Sambar - traditional method

Preparing a sambar from the scratch is not an interesting idea these days. The number of sambar powder brands stands testimony to it. However I like to have the traditional recipe once in a while especially with idlis. The recipe follows…..


Dal – ¼ cup
Green chilly – 1

Condiments to be fried, powdered and ground to a paste

Oil – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Red chilly, dried – 7 – 9
Coconut, grated – 1/4 parts

Vegetables, cubed (whatever is available or as per need)

Drumstick – 2
Potato – 1
Carrot – 1
Pumpkin – 6 – 8 pieces
Ladies Finger / Okra – 5
Beans – 5
Tomato – 2

For the tempering

Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Small onion – 6-8 or Onion – 1

Other ingredients

Tamarind – 2 tbsp soaked in water
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped (optional) – 1 sprig
Cumin – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

the method

Cook the dal with green chilly.

Fry the condiments one by one. Fry the coconut till it is brown in colour. Powder all the condiments together with the fried coconut and cumin. Then, grind the powdered condiments to a smooth paste.

Par boil the vegetables and then add the cooked dal, ground paste, turmeric powder and salt. When the vegetables have completely cooked add tamarind pulp and asafoetida.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Add onion and fry till it is brown in colour. Pour the tempering over the vegetables and dal mixture. Sprinkle coriander leaves. Aromatic sambar is ready!