Sunday, April 24, 2011

South Indian Sambar

This is a staple dish in a South Indian home and I love it in fact its more tasty than dal to me, Its my first time successfully making it I know that's bad considering my hubby is from Tamil Nadu South India but the other day I saw a wonderful step by step post on Shrivalli's blog Cooking 4 all seasons. She is the wonderful blogger I got to meet in Chennai when I was there last year and for great South Indian recipes she is my go to :-)

Sambar based on Shrivalli's but I maybe simplified it a tad you all know me and added more vegetables, that's the dietitian in me!


  • a green chilli's is sliced in half
  • some dried tamarind about a hand full from Indian store to soak in hot water
  • about 6 small Indian eggplants/brinjals cut into quarters
  • 1/2 a bottleneck squash cubed 
  • about 5 drumsticks - this Indian vegetable is hard to get fresh except from Indian stores, but can also be found frozen in an Indian store
  • 1/2 a red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • sambar powder to taste I use about a teaspoon
  • cumin powder about 1/2 a teaspoon
  • coriander powder about 1/2 a teaspoon
  • about a cup of yellow lentils, dal called toor dal to add to pressure cooker and cook till soft
  • a few curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of mustard seeds
  • a pinch of chili powder

  1. heat some oil in a pan and saute the chili, onion, brinjal/eggplant and bottleneck squash for about 5 minutes
  2. then add the tomato on a medium to high heat and let it reduce down, add cumin seeds
  3. now add the coriander powder and a touch of chili powder
  4. meanwhile add the tamarind to hot water about a cup to get tamarind water, key to a good sambar to give that sour flavor, also add the drumsticks at this point
  5. add tamarind water to vegetables with salt to taste and let it boil for 10-15 minutes 
  6. meanwhile pressure cook your Dal ready to add
  7. add the cooked Dal to the pot with desired about of water, sambar powder and boil
  8. finally heat a little oil and pop some mustard seeds and curry leaves and add to pot 
  9. voila an amazing South Indian classic enjoy great with rice :-)

Anyone had this before? if not give it a try its delicious 

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  1. A yum breakfast! Looks like a winning recipe.

  2. That is so beautiful. I love all of the veggies. What a delicious dish.

  3. Lovely Sambhar recipe. Was your hubby happy?

  4. Looks delicious and I love all of the extra veggies. ;-) Hope you had a happy Easter.

  5. this looks so lovely, I love anything like this, almost an indian risotto, so comforting and tasty... would love to meet up when you come to Boston, give me a call... x D

  6. This sounds delicious. I love that you added more vegetables. I also love that we can communicate with food bloggers all over the world, makes the world seem small.

  7. I don't think I've ever had a Sambar of any sounds awesome!

  8. I am truly a sambar lover!Luv ur click!

  9. Looks good. Love the veggies!

  10. Love all Indian food! The list of ingredients is perfect - YUM!!! Hope you enjoyed your Easter! XOXO

  11. Belinda thanks :-)
    Angela thanks love my veggies
    Cool lassie he loved it :-)
    Deb thanks
    Nammi :-)
    Pig pigs corner :-)
    Dom cool will do
    Lauren oh its amazing
    girlichef u would love it
    Nimi me too
    Beth thanks
    design wine and dine aw thanks

  12. Mmm...awesome dish. With all those lovely spices, I imagine every bite is loaded with tasty goodness. Well done!

  13. i eat sambar every other day !! nice to see that you made it :) i'm at madras too..

  14. Love the spices on this dish. Thanks for sharing the site of your blogger friend.


  15. I can eat this everyday. Love all the spices in it.

  16. Oh, I love sambhar and this looks perfect and yummy..

  17. oh yes you did get that right! i just love sambar anytime :)

  18. This looks marvelous! It almost seems like a cross between dal and vegetable curry. You know I love Indian food, always looking for new and exciting dishes to try :)

  19. Perfect looking sambhar- love it hot steamed rice n potato chips :D
    US Masala

  20. It looks great rebecca! I love the addition of extra veggies.

  21. I like sambar with dosa and idly and vada. My anytime fav. One of my friend makes the best sambar and your looks delicious.. and now I am craving for dosa sambar !! :)

  22. I have never had this - but I have yet to meet an Indian recipe that didn't please me! It looks delicious and I think it's fun for you to explore your husband's cuisine!

  23. Dal is my favorite so I have to give this a try!

  24. E thanks
    parsley sage aw thanks
    thepickyeater oh thats cool
    Mely my pleasure
    quay po cooks :-)
    Suman thanks
    Ananda :-)
    Victoria looking forward to your version
    Aipi yum
    Alicia thanks
    teresa thanks
    thanks Julie
    Kankana :-)
    Claudia thanks thats what makes life fun learning others food

  25. Very healthy with extra veggies and great flavors, I would love to try this!

  26. Never tried it before, but it looks awesome! Girl, I add extra veggies all the time!!

  27. interesting recipe. il try sometime and thanks for share with us

  28. deepak for sure thanks for visiting
    5 star foodie thanks so much
    the food hound sure you do :-)
    legume thanks

  29. This looks absolutely delicious! Great idea to add eggplants and drumsticks to the dal. I've not eaten drumsticks for a while. Will have to go get some at the Indian grocery store. I am really craving it now ;)

  30. This turned out great Rebecca! I love that you added more veggies!

  31. Biren oh thats cool you know what drumsticks are
    Reeni thanks

  32. I have never had this before, souns wonderful :)

  33. I have never heard of drumsticks, so interesting!-- i just googled it ;) Will have to search it out now...

  34. thanks Alisha
    Karen oh you will love them

  35. We love sambar.. tho' we always make this at home.. it is such a comfort food..



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