Vegetable Recipe

sambar recipe


When it comes to South Indian cuisine, one dish that stands out is the delectable Sambar. This wholesome and flavorful lentil-based stew is a staple in many households. Packed with a variety of vegetables and aromatic spices, Sambar is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a nutritious meal. Let’s dive into the step-by-step preparation of this classic South Indian Sambar recipe.

sambar recipe


Before we begin, gather the following ingredients:

1. 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
Assorted vegetables (such as drumsticks, carrots, eggplants, and beans), chopped
Tamarind pulp – lemon-sized ball

toor daal



















Tamarind pulp





2. 2 tomatoes, chopped
3. 1 onion, finely sliced
4. Sambar powder – 2 tablespoons
5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
6. Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
7. Salt to taste

Preparation of Sambar:

Step 1: Cooking the Lentils
Wash the toor dal thoroughly and pressure cook with 2 cups of water until soft and mushy.
Once cooked, mash the dal well and set it aside.

Step 2: Tamarind Infusion
Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water and extract its juice. Discard the pulp.

Step 3: Vegetable Medley
In a deep pan, heat oil and add a pinch of hing.
Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
Toss in the assorted vegetables and sauté for a few minutes.
Pour in the tamarind juice, add turmeric powder, and let the vegetables cook until tender.

Step 4: Bringing It All Together
Add the mashed dal to the cooked vegetables and mix well.
Introduce the sambar powder, salt, and chopped tomatoes to the mixture.
Allow the Sambar to simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Your flavorful Sambar is now ready to be savored. Serve it piping hot with steamed rice or idli for a delightful South Indian meal.


The Sambar recipe presented here allows you to create an authentic South Indian dish that’s both delicious and nutritious. With its perfect blend of lentils, vegetables, and aromatic spices, Sambar offers a wholesome dining experience that truly captures the essence of South Indian cuisine. Enjoy the explosion of flavors in every spoonful!


Q1: How do you thicken sambar?

A1: There are a few common methods you can use to thicken Sambar:

Reduce and Simmer: Allow the Sambar to simmer uncovered on low heat. As the liquid evaporates, the consistency will naturally thicken. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

Mashed Vegetables: Take a ladleful of the cooked vegetables and lentils from the Sambar and mash them using the back of the ladle. Return the mashed mixture to the pot and mix well. This will help thicken the Sambar while also adding to its texture and flavor.

Rice Flour or Cornstarch Slurry: Mix a tablespoon of rice flour or cornstarch with a little water to form a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the Sambar while it’s simmering. Cook for a few more minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.

Grated Coconut: Blend or grind some grated coconut with a little water to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the Sambar and simmer for a while. The natural starch content in coconut can help thicken the consistency.

Dal Flour: Roast some toor dal or chickpea flour in a dry pan until it turns aromatic. Mix a tablespoon of this roasted dal flour with water to make a paste, then add it to the Sambar. Allow it to cook for a few minutes to thicken.

Boiled and Mashed Dal: If you have extra cooked toor dal, you can mash it well and add it to the Sambar. This not only thickens the Sambar but also imparts a creamy texture.

Remember to adjust the quantities of the thickening agents based on the amount of Sambar you’re making and your desired level of thickness. It’s important to monitor the Sambar as it thickens to prevent it from becoming too dense or losing its flavors.

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