Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.


 Published 2008-Sep-29   Updated 2018-Jul-23

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Sambhar, Kadamba Sambar, Kalyana Sambar)

Sambar is a south Indian dish made with lentils (usually toor dal) and vegetables and served with white rice, idlis or dosa. The cooked dal and veggies are flavoured with a spice mix called Sambar Powder and a tempering made with ghee.

Wedding meal, festival menu or food served during get-togethers is incomplete without sambar. In South Indian homes, Sambar is made atleast 2-3 days in a week. Nowadays people from other parts of the country also make it. Sambar is not only a treat to your taste buds but it awakens all your senses. While the sambar is simmering in the stove, the whole house is filled with its aroma. 

When we say sambar, it implies a combination of different vegetables and toor dal. However, sambar is often made at homes with a single or two vegetables. The common types of sambar that are made are onion sambar, murungakkai (drumstick) sambar, mulangi (radish) sambar, manga (raw mango) sambar, vendakka (ladies finger) sambar, Potato Sambar, Masoor Dal Sambar, Pasi paruppu (Green gram dal) sambar etc.

Recipe for Sambar

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4


  • Pigeon Peas (Toor dal) - 3/4 cup (You can also use masoor dal or green gram dal or a combination of dals)
  • Vegetables (any choice of a single/mixed vegetables) - 1 cup (The choice of vegetables can include brinjal, potato, radish, drumstick, spinach, shallot onions, tomato, raw mango, carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, lima beans, pumpkin, yam, taro-root, okra, knolkhol etc)
  • Shallot Onions - 8- 10 (or 1 onion chopped)
  • Green Chilly - 1 or 2
  • Tomatoes - 1
  • Tamarind Juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Sambhar powder (store bought or home made) - 1 tbsp (you can increase to your taste)
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 5-7 seeds
  • Dry red Chilies - 2
  • Curry leaves - 2 strands
  • Cilantro - for garnish


  1. Boil the toor dal with the tomato, 2.5 cups of water and optionally 2 cloves of garlic. You can cook it using the pressure cook for 3 whistles. Alternatively cook it in a normal vessel till it is a bit overcooked and is almost mashed up.
  2. After the pressure is released, mash the dal using the back of a spoon or with hand.
  3. Heat oil in a  deep vessel and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  4. Saute the onions and green chilies.
  5. Add the veggies to this and cook it till the veggies are soft with enough water.(Alternatively you can cook the vegetables using a microwave and add it. You can also cook the vaggies along with the dal in the cooker itself. If you have a double decker pressure cooker container, you can cook the dal in one and the veggies in the other.)
  6. After the veggies are cooked, add the tamarind juice, salt, sambar powder and the mashed dal.
  7. Add enough water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for 20 minutes for the flavors to blend. A nice aroma of sambar will be filled throughout the house.
  8. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and switch off.

Serving Sambar

  • Hot sambar is best to be served with hot rice, idlis or dosa varieties.
  • You can add a tsp of ghee on the sambar while serving to enhance the flavor.


  • You can add little coconut milk/grated coconut while cooking the sambhar for a nice taste.
  • You can also make masoor dal sambar, green gram (pasi paruppu) sambar too.
  • You can also skip the tamarind and add 2-3 additional tomatoes to make sambar. Usually this is done for making idli sambar.
  • Some people like to add a spoonful of sugar or jaggery to the sambar.
  • When you make the sambhar with home made spice mix (sambhar powder), it is called arachu vitta sambar.

More Gravy/Curry Recipes

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Comments (13)

