Vegetable Sambar

Sambar is a common South Indian dish which traces its origin from Tamilnadu. Its key ingredients are vegetables, tamarind and Dal. Though it is a common dish in South India, its preparation differs from state to state. Sambar goes well with Idly, Dosa, Pongal, Rice and many other dishes.


Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1 no
Beans - 5 nos
Drumstick - 1 no
Potato - 1 no
Tamarind - 1 gooseberry size
Shallots - 5 nos
Tomato - 1 no
Green chilli - 1 no
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Sambar masala - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Urid Dal - 1/2 teaspoon


1) Wash Dal using water and add turmeric powder and cumin seeds. Pressure cook it by adding a cup of water with the dal. Once cooked, mash the dal using masher.
2) Meanwhile, cut the required vegetables in a slightly bigger shape.
3) Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water. After 15 minutes, squeeze the juice out of it and keep it aside.
4) Take a kadai or pan. Heat oil in it.
5) Add mustard and urid dal and allow them to splutter.
6) Add curry leaves followed by green chili and onion.
7) Saute the onion till they become soft.
8) Add tomato to kadai and keep frying till the raw smell goes off.
9) Now add chopped vegetables, salt, turmeric and a handful of water.
10) Cook vegetables till they become soft.
11) Add mashed dal and the tamarind juice with the cooked vegetables.
12) Add sambar masala (home-made or purchased in outlets). If required, add little water. Taste the sambar to adjust the salt and spice level.
13) Allow it to boil for 5 more minutes.
14) Sprinkle asafoetida and remove it from stove.
15) Sambar is ready. Serve it with rice or Dosa.

1) You can cook vegetables and dal together while pressure cooking. But sometimes, vegetables cook quicker than dal and it may become messy. So I usually cook dal separately as explained above.

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