A lentil based vegetable stew cooked with spices and tamarind pulp. A South Indian delicacy. It tastes so good with dosa, idli and rice. This is my own evolved kinda sambar recipe with tips taken from my mom and my friends 🙂


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  • Course Side Dish
  • Cuisine kerala
  • Yield 5 serving
  • Cooking Time 45 minutes
  • Preparation Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 55 minutes


Pressure Cook
toor dal
1/2 cup
turmeric powder
1/2 tsp
1 cup
onion Small
garlic (grinded)
1 tsp
Chilly powder
2 tsps
coriander powder
2 tsps
sambhar powder
4 teaspoon
fenugreek powder
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
brinjal (small)
ladies finger
coriander leaves (a small handful bunch)
2 teaspoon
mustard seeds
1/4 tsp
Chilly Dried Red
curry leaves
1 sprig


  1. Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for around 15 minutes.
  2. Pressure cook Toor dal along with turmeric powder, salt and water. Cook it until dal is done. It might take around 3 whistles. ** Once it is cooked,I like to mash the dal using a wooden spoon. It's up to you whether to mash it up or not.
  3. Chop small onion. Cut the veggies. You can use veggies of your choice. I usually use drumsticks, potato, carrot, lady's finger, brinjal and tomato.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry lady's finger, adding some salt. Once it's done, keep it aside.
  5. Add small onion and garlic. Once it is sauteed well, add chilli powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, asafoetida, sambhar powder and turmeric powder.
  6. Then add the vegetables and salt. Saute veggies for around 10 - 15 minutes. Don't add water. Add 1 -2 tsps of oil. Stir it in between otherwise it can get burnt. *** Vegetables taste good when it's sauteed. Refer Notes section for further details on cooking vegetables.
  7. Add the sauteed veggies into the cooked dal. Add around 1 - 2 cups of water or as much as needed. Pressure cook up to 1 whistle. Veggies will be done by this time. Squeeze water out of tamarind. Add the tamarind water, chopped coriander leaves and fried lady's finger. Mix it up well. Adjust the salt.
  8. To temper - Heat oil in the pan. Splutter mustard seeds, then add dried red chilly and curry leaves. Add this to the sambar and mix well.
  9. Serve it with hot dosa or idli or rice 🙂


  • Vegetables taste good when it's sauteed. You can also saute the vegetables until it's cooked (avoid pressure cook), and mix it with cooked dal at the end. Though it takes time, it's tastier. I chose to pressure cook at the second leg to save time.
Kerala Style Sambar

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