Sambhar- Tangy and flavorful pigeon pea and mix vegetable stew- specialty from Southern India
Sambhar is a specialty from Southern part of India and is also the most popular dish which paired very well with Idli, dosa, vada, rice and many other snacks or tiffin varieties.
There are many versions and variations of making this curry depends on each region and individual taste. Every family have their special secrete spice mix to add in this lentil curry.
How To Make Restaurant Style Sambhar
The main ingredients of this lentil curry are pigeon pea/tuvar daal ,tamarind ,sambhar masala and assortment of fresh vegetables which gives the wonderful flavor and sourness to it and makes it different then the regular tuvar daal.
The main difference in each is the addition of vegetables and the sambhar masala,though the main ingredients of sambhar masala are chana daal/bengal gram,white lentil/urad daal,coriander seeds,curry leaves,fenugreek seeds/methi dana etc,but the ratio of ingredients vary in individuals recipe and that makes a lots of difference in the taste.
Addition of vegetables in the this also depends on personal choice,some like to make it with a single vegetable and some prefer to use a mixture of few vegetables(like I do) but taste great both ways.
It taste awesome with freshly made spice powder so I always make fresh sambhar masala(will post the recipe soon) but you can also use ready made powder .There are so many good brands of ready masala readily available in the market you can use your preferred one.
Serve This delicious Vegetable Sambhar With-
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- 1 cup Pigeon peas/ Tuvar daal
- 3 tbsp Sambhar powder
- 2 tbsp Jaggary/ gur
- 2 tbsp tamarind/ imli
- 1.5 tbsp fresh coconut optional
- 3/4 tsp Turmeric/ haldi
- 2 tsp Chili powder
- 1 cup Tomato chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger/ adrak
- 10 Curry leaves
vegetables to add
- 1 Drumstick/ Sehjan phali
- 3/4 cup Bottle gourd/ lauki chopped
- 3/4 cup Brinjal chopped
- 3/4 cup Okra / bhindi chopped
- 4 tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds/ Rai
- 3/4 tsp White lentil/ urad daal
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana
- 4 Dried red chilies
- 1/2 TSP Asafoetida/ hing
- 10 Curry leaves
- Wash and soak tuvar daal for 20 minutes.Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and then mash it well and remove the fibre and seeds and keep aside the pulp
- Peel drum sticks and make 2 inch long pieces.
- Now add the soaked daal along with the water and 1 tsp of oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add little extra water if needed,the water level should not be more than 1 inch above the dal,otherwise it will spill out.
- Pressure cook for 3-4 whistle or cook till it become soft and mushy.
- Now open the cooker and mash it well with a whisk.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of oil in a cooking pan and add chopped okra and stir fry till they become golden.
- Remove the okra from the pan and keep aside.Now add all the tempering ingredients in the pan and cook till mustard start crackling and urad dal become golden
- Now add chopped bottle gourd and brinjal cubes(or any vegetable you want to add in the sambhar) and stir fry for a minute.
- Add turmeric powder,chili powder,sambhar powder,tamarind water,chopped tomato and 1.5 cups of water.
- Let this mixture boil on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.Add mashed daal , 4 .5 cups of water, jaggary/gur, salt, ginger,chopped drum sticks and curry leaves.
- Let it simmer for about 30 minutes on low flame.
- Add stir fried okra/bhindi and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Now add grated fresh coconut and fresh coriander and give it a boil.
- Serve hot with idli, dosa or steamed rice.
1- Sambhar masala-You can either make fresh sambhar masala or use any good brand of readymade sambhar powder,but the addition of this flavourful sambhar masala is a must.there are so many good brands of readymade sambhar powders available in the market to choose from. 2-Vegetables– Selection of vegetables and their quantity depends on personal choice and taste,I have added my favourite vegetables but you can also add yellow pumpkin, raddish, cauliflower, french beans, cluster beans/guvar,capsicum, carrot or any vegetable of your choice. 3-* Addition of jaggary and fresh coconut is optional,but jaggary gives a wondeful taste to sambhar,so do try it once. 4- Thickness of sambhar- if you want to serve it with idli then make it little thin and if you want to serve it with dosa or steamed rice then make it medium thick or depends on your personal choice.
Chris J says
Do note that while I like your website and recipes, I a meal frustrated at times by the incomplete translations of certain ingredients, particularly vegetables. Terms like ‘sambhar’ and ‘masala’ , obviously don’t need further explanation (hopefully) but drumstick (chicken?), baby brinjal, bottlegourd, and jaggary are new to me.
Perhaps your audience is primarily South Asian or even experienced Indian cooks, but for me, an experienced cook new to your cuisine, I’m not feeling encouraged to delve further into your website. And maybe I am not your target audience, being an old white guy.
Your website is very enjoyable, but feels limited for me. Hoping that I’m not coming off as a privileged white,English speaker here who expects all communication in his own lingo. Heh. I probably do come across that way. Thanks for ‘listening’.
Thanks Chris for your honest opinion. I will definitely try to work more on the translation
Priya Suresh says
One of our favourite stew, cant take my eyes from that spongy idlies.
Shobha Kamath says
Sambhar looks lovely. The idlies too look good.
Rani Acharyulu says
Yummy Sambar picture itself so tempting with those white spongy idlies…
Vidya Chandrahas says
Delicious sambhar..love it with idli and dosa.
its a regular fix at home. whenever we are bored of regular bengali dal we make it. your look wonderful. am temped with those soft white idlis.
Sapana Behl says
Love sambhar ..ours looks so delicious and tempting!