SAMBAR RECIPE ~ சாம்பார் ~ How To Make Mixed Vegetable Sambar


 Sambar, a spicy lentil stew is a staple in most South Indian homes. It is prepared with  prepared with a  variety of vegetables and often finished with tempering.  It is more popular as a breakfast dish, served with idli, dosa and vada.

sambar 7



Mixed Vegetable Sambar / Sambhar / சாம்பார் / Sambaru / Lentil Stew / Spicy Lentil Soup /


Table- 1
 Toor Dal / Thuvaram paruppu  1 cup
 Turmeric powder  1/4 teaspoon (for cooking dal)
 Water  3 cups (for cooking dal)


 Onion  1 (Medium sized, cut lengthwise)
 Tomato  2 (small size, chopped)
 Green Chili  1 (slit open)
 Mixed Vegetables  2 ( Carrot, Green Beans, Squash, Drumstick, Brinjal)
 Red Chili powder  1 Teaspoons
 Coriander powder  3 Teaspoons
 Turmeric powder  1/4 teaspoon
 Salt  1 Teaspoon
 Water  4 cups (for cooking vegetables)


 Small Sambar onions  10 count
 Vegetables  (3 Okra, 1 small Green capsicum)
 Tamarind extract   3 teaspoons
 Sambar powder  1 teaspoon (optional)
 Mustard seeds  1/2 teaspoon
 Cumin seeds  1/2 teaspoon
 Fenugreek seeds  1/4 teaspoon
 Dry Red Chili  2 count
 Curry Leaves  10 count
 Asafoetida powder  1/2 teaspoon
 Oil  2 teaspoon
 Ghee  1 teaspoon
 Salt  1 teaspoon
 Coriander leaves  a few stalks for garnish





Wash and soak Toor dhal (Thuvaram paruppu ) in water for atleast 30 minutes. Then pressure cook it with enough water and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Cook for upto  3 to 4 whistles.  (Use ingredients from table-1) Once done and when the pressure releases, open and mash it immediately with spatula or blend well and keep aside.

Sambar 2


Wash all your veggies and cut then into pieces (slightly bigger than usual) and keep aside.  Veggies like carrot, squash, brinjal, drumstick and green beans can go into the pressure cooker with some cut onions, tomato, green chili, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add enough water to immerse the veggies in the pan and pressure cook for 2 whistles. (Use ingredients from table-2)


Sambar 1


Once the pressure settles, the cooked veggies look like this.

sambar 3


Add the cooked dal and tamarind pulp to this and mix well.

sambar 4


Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.  Let them splutter, then add the small sambar onions,  green capsicum and okra. Let them cook for few minutes.

Veggies like okra(ladys finger) , capsicum gets very mushy if pressure cooked that why are shallow frying them separately.


sambar 5


Now add these to the dal veggie mix along with  sambar powder and salt.  Bring it to a boil and reduce to simmer.


sambar 6


When it reaches desired consistency garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Idli/dosa or pipping hot rice topped with ghee.


sambar 8



If you have 2-tier pressure pan in your cooker you may cook veggies and dal at the same time.

Sambar powder is optional but gives good flavor. Store bought powder gives good color too. Remember store bought powders include salt, so check and then adjust for salt.

Adding a pinch of sugar or jaggery sweetens the sambar, you may if you like it. (or) use a few cubes to sweet potato to sweeten naturally.

Veggies like capsicum are not usually added in sambar but do try it adds nice touch.

Yields about 6-7 cups of sambar.



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