Sambar Recipe for Tangy, Mouth Watering Taste

If you have a taste of South Indian cuisine, you must be aware of the gravy dish with which dosa and idli are enjoyed. Known as Sambar, this side dish is quite popular in southern India and is prepared using chana dal toor or arhar dal along with several veggies and tamarind juice.

With a little sour taste because of tamarind pulp in it, sambar is a nutritious dish that can be enjoyed anytime. It’s not just the idli and dosa, sambhar can also be eaten with plain or jeera rice as well. It’s a wonderful dish that has several flavours in it. However, the prominent one is sour or a little tart taste which you can adjust according to your taste. It is an irresistible dish for which you will not be able to say NO to!

For those who are not familiar with the South Indian cuisine, Sambar is a vegetable stew and has pumpkin as the primarily vegetable along with green beans, brinjal and drumsticks. The list of vegetables that can be added into it is endless and as a matter of fact any vegetable can be added into it, leaving vegetables like jack fruit. The dish is prepared using an array of authentic south Indian spices and has a rich flavour of all the vegetables. The drumsticks added into this dish helps in the digestion process and without them, the recipe of sambar looks incomplete. Here is a list of easy steps that will guide you in making this dish, if you are wish to make the sambar recipe in a  traditional manner.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time25 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Yield2 Plates
  • Serving Size250g
  • Energy650 cal
  • Cuisine
    • Indian
  • Course
    • Appetizer
    • Breakfast
    • Main Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Cutting
    • sauteing


For Main Dish

    • 3 stem removed eggplant/ brinjal
    • 1 cup toor daal
    • 1 teaspoon sambar powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 pinch fenugreek seeds
    • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 8 baby onions
    • 1/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric
    • 1/2 cup tamarind
    • 1 tablespoon refined oil
    • 1/2 cup chana dal
    • 1 red chilli
    • 1/2 tablespoon grated coconut

For Tempering

    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 handful curry leaves


Preparing the sambar


To prepare the easy sambar recipe, put a frying pan over medium flame to heat a little oil in it.


Once the oil is hot enough, add fenugreek seeds, chana dal, coriander seeds,

dry red chilli, 2 baby onions, garlic and grated coconut in the same pan.


Fry the ingredients for a minute or so. Remove from the flame and allow it to cool once done.


Grind all these ingredients in a blender and keep aside till further use.


Now, heat little oil in a frying pan over medium flame.


Saute the remaining baby onions and brinjals for a minute or two.

Add the pureed tamarind to a pan over medium flame.


Add salt, turmeric powder, sambar powder, onions and brinjals.


Bring the mixture to a boil. Then add the ground masala, toor dal and bring to a boil again on low flame.


If you want your Sambar to be delicious you can dry roast the spices with some curry leaves,

grind it and then add it to the Sambar. This will add on to the taste and aroma of this recipe.


Meanwhile, add little refined oil in a separate pan and

cut & saute vegetables and the tempering ingredients.


To make it in the authentic South Indian-style replaced refined oil with coconut oil,

this will give a nice aroma to the Sambar.


Transfer the dish in a serving bowl and garnish it with grated coconut,

fried red chillies and curry leaves. You can add garnishing as per your palate preference.


Serve hot with steamed Rice, Dosa or Idli. You can also pair it with chutneys of your choice and

relish it with your loved ones.


Known for its tangy and spicy flavours, the best part about sambar is the spice powder used to prepare it. Make sure that you use a good quality one while making the sambar. Try to add as many veggies in it to make it colourful and flavourful, and probably steam them so that  you have a great taste. To make it tangy, don’t use amchoor or dry mango powder. Make sure that you maintain the consistency of the sambar. It should be thick but of pouring consistency. Last, but not the least, do not forget to add drumsticks in it. You can only get the real taste of sambar when you add drumsticks in it.

  • 2 servings per container
  • Serving Size250g
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories650
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat2.8 g3.59%
  • Trans Fat0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg0%
  • Sodium360 mg15.65%
  • Total Carbohydrate8.5 g3.09%
  • Dietary Fiber10 g35.71%
  • Total Sugars13 g