Sambar ( South Indian gravy )

Sambar has been a favorite at home and comes handy as we can make with almost any available vegetables. Its pretty adaptable. Yesterday I got some fresh drumsticks from the market and decided to use them for Sambar.

I make my recipes in manner such that its convenient ,fast and time saver  specially during the early hours when Kids need to rush to school .

Since the sight of tomatoes , brinjal in the sambar does not really excite my kids, I came up with the idea to grind them with Dal , tamarind  . I realized grinding the dal gives a rich consistency to the sambar and to add to my style of keeping  cooking precise, it makes my job easier as well.

Yield: 4  Person
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


Tuvar Dal – 3/4 cup

Tamarind – 1 gooseberry size

Brinjal – 2 small (optional)

Tomato – 1 small

Onion – 1 ( chopped)

Drumstick – 1

For Tempering  :

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp

Asafoetida – pinch

Curry leaves – 5

Coriander leaves – to garnish


1. Add the Tuvar dal to  a cooker container with 1 cup water, brinjal ( optional), tomato and tamarind to it. Cook it till Dal is done( generally takes 10 min)

2. Cool the cooked dal to room temperature and grind to paste.

3. In a wok, take 1 tsp oil, add mustard seeds.

4. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida ,curry leaves  , onions. Cook till onion becomes translucent.

5. In another pan, add 2 cups of water , salt ( approx 1/2 tsp) , Sambar powder, turmeric powder , drumstick and  boil for 10 minutes

6. Now add the dal paste to it along with salt to taste (  remember we already added some salt to the boiling water)

7. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from fire and Garnish with coriander leaves.

8. Serve hot with Rice/ Idli/Dosa/Pongal

Special Information

  1. Since my kids leave to school early morning, I pre-cook the Tuvar dal paste and store in the refrigerator the previous night.
  2. I use home made sambar masala . Check the link


A Food Nutritionist by qualification, a Human Resource by experience and a cook and a handicrafts person ,by choice. With the best of food critic ,artistic family lineage and art appreciators at home I am delighted to blog my recipe's ,art works for kids .You may see some of my work as a deliberate deviation from the traditional work's, be it the recipe/handicrafts....just to satisfy my creative bugs ..hope you enjoy your visit ...

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