Sambar | Authentic South Indian Sambar Recipe: Perfect Blend of Spices and Vegetables

Sambar Recipe

A flavorful and nutrient-dense South Indian dish called sambar is sambar. Our traditional Sambar recipe uses the ideal proportions of spices, lentils, and seasonal veggies to entice your taste buds. Served with rice, idli, dosa, or any other South Indian food, this substantial and healthful dish is ideal for any meal.

Even novice cooks can successfully complete our recipe because it is simple to follow and comes with detailed directions. It's also vegetarian and vegan-friendly, making it a perfect choice for people who eat just plants. With its original flavours and fragrances, this traditional South Indian sambar recipe will dazzle your family and guests.

Sambar Recipe

About Sambar:

Sambar is a flavorful and nutritious dish from southern India. It is a vegetable stew with lentils that includes carrots, onions, tomatoes, drumsticks, okra and eggplant. The sambar is full of flavors and aroma due to lots of aromatic Indian spices.

Sambar is generally served on side of dosa, idli, medu vada and steamed rice. Sambar is not only delicious but also nutritious, thanks to the lentils and vegetables that provide essential nutrients and protein.

Sambar recipes vary by region and can be made with a variety of vegetables and spices. Overall, Sambar is a versatile and flavorful dish that is popular in South Indian cuisine.

Sambar Recipe

Ingredients for Sambar Recipe:

Here's a simple and authentic South Indian Sambar recipe that serves 4-6 people:


  • 1 cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 drumsticks, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 potatoes, chopped
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sambar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
Sambar Recipe

Stepwise process to make Sambar at home:

  • Rinse toor dal thoroughly and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal, chopped vegetables, turmeric powder, salt, and 3 cups of water. Cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked and the vegetables are soft.
  • Heat oil in a separate pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and mushy.
  • Add curry leaves, green chilies, and sambar powder. Stir well and cook for a minute.
  • Add the cooked dal and vegetables to this pan and mix well.
  • Add tamarind paste and mix again. Simmer the sambar for 5-7 minutes or until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice, idli, or dosa.

Enjoy your delicious and nutritious South Indian Sambar!

Sambar Recipe

Variations of Sambar:

There are many variations of Sambar that vary based on the region, ingredients, and personal preferences. Here are some popular variations of Sambar:

·         Kerala Sambar: This variation of Sambar is made with a coconut-based masala paste, and drumsticks and raw mangoes are commonly used in this recipe.

·         Udipi Sambar: Udipi Sambar is a popular variation from the Udipi region of Karnataka. It is made without onions and garlic and has a slightly sweet flavor due to the use of jaggery.

·         Arachuvitta Sambar: This Sambar is made by grinding fresh spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds along with coconut to make a masala paste. This variation is commonly made in Tamil Nadu.

·         Radish Sambar: In this variation, sliced radish is added to the Sambar to give it a unique flavor and texture.

·         Mango Sambar: This variation of Sambar is made by adding ripe mango pieces to the dish to give it a sweet and tangy flavor.

·         Mixed Vegetable Sambar: This variation is made with a mix of vegetables like eggplant, pumpkin, okra, and carrots along with lentils to make a flavorful and nutritious dish.

·         Horse Gram Sambar: Horse gram is a type of lentil that is high in protein and fiber. This Sambar variation is made using horse gram instead of toor dal.

These are just a few examples of the many variations of Sambar that you can try based on your taste preferences and availability of ingredients.

Sambar Recipe

Pro Tips:

Here are some pro tips to help you make a perfect Sambar at home:

·         Soak the dal for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to reduce the cooking time and also ensure that the dal is cooked evenly.

·         Use a mix of vegetables to give the Sambar a unique flavor and texture. Vegetables like drumsticks, okra, eggplant, and carrots work well.

·         Use freshly ground sambar powder for the best flavor. You can also make your own sambar powder by roasting and grinding the spices at home.

·         Do not overcook the vegetables as they will lose their texture and flavor. Cook them until they are just tender.

·         Adjust the consistency of the Sambar by adding more or less water. The Sambar should be thick and not too watery.

·         Adding tamarind paste or lemon juice gives the Sambar a tangy flavor. Be sure to adjust the amount according to your taste.

·         Temper the Sambar with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves to give it a delicious aroma.

·         Garnish with fresh coriander leaves to enhance the flavor and appearance of the dish.

By following these pro tips, you can make a delicious and authentic Sambar that will impress your family and friends.

Sambar Recipe


Can I use any type of lentils to make Sambar?

Traditionally, toor dal or pigeon peas are used to make Sambar. However, you can also use other lentils like masoor dal, chana dal, or a mix of lentils to make Sambar.

Can I use frozen vegetables to make Sambar?

Yes, you can use frozen vegetables to make Sambar. However, fresh vegetables are always recommended as they give the Sambar a better texture and flavor.

What can I serve with Sambar?

Sambar is typically served with steamed rice, idli, dosa, or vada. It can also be served as a side dish with other South Indian dishes.

How long can I store Sambar in the refrigerator?

You can store Sambar in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or microwave before serving.

Can I make Sambar without a pressure cooker?

Yes, you can make Sambar without a pressure cooker. However, it will take longer to cook the dal and vegetables on the stovetop.

Is Sambar vegan?

Yes, Sambar is a vegan dish as it does not contain any animal products.

Can I make Sambar without tamarind paste?

Yes, you can substitute tamarind paste with lemon juice or vinegar to give Sambar a tangy flavor.

Can I make Sambar without using onions and garlic?

Yes, you can make Sambar without onions and garlic by using asafoetida or hing to give it a similar flavor.

What is the difference between Sambar and Rasam?

Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable stew with a thicker consistency and a tangy flavor, while Rasam is a soup-like dish made with a tamarind or tomato base and is thinner in consistency.

Can I make Sambar with coconut milk?

Yes, you can add coconut milk to give the Sambar a rich and creamy texture. However, this variation is not traditionally used in South Indian cuisine.

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