Vegetable Sāmbhar


When we think of south Indian cuisine then Sāmbhar is one of the main dishes, which comes to mind immediately. Its is used all across south India & cooked differently in each state, each one of them is very tasty. Do you want to know a quick & easy Sambhar recipe?

Here is an Sāmbhar recipe which is easy & quick to make & very delicious too. The Toor dal is cooked with vegetables, tamarind & then added with really great flavor tempering of mustard seeds & curry leaves.

Step-by-Step Easy & Quick Recipe –

Prep Time           Cook Time                Total Time                    Yields

25 mins                    35 mins                     1 hour                        3-4 Serving


Toor dal (arhar or pigeon pea lentils) – 1 cup

Tamarind – 1 tablespoon (with out seeds & soaked in water)

Vegetables mixed –1-cup – small eggplants (brinjals), drumsticks, bottle gourd (lauki), carrots, green French beans and potatoes.

Salt per taste

Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon

Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon

Asafetida (heeng) – 1 large pinch

Sāmbhar powder – 1 tablespoon (heaped)

Coriander powder – ¼ teaspoon

Mustard seeds -½ teaspoon

Cumin seeds -½ teaspoon

Dry red chili whole – big – 2

Small onions – 20 pcs (whole or halved) or medium onions 2 (finely chopped)

Garlic – 4 (to be boiled with dal)

Tomato –4 medium (chopped or grated per choice)
Curry leaves – 5-6


  • Soak tamarind (Imli) in normal water for 20 minutes. Discard all seeds & take out the pulp, keep aside.
  • Wash & pressure-cook Dal for 15 minutes (need 3 whistles). It should become soft & mushy.
  • Now heat oil in wok or large pan, add first mustard seeds, cumin seeds (jeera), asafetida, dry whole red chili & curry leaves, when they splitter & get aromatic add onion, tomato. Turmeric powder, coriander powder, Sāmbhar masala & chili powder. Fry for 10 minutes.
  • Now add the chopped veggies into this mix and fry further for 5-6 minutes.
  • Now add tamarind pulp and mix well.
  • Now add this masala all to the cooker and mix with dal and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes without pressure, ensure that the added vegetables are all soft. Keep checking in between and if you feel that they become softer fast then take off heat. During simmering if the water dries up and Sāmbhar starts to become thick then you can add some water.
  • Garnish with fresh green coriander.

Note: Sāmbhar is ready to be served, can be served with dosa, rice & papadam, Yummy!

Happy Cooking!!

Picture courtesy: pic)

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