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Sambar – Easy Method

Sambar – Easy Method


Sambar is a staple curry for rice prepared everyday in almost every kitchen of Tamilnadu. It is highly nutritious and delicious as it has toor dal as the base ingredient which has high protein content. Along with dal 3 or more vegetables are added to make it vitamin rich and tamarind is added to give it a sweet and tangy taste. Tamarind is rich is dietary fibre that helps prevent constipation. The tartaric acid in tamarind is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect our body from free radicals. Tamarind is called as a medicinal ingredient as it has healing properties and contains minerals, especially iron. Above all a special spice powder is prepared which we call ‘sambar masala’ and this masala is added that gives life and aroma to this recipe. It is one of the main curry served with rice on special occasions.



100g     Toor dal
2            Onions (medium sized)
2            Tomatoes (medium sized)
6            Garlic cloves
1/2 tsp  Turmeric powder
5tbs       Sambar masala
20          Kari leaves (2 bunches)
2            Drumsticks (medium sized)
4            Eggplants (medium sized)
Medium Lemon sized Tamarind (or as per your taste)
Water as needed
Salt to taste

For tempering:

4tbsp    Oil
1 tsp      Mustard seeds
1 tsp      Cumin seeds
1 tsp      Urad dal
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
A little cilantro (coriander leaves)

1 Egg Plant
Egg plant from our garden.
Step 1 Sambar Ingredients
Step 1 is to gather the ingredients.
Step 2 Dal on pressure cooker
The second step is to cook dal first because toor dal is the base of this recipe. There is no sambar without dal. It is always better to pressure cook dal as it takes only 15 to 20 minutes to cook as compared to open pot which takes 50 to 60 minutes to cook.
Dal Pressure cooking
Put the cooker on high flame first. When it whistles, reduce the flame and let it cook for 15 more minutes.
5 Vegetables & Tamarind
While the dal is cooking, keep the vegetables and tamarind ready. Chop the vegetables and prepare tamarind water.
6 Dal Cooked
Dal is now ready and it’s time to add all other ingredients.
10 garlic-tomato-onion
Add garlic, tomato, and onion.
13 spices
Add turmeric, sambar masala and salt to taste.
14 kari leaves
Add 2 bunches of kari leaves. This is an important step. Kari leaves are used in almost all curries and gravies of South Indian recipes. The moment they are added, they give a beautiful aroma to the recipe.
17 vegetables
Add chpooed drumsticks, and eggplants.
18 sambar
The vegetables look beautiful in this mixture. So I couldn’t resist and took this shot too. Okay! Mix them well and close the lid not completely.
19 sambar boiling
Half close the lid and bring this mixture to boil. It takes 3 to 5 minutes.
tamarind water
Add tamarind water once the dal-veggies mixture has boiled. At this stage add more water if need. Sambar is neither too thick nor too watery. Bring it to boil and let the tamarind be cooked too.
The last 2 steps include tempering and garnishing. Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a small kadai (pan) and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and asafoetida. Pour it on the curry.
tempered and garnished sambar
The sambar is now tempered and garnished with freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Ready to serve hot.

More about sambar:

  • This is the easier and faster method;
  • This method becomes more healthier because the vegetables are boiled and not fried;
  • Tamarind is the vital ingredient next to dal;
  • Lemon can be added in the absence of tamarind, however the taste may differ: and
  • Any relevant combination of vegetables can be added.

I am sure that you enjoyed this beloved recipe. I am grateful for your visit here and keep visiting for more recipes. Have a great day 😀

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