Sambhar - a staple South Indian dish

Sambar Recipe

Sambhar - what to say about this highly versatile dish from South India. Extremely delectable and very high on nutrition, it's a meal in itself. Enjoy it with Idli, Vada, Dosa or rice.

One little mumma's secret - if your kids do not like to eat vegetables, put the vegetables in sambhar and feed them with accompaniment of their choice and they wouldn't even know!



  • 2 cups Toor dal (also called as Arhar Dal or Pigeon Peas) (Soaked for about 20 min)
  • 1 teaspoon Haldi (Turmeric powder)
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 small brinjal (baingan)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Lauki (bottle gourd)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Lady Finger
  • 1 cup Chopped Carrots
  • 3 medium Chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoon Tamarind juice (optional) (Make by soaking lemon sized ball of tamarind in 1/3 cup warm water for 20 mins). You may also use a tablespoon of Tamarind Paste
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoon ghee/oil to cook veggies
  • 2 tablespoon Sambhar powder


  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds)
  • 2 teaspoon Skinned and split urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seed
  • A pinch of Hing (asofetadia)
  • 10 pieces of Curry leaves
  • 4 pieces of Whole Red chillies
  • 2 tablespoon Oil/Ghee


Preparation Time

Cooking Time

6 People

10 – 15 Minutes

15 – 20 Minutes



  • Soak tamarind and toor dal beforehand as mentioned.
  • Boil dal with turmeric powder in 5 to 6 cups water in the pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles on medium flame. Mash the dal if not mushy.
  • Take some ghee in a pan and add curry leaves, mustard seeds and whole red chillies. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry at medium heat. Add tomatoes and the vegetable of your. Pour to it about 3/4 cup water and add sambhar powder and salt. Cover and cook this mixture on medium flame for 15 mins. This way, the sambhar powder’s flavours infuse well into the vegetables, onion and tomato. Add a little chilli powder if you like the sambhar spicy.
  • Now, add this mixture to the dal in the cooker and give another 1-2 whistles. Add some more water if the mixture is too thick and let it boil. Remove from the heat.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.


Shop for ingredients required for making Sambhar:

Toor dal

Haldi (Turmeric Powder)

Hing/Heeng (Asafoetida)

Chilli Powder


Tamarind Paste

Sambhar Powder

Mustard Seeds

Cumin Seeds

Urad Dal

Curry Leaves

Dried Long Chilli


Idli Mix

Dosa Mix


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