Tiffin Sambar

Written by Mullai

Modest, friendly and hardworking.  "Virgoans Rule"..


  1. Rachna

    I replaced the white pumpkin with white raddish (since that is what I had available) and
    Went ahead with the same recipe. It was one of the most flavourful sambhar I have enjoyed till date. Thank you

    1. Mullai

      Thank you Rachana, so happy to hear🙂 Red raddish or mixed veggies works fine too….just that tiffin sambar usually a one veggie dish in our home…& so used to pumpkin😄 try it next time when you get a chance🙏🙏🙏

  2. Suganya

    Hi mam , I’m deeply impressed by your work and the blog which has all the precised information that every ametuer cook has 🙂 thanks alot for the yummy sambar recipe will try it out and let you know 😀 way to go mam 🙂 waiting for your video posts soon in Instagram too 😁

    1. Mullai

      Thank you Suganya, sooooo happy to hear. I am pretty sure you will rock cooking, go ahead try the sambar and you will make it often! Thanks for your lovely feedback and will try my best to post videos. Thanks!

  3. Dhevi

    Hi Mullai,
    First of all “LOVE “your are a great inspiration,I have been visiting your site for the last 2 or 3 yrs i regrets at all..glad that i found you!!!Thk you so much!!…Btw,sambar turned out very well!! ; )

  4. Shar

    Hi Mullai, Just a couple of more questions…. i live in toronto n couldn’t find sambar onions … can i just use the normal big onions instead?? would it taste good just with big onions n tomatoes?
    Also i couldn’t find pumpkin.. but got long squash instead of pumpkin .. pls lemme know

    1. Mullai

      White pumpkin gives a special touch to this dish, its ok to substitute with other squash if you can’t find it. BTW, bhendi will not suit for this recipe. Thanks.

  5. HappyBunny

    I’ve started to learn cooking indian food thanks to Mullai. NEVER before was I able to cook indian food because I never knew how much salt to add, or other spices that most recipes would list as “as needed”. Thank very much for all your wonderful recipes. Please continue posting recipes with accurate measurements as you always do.

  6. Anil0801

    Just too good mullai – thanks so much for posting this recipe. I love ur site..becos u give the perfect measurements (including the salt) of all the ingredients. I made this sambhar today and it was perfect..everyone liked it. Appreciate all the hard work and effort !!! Keep going…

  7. swethavelan

    Hi Mullai,
    Tried the sambar.Truly amazing taste.It tasted just like hotel sambar back home.Whenever I had sambar in hotels I”ve wondered what is the secret ingredients which makes it tasty and liked by all.Now I know,THANKS to you.My family loved it.Your recipes make me innovative to try new recipes and since it becomes sucess makes me a confident cook.THANKS.

  8. sssuuu

    Mullai : just an urgent queryyy!

    i m making this sambhar now, n i dont hv pumpkins, cn i use potatoes instead??
    thnx 4 ur reply

  9. pappoo

    Dear Mullai,

    Perfect ingredients and easily repeatable procedure. Sambar turned out yumm… I am enjoying cooking more than ever, with the help of your site though 😉

  10. june2420009

    Is it ok if I use my granma’s sambahr powder?? I use it for making sambhar and as a substitute for chilli powder cuz majority of it is made with dry red chillies.If not please suggest some good brand of sambhar powder.

    And your chicken recepies are a big hit among our friends here.My husband makes it for potluck and we get endless compliments!!!

  11. GowriPrasanna

    Hi Mullai,

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it came out extremely well…My husband liked it very much…Thanks a lot !

  12. Salu

    Hi Mullai,

    Iam a new member and iam trying out your recipes everyweek, I tried your Sambar recipe and it was really excellent.
    Thanks for sharing…
    Keep posting more recipes 🙂

  13. valli_02

    Hi Mullai

    I tried this sambar today and it was great. My husband loved it very much.

    I’m a regular visitor of your site and have tried many of your recipes, all of them have come out really good. Thx for sharing such wonderful recipes.

    Good luck


  14. Ratna A

    Hi Mullai,

    I tried you hotel sambhar recipe yday and it was awesome. Got good comments from my husband and kids. We had the leftover for lunch and it tasted much better. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. RajiSenthil

    Hello Mullai, tried this sambar and it came out very well. All the compliments to you. Thanks for sharing such great recipes – Raji

  16. Jayanthi Senthil Kumar

    Hi Mullai, i tried this sambaar yesterday, it came out very well as it is in the picture. Very easy and simple way of getting a great dish.

