Sambar/ Sambhar / Simple recipe for Sambar

Vada Sambar, Idli Sambar, Sambar Rice Masala Dosa with Sambar you name it, Sambar is surely one of the best  and very essential accompaniments for  most of the south Indian delicacies. I made Sambar yesterday for lunch, actually I made, masala dosa, coconut and peanut chutney and Sambar for lunch. Interesting right? Yes it was and very tasty and all from scratch. I don’t have any rivalry from  ready to cook packets it’s just I prefer the homemade ones over them, at times when I don’t have enough time or the recipe becomes too fussy I go for the store bought ready to cook options.

A quick and tasty lentil and egtable curry with spices and tamarind pulp

A quick and tasty lentil and egtable curry with spices and tamarind pulp

I will post the recipe for Masala Dosa soon its really pretty easy just needs a little planning. Coming back to our recipe for the day our Arhar dal Sambar/Sambhar, It is basically Yellow lentils and vegetables curry (kind of) , with a spicy and tangy flavor. There are many different versions of Sambar made in southern part of our country, for example there is a very famous muli/radish sambar , buttermilk sambar, mysore style sambar  etc. Though my favorite is  the mixed vegetable sambar.

Healthy, tasty and easy this lentil dish is a perfect accompaniment for all your south indian dishes

Healthy, tasty and easy this lentil dish is a perfect accompaniment for all your south indian dishes

Traditionally the recipe calls for cooking dal and vegetables separately, but I like to cook it all together. That’s how my mum used to do it and I love it. For this version I boil veggies and dal/ lentil together  and then temper it with onion ginger and spices. Now a few things which are a must have for a sambar and you are not having  sambar, if you haven’t added these ingredients(do I sound like your strict school teacher :D) but trust me its important for a good taste (I am sure you have tried many useless sambar)


Just in case you are wondering what is this rose doing in the image, well yesterday was my husband’s birthday and I had this rose right on the table where I was clicking the pic. (I want to blame this delayed post on my husbands birthday ;))

Time to checkout the sambar recipe.


Sambar/ Arhar dal Sambar
Serves 4
A tangy and spicy yellow lentil dish which is a great accompaniment for most of the south Indian dishes, or even with rice.
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  1. Arahar Dal: 1.5 cups
  2. Carrot: 1 small
  3. Egg plant :1 small
  4. Potato: 1 small
  5. Peas:1/4 cup
  6. Onion:1
  7. Ginger:1 inch peice
  8. Tamarind pulp:1/2 cup
  9. Curry leaves: 7-10
  10. Mustard seeds: 1 Tbsp
  11. Asefotida /Hing:1/4 Tsp
  12. Turmeric:1/2 tbsp
  13. Red chili powder:1/2 tbsp(optional)
  14. Coriander powder:1 tbsp
  15. Whole red chilies: 3-4
  16. Oil:3-4 tbsp
  17. Sambar powder:3.5 tbsp
  1. In a pressure cooker add dal with 5-6 cups of water with carrot, egg plant, potatoes and peas cut in to cubes, add 1/4 tbsp turmeric and salt to it and cook for 3 whistles on simmer or until the lentils become soft.
  2. For tempering heat oil in a pan add curry leaves, mustard seeds, hing, and whole red chilies. Once the seeds splutter add onions cut into chunks and grated ginger.
  3. Saute this mix for a real little while as we just want onions to sweat. Now add Turmeric 1/4 tbsp, coriander powder, Sambar powder, red chili powder,mix well.
  4. Add tamarind pulp and add this tempering to the dal and bring the whole thing to a boil.
  5. Serve hot with ghee and rice or any of your favorite dish.
  1. You may de-seed the whole red chilies to reduce the heat.

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