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Madras Sambar

6 Oct

Madras Sambar.

This recipe of sambar is all about freshness and texture. Onions and tomatoes are separately cooked and mixed with the cooked toor dal along with spices. Here, store bought madras sambar powder is used. Finally sambar is tempered with typical south Indian spices and can be served with steamed rice or with idly, dosa, vada etc…
Makes: around 3 Cups of Madras Sambar.


Tomato 2
Onion 1
Ginger 1/2 inch Piece
Garlic 1 big Clove
Tamarind 2 inch Piece
Toor Dal 1/2 Cup
Madras Sambar Powder 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tsps


Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Broken Red Chiles 3
Curry Leaves 6
Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel and chop the onion into big chunks.
Wash and finely chop the tomato.
Soak tamarind in quarter cup of warm water for sometime and extract all the juice discarding the veins.
Wash, separate leaves and finely chop the cilantro.
Grind ginger and garlic into paste.
Alternatively, grate both ginger and garlic and keep aside.

Wash and pressure cook toor dal in a cup of water for 3 whistles.
Alternatively, boil toor dal in around cup and half of water for around 40 minutes for it to soften.
Mash the dal with a masher and keep aside.

Heat a tsp of oil in a sauce pot, add chopped onion.
Fry till onion starts to change color.
Stir in ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell of the paste disappears and the onions turn golden brown.
Remove the pot from heat.

Heat a sauce pot on medium heat, add chopped tomato, tamarind extract, a cup of water, turmeric and salt.
Boil till the tomatoes turn extremely soft but not mushy.
Now add the fried onion to the pot along with mashed dal and around a cup of water.
Mix well and stir in sambar powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar and salt.
Bring to boil and let the sambar bubble for couple of minutes.

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering and urad dal changes color, remove from heat and add to the sambar.
Garnish with cilantro and serve madras sambar with steamed rice or with idli, dosa etc…
Notes: Make sure not to overcook any of the ingredients.

Suggestions: Adjust the consistency of the sambar with water.
Variations: You can also fry the onions and tomatoes in same pot but the texture varies. Also other vegetables like lady’s finger, bottle gourd can be added.
Other Names: Madras Sambar.


Coconut Sambar

27 Mar

Kobbari Sambar


Whole Coconut 1 medium
Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Tamarind 1 inch sized ball
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Green Chiles 2
Red Chile Powder 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds 2 tbsps
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Cilantro few leaves
Salt to taste


Urad Dal 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Chop up the fresh coconut and grind it along with coriander seeds, red chile powder and a cup of water.
Squeeze the ground coconut mixture to extract all the milk.
Grind squeezed coconut with another cup of water and squeeze again to obtain more coconut milk.
Repeat until the extract is thick and white in color.

Peel and slice the onion.
Wash and finely chop tomato.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Soak tamarind in half a cup of water and extract the juice out of it.
Pressure cook toor dal in a cup of water for 2-3 whistles.

Heat oil in a vessel, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When seeds start spluttering, add green chiles, onion and stir fry.
Once onion turns translucent, add tomato, tamarind extract, turmeric powder and salt.
When tomato turns soft, add coconut milk and cooked toor dal.
Remove from heat once it comes to a slight bubble.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice.

Notes: Use fresh coconut milk to make this sambar.

Spicy Sambar

26 Oct

Ammamma Anapakaya Sambar


Toor Dal 1 cup
Tamarind 2-3 inch sized ball
Tomatoes (plum) 5
Onion 1
Bottle Gourd 6×6 inch piece
Green Chillies 3
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


Whole Dried Red Chiles 6-8
Coriander Seeds 1 1/2 to 2 tbsps
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 1 inch stick


Fenugreek Seeds a pinch
Urad Dal 2 tsps
Mustard Seeds 2 tsps
Cumin Seeds 2 tsps
Broken Red Chiles 3
Curry Leaves 5
Hing a pinch
Oil 2 tbsps

Method of preparation:

Remove stems, wash and slit green chillies.
Peel and chop bottle gourd into small cubes.
Wash and chop 4 of the tomatoes into cubes.
Grind one tomato(coarsely chopped) into smooth paste using water if required.
Peel, cut in half and slice the onion.

Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water and extract the pulp.
Wash and cook the dal in 2 1/4 cups of water for 3 whistles using pressure cooker.
Mash the cooked dal roughly and keep aside.

Finely grind the masala ingredients into fine powder using a blender.
(You can roast the masala ingredients before grinding.)

Heat oil in a deep vessel, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
Then add tamarind pulp, chopped bottle gourd, onion, tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, salt and 2-3 cups of water.
Cook covered until all the vegetables are almost cooked. Leave a little crunch to the vegetables.

Add ground masala powder, mashed dal, pureed tomato and water (to attain required consistency).
Let it bubble on medium-low flame for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with idly, dosa, rice etc…

Notes: You can also grind few tbsps of grated coconut along with tomato and add to sambar.