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Homemade Sambar Powder

 Published 2008-Sep-29   Updated 2022-Apr-05

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Kulambu Milagai Thool, Homemade Sambar Podi, Sambhar Masala)

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Sambhar powder or Sambar Podi is a spice mixture usually made with roasted coriander seeds, dried whole red chillies, lentils, black pepper cons, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. There are many variations of sambar podi depending on the place and taste. Traditionally sambar is prepared by using a masala made with all the below ingredients. The masala is made fresh each time using a stone grinder. The taste of that is unbeatable which I have shared in Arachuvitta Sambar.

Nowadays we don't have the time to prepare sambar masala each time. Everyone likes to finish cooking fast and get to their business. Most brands have come up with readymade sambar powder. Having a box of sambar powder makes it so convenient to prepare sambar quickly on any week days. It is also used to prepare other gravies. 

For many years I never bothered to prepare sambar powder at home because either I used to get from my mom or I used to buy the store bought one. Now I have a mill nearby and it is very convenient to prepare all these. So I make a box and keep on hand. Homemade sambar powder has a nice aroma that is not present in the packaged ones.

Here is a recipe for sambhar powder that I prepare at home. The ingredients given makes enough to last for 3-4 months. You may double or half the quantity depending on your family requirements.

Recipe for Homemade Sambar Podi

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: about 3 cups


  • Dry Red Chilies - 100 gms (about 3 cups)
  • Coriander Seeds - 100 gms (1 1/3 cup)
  • Channa Dal - 30 gms (6 tsp)
  • Urad Dal - 20 gms (4 tsp)
  • Toor Dal - 20 gms (4 tsp)
  • Rice - 20 gms (4 tsp)
  • Cumin Seeds - 10 gms (3 tsp)
  • Black Peppercons - 10 gms (3 tsp)
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp or 1 piece
  • Curry leaves - 1 strand

Sambar Powder Ingredients


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast all the ingredients on a very low flame one by one. You need to keep constantly stirring to prevent it from getting burnt.
  2. After about 10 minutes when the dals and other ingredients are nicely rosted, switch off and let it cool.
  3. Grind everything well using your mixie at home or in a flour mill.
  4. Spread the powder in a plate or newspaper until the powder cools completely. It needs to cool fully so that the powder doesn't get spoilt.
  5. Store it in an air tight container and use as required to make sambhar any time.
  6. If you are making the sambar powder fresh and will use it within the next few days, add some grated coconut also while roasting. This enhances the flavour a lot. 
  7. You can make this in bulk and store it for upto 3-4 months. Just multiply the quantity of ingredients given as per requirement.

Detailed Steps to make Sambar Powder

We need to dry roast each and every ingredient well. Only then will the sambar powder be very tasty. Here is how I roast them.

First I roast the coriander seeds along with the curry leaves. Roast until the coriander seed turn golden brown and the curry leaves are crispy. It takes about 5-8 minutes. Remove them on to a plate.

Sambar Powder Steps

Next I roast the dry red chilies for about 5 minutes. The chilies also get crispy. Be careful not to burn them.(Since my family likes everything spicy, I take about 4 cups of chilies, little more than the above given measument.)

Sambar Powder Steps

After this I add all the chana dal, urad dal, rice and tur dal  and roast it together. It pretty much gets roasted in the same time. If you are making a big quantity, this can be roasted one by one. Remove and cool in another plate.

Sambar Powder Steps

When these are almost roasted, add the rest of the ingredients. Roast for couple of minutes and switch off. Remove the ingredients onto a tray to cool.

Sambar Powder Steps

Cool all the ingredients well before powdering.

Sambar Powder Steps

The above measurement yield about 1/4 kg of powder. I prefer to grind it in a flour mill. If your flour mill does not grind small quantities, you can do it in the mixie jar at home. 

Once powdered, let it cool in a plate before storing it. If not, water droplets will be formed by condensation which will spoil the powder. You can store it in an air tight container for upto 3-4 months. Use it to make sambar any time.


 - Ideally for a family of four, 1 tbsp of sambar powder is enough to prepare sambar. Store the remining in an air tight container.

- Adding about 1/4 cup of dry coconut gives a good flavor to the sambar powder but it will not stay fresh for long time. So I usually skip it. 

Sambar Made Using Homemade Sambar Powder

More Spice Mix Recipes

Kuzhambu Podi (Curry Powder) Kuzhambu Podi (Curry Powder) Curry Leaf Powder Curry Leaf Powder Idli Podi Idli Podi Kothamalli Podi Kothamalli Podi
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (8)

Person   ()
Try coriander seeds 150 gram and dried chilli 50 gram, remaining ingredients good.
Person   ()
Thanks for sharing. Sure will try.
Person   ()
Hi Chef
Can you tell me the difference btw sambar powder and rasam powder?
Person   ()
Hi Namagiri, Sambhar powder is mainly flavoured with corriander seeds, chillies and fenugreek seeds. Rasam powder is made mainly with cumin seeds and black peppercons. Here is the recipe for rasam powder
Person   ()
which chilli it is?
Person   ()
Regular dry red chilies - either the long ones or round ones whichever is available.
Person   ()
nice there is lot of change in the site good.
Person   ()
Thank You. Trying out different options.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2022-04-05.