Sambar is the popular south Indian lentil stew or gravy made with vegetables and ground spices. This classic dish is best served with hot rice, idli, dosa, vada, pongal.

I am sharing with you all this super yummy delicious South Indian Recipe which every Indian household love to have and I hope you will also love the amazing taste of it. Enjoy with idli and nariyal ki chutney.

Sambar recipe is one of the balanced food that provides complete nutrition to the body. The lentils used in this dish provides the protein while the vegetables and spices take care of vitamins and micro nutrients. When eaten with carbs like rice, it is a wholesome balanced diet.


Most popular combination of vegetables used in vegetable sambar recipe are

  • pearl onions or sambar onions
  • drumsticks
  • tomatoes
  • carrot
  • capsicum
  • radish
  • potatoes
  • okra
  • Beans.

Lentils Or Dal

Traditionally south Indian sambar recipe is made with fresh tuvar dal or tur dal or arhar dal only. I mean the authentic recipe calls for only tuvar dal. And I will also suggest to use the same instead of taking any other lentils.

How to make Sambar Recipe?

  • Add 3 cups of water and soak the lentils for 30 minutes before cooking dal.
  • Pressure cook 1/2 cup toor dal with 2 cups water in medium flame until completely mushy. Once pressure is released mash the dal very well. In pressure cooker cook for 4 whistles.
  • Mash the dal until very smooth.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze and extract thick pulp, discard the peels.
  • Rinse, peel and chop the vegetables.
  • Peel and rinse the pearl onions.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons Oil in a heavy pan or pot. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds, methi seeds and few curry leaves.
  • Add pearl onion and saute till it changes color.
  • Next step is to add all the chopped vegetables, saute and cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes. Then add sambar powder, turmeric powder to the cooking vegetables and mix well. Saute well after adding spice powders to coat them well in veggies.
  • Now add 1- 1.25 cups of water and cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes. After that add the thick tamarind extract to the cooked vegetables and mix well.  Cook well for 5-7 minutes. Rinse the bowl with 1/2 cup water and add that tamarind water too.
  • Add cooked and mashed dal, season with salt and add a small bit of jaggery. Cook for 3-5 more minutes. Finally add cilantro leaves to the simmering sambar. Remove from flame. Serve hot.
  • Serve sambar with rice or idly. And don’t forget to have coconut chutney with it.

Sambar Recipe

Sambar is the popular south Indian lentil stew or gravy made with vegetables and ground spices. This classic dish is best served with hot rice, idli, dosa, vada, pongal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 people


  • 1/2 cup pigeon peas toor dal
  • 3 tablespoons Tamarind pulp from small gooseberry sized ball.
  • 10-12 shallots
  • 1 small carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper cubed
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons sambar powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon jaggery
  • To temper sambar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  • Soak tamarind in water for 15 minutes and extract thick juice.
  • Peel the onions, chop the vegetables.
  • Heat a pan and add 2 tablespoons oil to it. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add pearl onions and saute well.
  • Add the veggies and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder and saute well. Add 3/4 cup water and cook the veggies for 5 minutes.
  • Add tamarind juice and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked dal and mix well. Add salt and jaggery. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Add cilantro leaves and serve sambar hot with rice or dosa.
Keyword recipe, sambar, sambar recipe
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