Person   ()
Thanks for sharing to prepare sambar Recipe.
Person   ()
You are welcome.
Person   ()
Hi, im trying out cooking indian curry 1st time. can I know the above receipe is estimated for how many people? Thank you.
Person   ()
In India, Sambhar is served with White rice or idli or dosa or Pongal. The above mentioned quantity will easily feed 4-6 adults.
Person   ()
very nice dishes .. water came in mouth /
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
Loved your sambar recipe,it came out realky well.Thanx for sharing:-)
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Hi Dahlia acca, tried your sambhar recipe came out really good. Thanks :)
Person   ()
Thats great pricilla... keep trying more new recipes..
Person   ()
Hi, for the Sambar Lovers, here is the receipe for the sambar powder.
How to make Sambar Powder
Ingredients for sambar masala:

coriander seeds(dhania) - 1 cup
cumin seeds(jeera) - 3 tablespoons
Chana dal(Bengal gram dal) - 2 tablespoons
urad dal(black gram dal) - 1 table spoon
black pepper seeds - 1 table spoon
red chilli powder - 3 table spoons
mustard seeds - 1 1/2 teaspoon
fenugreek seeds(methi) - 1 teaspoon
turmeric powder(haldi) - 1 teaspoon
asafetida(hing) - 1/2 teaspoon
curry leaves - 2 table spoons

Making Sambar Powder:

Dry roast all the items separately on low flame except chili powder,turmeric and asafoetida .
Grind together with turmeric and asafetida to a fine powder.

Store in an airtight jar. You can use this sambar-powder as and when you want for up to one year.

Now after learning to make sambar pudi, go ahead and make sambar. Your family is bound to love it. This link will take u to the receipe.

To all sambar lovers

Related Pages to visit

Read more:
Person   ()
Hi, The sambar receipe is the most simplest of simplest. To get an aroma of tamilnadu sambar it is essential that sambar powder (like rasam powder) to be added to it while the sambar is boiling along with the added vegetables. There are different kinds of sambar powder available in the market, powder with a tinge of asfoteda would be a great taste. Browse for sambar powder receipes in the net n choose the one which U like.
Person   ()
Here is the recipe for home made Sambhar Powder

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Old Comments

Comment by Anitha Deepak
Sambar is just awesome... Never thought i could make such a delicious sambar... thank you so much

Reply :-
That's great!! Try and enjoy more new recipes.

Comment by Deepa Narsi
The taaste of the Hotel sambhar is differnt from what we make at the home.
Pls give me the Hotel sambhar recepie.

Reply :-
Here is a recipe submitted by one user. Do give it a try.

Comment by Ometta Oberoi
Tried this recipe yesterday. It was the best sambhar I have ever made along with Rava dosa. Infect I even made the sambhar powder using your recipe. I can't thank you enough. I love to cook but lately I was getting bored by my own cooking. Therefore I was searching the net to find new recipes and your website came as a blessing to me. I was looking for recipes which taste closer to food we get back in India. Thanks again. May God Bless you.

Reply :-
Thank you. Enjoy cooking more new recipes.

Comment by Mary Kutty
Your sambar recipe is very helpful. Can you mail me sambar powder recipe for bulk quantity (3 months) please

Reply :-
Here's the recipe for sambhar powder Just multiply the quatities as per your reqirement.

Comment by Saira John on 06 January 2010 21:43PM
Thanks Dahlia akka for this recipe....I have already tried this 3-5 times and it has come out perfect each time.(Even when I tweaked it a bit for my tastebuds...One can never add too much of cilantro in Sambhar ;-) )

Reply :-
Good to hear from you... You can really make so may variations of Sambhar!!!

Comment by a Ramya Vj on 17 November 2009 17:10PM
My husband is fond of sambar.For the past two years i have been trying lots of recipes but all my efforts ended up in vain.But after trying yr Sambar recipe, yesterday my husband himself came and asked me to do sambhar for last night dinner.Really i was happy and felt like iam on top of the world..Thanku for giving me that happiest moment ...

Reply :-
Thats so nice to hear. I can imagine how happy you must have been.

Comment by Fatimah Thaga‏ on 03 November 2008 06:42AM
Hi Dahlia I have tried your sambhar recipe. It's taste good. Thanks.

Reply :-
thanks fatimah.

Comment by Sharon on 24 October 2008 09:34AM
This is a totally awesome website!! Im going to suggest this website to my mother! Thanks. All the dishes here can make one's mouth water! Thanks once again for coming up with such a great website!!  

Reply :-
Thanks a lot for the compliments. Do try and let me know about the results,

 Published by on and last updated on 2018-07-23.