Chop your chosen vegetables into bite-sized pieces and cook them separately in a pan until they are tender.
  4. Make the sambar powder: Roast and grind a mixture of spices, including coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chili powder, to create the aromatic sambar powder.
  5. Combine all the elements: Add the cooked lentils, vegetables, tamarind pulp, and sambar powder to a pot, and simmer until all the flavors meld together.
  6. Temper the sambar: In a separate pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilies, and asafoetida. Allow the spices to sizzle, and then pour them into the sambar.
  7. Serve and enjoy: Sambar pairs well with rice or idli and can be garnished with fresh coriander leaves for an added burst of freshness.

Final thoughts and suggestions for trying Sambar at home

Making sambar at home may require a bit of effort and preparation, but the end result is well worth it. Remember to experiment with different vegetables and adjust the spice levels according to your preference.

If you’re short on time, you can also consider using store-bought sambar powder instead of making it from scratch. However, the homemade version usually offers a more authentic and flavorful experience.

Feel free to customize your sambar by adding additional spices, herbs, or even a splash of coconut milk for a unique twist. And don’t forget to serve it with traditional accompaniments like dosa, vada, or uttapam for a delicious South Indian meal.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor the delightful flavors of sambar in the comfort of your own home. Happy cooking!


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rajma recipe

sambar recipe

  • Author: maria.ann
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop Cooking
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


Relish the rich and tangy flavors of South Indian cuisine with this traditional sambar recipe. Packed with nutritious lentils, a medley of vegetables, and aromatic spices, it’s the perfect accompaniment to rice, idlis, or dosas.


  1. Main:
    • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
    • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
    • 2.5 cups mixed vegetables (like drumstick, okra, pumpkin, carrot, and eggplant), chopped
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
    • Salt to taste
    • Fresh cilantro, for garnishing
  2. For Sambar Powder (or use store-bought):
    • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
    • 1 tablespoon urad dal (split black gram)
    • 56 dried red chilies
    • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  3. For Tempering:
    • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
    • 1012 curry leaves
    • 23 dried red chilies


  1. Wash the toor dal thoroughly and cook it in a pressure cooker or pot until it’s soft and mushy.
  2. If you’re making sambar powder from scratch, dry roast all the ingredients for the powder in a pan until aromatic. Cool and grind into a fine powder.
  3. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes, then extract the juice and set it aside.
  4. In a large pot, add the cooked dal, tamarind extract, vegetables, tomato, asafoetida, and salt. Add water as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
  6. Stir in the sambar powder, adjust salt if necessary, and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. For the tempering, heat oil or ghee in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then, add cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. Fry for a few seconds.
  8. Pour this tempering over the sambar and mix well.
  9. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.


  • The choice of vegetables can vary based on personal preference and regional variations.
  • Adjust the tamarind and sambar powder to taste, depending on how tangy or spicy you like your sambar.


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 350mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: Sambar, Lentils, Tamarind, South Indian Cuisine

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