Thursday, February 12, 2015



As you know, Sambar is an integral part of South Indian cuisine. These days mainly due to the lack of time or for greater convenience many people use the store bought sambar powder, but in the old days, sambar powder used to be made in most homes.

However, in today's recipe we don't use sambar powder at all as the sambar is made by grinding the spices to make the sambar masala. This has a taste of its own.

My friend Priya R. Shenoy shared with us her mother's recipe for a sambar made of lady's fingers. I have adapted this to make Mixed Vegetables Sambar. As I always do, I used the Byadgi variety of Red Chillies popular in Karnataka which gives the dish a brighter colour. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.


  • Tur Dal, 1/2 cup
  • Beans, 10
  • Carrot, 1
  • Potato, 1
  • Tomatoes,3
  • Tamarind, small marble sized ball
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
To Roast in Oil:
  • Red Chillies, 10-12
  • Coconut Gratings, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1 tsp
  • Jeera, (Cumin Seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Methi Seeds, (Fenugreek) 1/4 tsp
  • Pepper Corns, 5-7
  • Hing, (Asafoetida), 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp
For Seasoning:
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Broken Red Chillies, 1-2
  • Oil, 1 tsp

Wash and cut the beans, carrot, potato, and tomatoes. Cook them and keep aside.
Pressure cook the tur dal for three whistles. Allow it to cool, remove the cooked dal and mash it well.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadhai. When it gets heated, roast together all the ingredients listed for roasting above, till the coconut gratings turn brown and you get a good aroma
Allow it to cool then grind the roasted ingredients in a mixer along with tamarind, adding required amount of water, to a smooth paste
In a vessel, add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables,
Add turmeric powder and salt
Mix well and bring it to a boil
Now add the cooked and mashed dal and the required amount of water to make the sambar of the consistency you desire. It should not be too thick or too watery.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer till the dal and vegetables are well blended
Finally, season the sambar by adding 1 tsp of oil in a kadhai. When it gets heated, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the curry leaves and 1-2 broken red chillies
Pour the seasoning onto the sambar
Serve hot with rice or idli-dosa etc.

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