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Monday, April 13, 2009


Sambar / sambhar is a dish common in South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu), made of toovar dal (pigeon pea).
First the toovar /toor daal is cooked in a pressure cooker. Tamarind is soaked in water to extract the juice & the pulp is discarded. A mixture of ground spices known as sambar powder and tamarind juice are added to the daal.
Vegetables (including lady's finger, drumstick, carrot, radish, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjal and whole or halved onions and also other vegetables) and spices (turmeric and chilli powder) are also added. The daal is heated until the vegetables get cooked.
The cooked sambar is eaten with an oil-fried spice mixture containing items such mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and asafoetida. Fresh curry leaves are added at the very end to enhance the aroma of the sambhar.

  • 100 gms toovar / toor dal
  • 100 gms vegetables (as per your choice)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • a pinch red chilli powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sambhar powder
  • 1 tsp dried coconut, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad daal
  • tamarind extract
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  1. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker till the daak is cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and urad daal and stir fry for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the chopped onions, curry leaves and saute till the onions are translucent and turn light brown.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetables and tamarind extract and fry till vegetables are tender.
  5. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sambar powder to the cooked toovar daal. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 mins on high flame.
  6. Add dried coconut and salt to taste. Transfer in a serving bowl, garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with dosa / idlis.


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