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Mini Sambar Idli

- Submitted by Dahlia on 28th Sep 2008

(Sambhar Idli Recipe, Mini Idli Sambar)

Sambar Idli

Today I am going to share with all of u a simple and yet commonly found twist to our idly and vada-Yes!!It’s indeed sambhar idly. From my childhood days, I never liked idly very much. Dosa would always be my choice. Until one day, when myself and my friend visited Ratna café in Triplicane. It’s a very small eatery joint but equally famous for its authentic taste and hygiene. We were hungry like beasts and all they had to serve was sambhar idly. When it was served I simply fell in love with it. The steaming hot idlies immersed in aromatic chinna vengaya (shallot onion) sambhar accompanied by pure white coconut chutney can just not be described in words. From then on for me, idly had to be always relished as “sambhar idly”. 

Idly, as we all know is a low calorie and high nutrition dish that is eaten for breakfast and dinner. It’s low in glycemic index (GI), since the idly batter is a mixture of par boiled rice and urad dal (black lentil). Idly is low in saturated fat and sugar. Sambhar is also rich in protein and addition of vegetables in it makes it rich in fiber and nutritive. When idly is immersed in sambhar, the dish is protein rich, low in saturated fats and sugar and provides a fulsome meal.

Recipe for Sambar Idli

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes (to make sambar and idli)
Serves: 4


  • Idli Batter - 2 cups
  • Sambhar - to soak the idlis/vadas
  • Ghee - 3-4 tsp
  • Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)


  1. Make idlis using a mini idli plate. You can check in detail about making idlis and idli batter at home here. If you do not have mini idli plate, make normal idlis and cut it into 4 pieces. The idlis should be soft and spongy so that it soaks up the sambar.
  2. Mini idli Preparation Mini idli Preparation

  3. Make sambar as per the recipe given here. Usually while making sambar for this recipe, only shallot onions are used. No other vegetables are added. It is known as hotel sambar or vengaya sambar. I have given the recipe in sambar vada post.  You can also make sambar using freshly ground spices - the arachuvitta sambar.
  4. Take the idlis in individual serving bowl and pour sambar generously on top to cover the idlis completely.
  5. Pour the ghee on top. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. Sambar idli is ready to be served


  • Either the idly or sambar has to be hot, only then it will be immersed nicely, absorb the sambar and get the authentic taste.
  • Sambar must be poured onto idly, just 5-7 minutes before serving, else which it will become soggy and mushy.
  • Add little less salt when making the sambar as we will be slurping the bowl full of sambar along with the mini idlis.

Sambar Idli

More Idli Recipes

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Comments (2)

Person smitha   (May 7, 2012)
while making sambar idlis no quantity of items to prepare idli and sambar is given ,which can be useful to newcomers as well as others too
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (May 7, 2012)
Hi Smitha, Just click on the links and you will find the recipes for idli and sambhar.

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