  17. jesse

    Hello mullai mam,
    i made hotel sambar today..came out great. I used radish insted of pumpkin. Thanks a lot for ur recipe. And i also like this website..Am new here..but am going to try out many dishes.

  18. shalinivenkatesh

    hi mullai…. i made this sambhar twice and u know wat was the comment tht i got??? sambhar pattayai kallappudu…. thnxxxxxxxxx a ton……

  19. pooja

    HI Mullai
    Just relished this sambar with Dosai . It was so YUMMY !!!!!!!!!
    My friends who had come for lunch just loved it and they were asking for the recipe !
    Thanx a lot for posting this


  20. christy1978

    sambar looks mouth watering
    always y try to make sambar somewhat the other won’t turn to be good.
    now i’m going to try your version
    i hope this time i won’t fail.
    can i use sambar vadagam finally ti finish the dish.( made by toor dal, bengal gram dal, black gram dal, asafoetida and sambar onion all together crushed and dried.

    1. Mullai

      Christy, use of vadagam will change the taste. Vadagam proportion and measure varies with every family, its ok to add to your regular sambar preparations. But for this recipe, inorder to get the right taste pls avoid vadagam. Thanks.

  21. pann07

    Hi Mullai:

    Recipe looks awesome,Im gonna try it, but i have a doubt, Is the red chilli powder plain chilli powder? and when we add sambhar powder on top of it, willn’t it be too hot?

  22. Salai Varumpadham

    Hi Mullai , We tried your sambhar recipe and it tasted wonderful like a Hotel Sambhar . Thanks for the same . Regards , Salai

  23. manjupriya

    Hi Mullai, I made this sambar yesterday and my husband loved it. Didn't had pumpkin, so added red radish. It came out really nice. Thankyou. I usually don't cook a lot of varieties, but your recipes (especially the pictures) motivate me to try more varieties. You are an amazing cook!

  24. Visitor

    Hi Mullai I have doubts in this sambar
    1. 1 teaspoon jaggery means is it sugar or manda vellam.
    2.If I am using 2 cups of dal do i have to put 6 teaspoons chilli powder and 10 no’s tomato
    3.Can I crush the tomatoes in mixie or shall i cut it.
    4.Can I use shredded coconut instead of dry coconut flakes.
    5.1 onion means is it a big one(bellary)

    I am going to prepare this for a party.Please clear my doubts soon.

    1. Mullai

      Hello Madam???

      1. You can use mandai vellam about a grape size.

      2. If your home made chili powder is too spicy, then reduce to 2 tsp for each cup. Since you are adding vellam and lots of tomato pulp, the spice level will be adjusted. Ofcourse everything has to be doubled for 2 cups.

      3. Crushing is mixie works only with blanching, raw crushing with the skin on will taste sour. So better cut or crush with hands. Crushed canned tomatoes will give nice colour and sweetness to your dish. (option)

      4. Dry coconut has got nice nutty flavour, if using fresh grated.. then toast it slighly on a tawa and then add.

      5. Usually when nothing is specified, assume its a medium onion.. any variety is fine.



  25. ashu singh


    pls cud u explain as in the last line of the procedure u mentioned this add we need to add ghee when it comes to boil but wud nt ghee float on the water..

    i am going to try ur receipe now.


    1. Mullai

      Hi Ashu Singh, Its added just to give rich taste and aroma to the dish. If you wish you can add while seasoning. This is not a must, but normally any sambar would be served with a dash of ghee, instead its being added at the final stage in this recipe.

    1. Mullai


      Any squash is Ok, but if you can't find them, then try with small onions. If nothing works, go with drumstick, brinjal, carrot or green bell pepper. All these are added for regular sambar which goes well with rice. As far as I know, most hotel sambar are made with white pumpkins.

    1. Mullai

      Hi there,

      Pumpkin is available in some Indian grocery stores in the frozen asile. I get mine from a local farmers market.

  26. kala

    Hi Mullai,
    In the ingredients list you mentioned red gram dhal and in cooking method you have mentioned thoor dhal, which one did you use. Please clarify.

    1. Mullai

      Hi Kala,

      Red Gram is nothing but Toor dal.

      Red gram in English, Thuvaram paruppu in Tamil, Arhar dal in Hindi, kandi pappu in Telugu, Thuvara in Malayalam, Togri Bele in Kannada. Hope this helps.


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