Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tiffin Sambar / MoongDal Sambar / Idly Sambar

About Sambar:

Sambar or sambhar or sambaaru (Tamilசாம்பார்) is a dish in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines. A variant of sambar called pappuchaaru (Telugu) is more common in Andhra Pradesh.
Sambar is a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and is most popular in the cooking of southern regions of India, especially in Tamil NaduKeralaKarnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Each state in South India prepares it with a typical variation, adapted to its taste and environment.


Vegetables, turmeric, salt, asafoetida and a mixture of ground spices known as sambar powder (which contains roasted coriander seeds, chillies, lentils, and other spices) are initially boiled together. After the vegetables and tamarind water are slightly cooked, the lentils and ground coconut mixture are added and allowed to cook until the vegetables are done. A wide variety of vegetables may be added to sambar. Typical vegetables include okracarrotradishpumpkindaikonpotatoestomatoesbrinjal (eggplant) and whole or halved shallots or onions, but many different vegetables may be used with adequate results. Typically sambar may contain one or several seasonal vegetables as the main vegetables in the soup. Andhra pappu chaaru is prepared the other way around, wherein vegetables and tamarind pulp are added to the cooked lentils and then boiled. This slight variation in the method of cooking them brings in the distinction in their texture and flavour.Ladies finger is added as a vegetable in the preparation to give sambar a greasy feel and for its taste. but its greasy feel causes some trouble. to avoid this, first the ladiesfinger is cut and fried in oil and then add to the vegetables.
The cooked sambar is typically tempered with a garnish, an oil-fried spice mixture containing items such as mustard seedsblack gram, dried red chilies, curry leavesfenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, and asafoetida. Fresh curry or coriander leaves may be added at the very end to enhance the flavor. Curry leaves in particular are an essential element of authentic sambar, providing a distinct and pleasant herbal essence.
Sambar is reflective of a broad and ancient tradition of lentil-based vegetable stews in southern India. Many regions and families of the Indian subcontinent have developed and maintained their own adaptations of this dish, evident in preparations known in local languages as huli,rasamcharu,parupu saaru, and pappu pulusu.
In some areas, people use coconut powder, although the original recipe does not include coconut powder.


  • Mysore Sambar
  • Udupi Sambar
  • Betroot Sambar
  • Ulli(Shallot) Sambar)
  • Pavakkai (Bitter Gourd) Sambar
  • Mullangi (Radish) Sambar
  • Poondu (Garlic) Sambar
  • Varutharacha Sambar
  • Moong Dal Sambar
  • Thakkali(Tomato) Sambar

Sambar Powder:

Typical ingredients of the sambar powder include roasted lentils, coriander seeds, dried whole red chilly, fenugreek seeds, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Regional variations may include versions with mustard seeds, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, or other spices.
This powder is prepared by pan roasting the whole spices and grinding them to a rather coarse powder with some salt optionally.
Sambar powder as a ready-made masala is available in a wide variety of brands.

Ground Coconut:

In regions that grow coconuts, notably some areas of Kerala, coastal Karnataka (UdupiMangalore) and Tamil Nadusambar is also made with a paste of ground coconuts and spices. Grated coconut is roasted with lentils, cumin, few grains of rice, fenugreek, and red chillies. It is then ground into a fine paste, added to the vegetables and tamarind broth, and then cooked. 


Sambar is usually served with steamed rice.This is one of the main courses of both formal and everyday south Indian cuisine. In all the South Indian states, vada sambar and idli sambar are popular for breakfast or lunch, and is often served as a side dish at dinner.
Sambar is also served for lunch and dinner in south India, commonly with idlivada or dosa, along with two chutneys, a green coconut chutney and a mildly spicy red tomato chutney. Road side restaurants often offer free refills of sambar with regular purchase of idli and vadas.
A two-course meal, the first consisting of sambar mixed with rice and eaten with some sort of vegetable side dish, and the second consisting of yoghurt mixed with rice, is perhaps one of the most common meals eaten in a typical southern Indian home.


  • Green gram dhal – 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind - Big Gooseberry size
  • Sambar Powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Pearl Onion – 10 to 15 No / Onion - 1 small sliced
  • Potato - 3,cubed into small pieces
  • Brinjal - 3,cubed into small pieces
  • Carrot - 1,cubed into small pieces
  • Tomato – 1 No
  • Green Chillies – 2 Nos
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
  • Lime juice - 1 tsp


1.Pressure Cook Dal with a teaspoon Turmeric and hing for 5 whistles.Then Mash the dal and keep it aside.

 2.Heat a pan and add oil and add mustard seeds.Let it splutter.
 3.Then add Cumin Seeds and let it splutter.
4.Add Curry leaf.
 5.Then add Onions and green chillies.

 6.Then add Turmeric Pd and let it saute and let it raw smell goes away.

 7.Then add tomatoes and saute well.
 8.Then add sambar Powder and saute them well.
 9.Then add vegetables(brinjal,potatoes,carrot) and mix them well.
 10.Add water and let it cook.Then add cooked Dal and mix well.
 11.Add Salt.
 12.Then add tamarind.
 13.Let it cook for few minutes.
 14.Then finally add a teaspoon of lime juice ,this helps all flavour to blend.
 15.Finally Garnish with coriander leaves.
Hot Tiffin Sambar / Idly Sambar is ready to serve .

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