Sambar | How to make lentil based Sambar

How to make lentil based sambar

Sambar, a lentil based vegetable stew is served  as a side dish with idli, dosa, vada etc. Idli and Vada sambar are popular breakfast food at South Indian households. It is also served with steamed rice. Sambar with rice is one of the main course dishes in  South Indian meals. Another flavourful sambar is the Mangalorean mixed vegetable sambar which is a coconut based gravy. 


½ cup  Tuvar dal                                                               
1 tsp Turmeric powder                                 
5 to 6 pieces Drumstick                                                
1 small onion                                                                                                        ½ tomato                                                                            
2 brinjal                                                                               
a few 1 inch cubes  pumpkin                                                      
1 small carrot                                                                    |
1 potato                                                                              
A lemon sized ball of tamarind                  
1 tbsp jaggery   
1 ½ tbsp  sambar powder                                         
salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil                                                                            
1 tsp mustard                                                   
1 tsp Udad dal                                                  
few curry leaves
2 Dry red chillies (optional)                             
a pinch of hing


  • Wash and soak tuvar dal for 15 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, put tuvar dal, turmeric powder, 2 cups of water and cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
  • In the meanwhile chop all the vegetables.
  • Soak the tamarind in a small bowl of water and keep it aside.  
  • Heat a deep pan, add a glass of water, chopped vegetables, tamarind water, jaggery and salt.
  • Let the vegetables cook on a slow flame.
  • Meanwhile, once the dal is cooked, mash it well.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, add mashed dal to it.
  • Add sambar powder and bring it to boil.
  •  Prepare the tempering by heating oil, udad dal, mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and red chillies.
  • Add the tempering to the sambar.  
  • Serve hot with idli or dosa.


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