Recipe by Maya Akhil

6 Serves
30 mins
Mildly Spicy

The quintessential South Indian lentil soup, made with Tuar daal. The vegetables most commonly used for preparing sambar are potato, winter melon, onion, carrot, cucumber, brinjal, snake gourd, drumstick and tomato. The recipe for sambar varies region-wise and religion-wise like all other curries. Here is my take on it.


Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker adding turmeric powder,sufficient water and salt. Meanwhile soak the tamarind in warm water (around 1/4 cup) and extract its juice.
Now add the cut vegetables(except tomato and okra), 4-5 whole pearl onions, green chilies, curry leaves along with sufficient water(2 cups), turmeric powder and salt. Cook for 1 whistle.
In another pan saute the okra in oil until its almost cooked.The okra has to be cooked separately before adding to sambar otherwise it will make the whole thing slimy.
When the pressure releases, open the cooker and add the tamarind juice, tomatoes and okra.
Heat oil in pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Then add the dry red chillies, sliced pearl onions and brown them. Add some curry leaves, switch off and add the masala powders and mix well.
Pour this seasoning over the sambar and mix well. Bring it to a boil and switch off. Serve sambar with steamed rice or idli / dosa after 15 – 20 mts.


1/2 cup
1/4 tbsp
To taste
As required
1/2 piece
1 piece
3 to 4 piece
1 or 2 piece
1 piece
1 long piece (cut into pieces)
1 or 2 pieces
1 or 2 piece
6 sprig
2 to 3 slit
2 tbsp
2.5 tbsp
1/2 tbsp
2-3 pinches
Goose berry sized (Soaked in enough warm water)
1- 2 sprigs
1 tbsp

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