Sambhar Recipe | How to make the best South Indian Sambar | Healthy Indian Lentil Soup

Sambar Recipe ~ South Indian Lentil Soup

Sambar with Rice ~ a comfort food which is a simple, nutritious meal of proteins and carbohydrates

South Indian food like Dosa, Idli and Uttapam was a big hit with my family. I grew up in the eastern state of Bengal where there were (and still are) some excellent south indian food restaurants which we would frequent. My staple order was paper plain dosa, a long, crispy thin Indian crepe with an assortment of condiments like coconut chutney, tomato chutney and, of course, Sambar!  
Out of all that there is to offer in South Indian cuisine, I have been very picky about Sambar. I, somehow, don’t reach out for sambar as much as the other condiments. While I was just about giving up on this dish and felt, ‘That’s it. I love ALL of south Indian food except sambar! Why can’t I like sambar?!!’, life had other plans. Enter, my friend Archana.

Archana made sambhar one Saturday and gave some for AB and me. AB (who is the sambhar-lover in the house) hardly got any. The Sambar was SO good that I was truly in sambar-rice heaven that afternoon. This has to be the best Sambar I have had and will not hesitate one bit to make it over and over again!

So when she made her recipe again, I had to document it to share with all of you. So here’s presenting the most amazing recipe of Sambar, the all time favorite spicy, tangy, healthy and fulfilling comfort food. Also, Sambhar is completely gluten free and vegan!

Ingredients you will need:

For roasting and grinding:
2 tbsp sesame oil (gingelly or ‘til’ oil) preferably
2 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram, split and skinned
1 tbsp coriander or ‘dhania’ seeds
6-7 red chilli dry
½ tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
1 cup grated coconut

For tempering:
1 tsp full mustard seeds
a pinch of hing or asafoetida
1 stem curry leaves
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter or sesame oil

1 cup shallots chopped
2 cups toor dal or pigeon peas, split and skinned (pressure cooked till fully mashed)
1 cup tamarind or ‘imli’ pulp (you can use homemade or store-bought)
3 tbsp sambar powder (homemade or store-bought)

Method for cooking:

1) Roast and grind the ingredients mentioned above and keep aside.

2) In a heated pan put oil, little bit  of mustard seeds and shallots, stir fry till shallots are translucent. Now add the tamarind pulp and salt. Boil till there is no raw tamarind smell.

3) To this, add sambar powder and boil until this thickens.

4) Add ground mixture(from step no. 1) and the pressure cooked toor dal. Stir and simmer till its a bit frothy on top. Do not boil.

5) Add freshly chopped coriander leaves to this.

6) Simultaneously with Step 4 and 5, in another small pan, heat oil or ghee and temper the ingredients mentioned for tempering. After adding the fresh chopped coriander, add the ‘tadka’ or tempered spices to the other pan. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes more. Your sambar is ready. Serve hot with steamed rice or as a condiment for dosa, idli or uttapam.

{In the same sambar recipe you can add chopped drumsticks, eggplant and radish along with the chopped shallots (See step No. 2) This will make the sambar wholesome and more nutritious.}

Sambar Recipe ~ South Indian Lentil Soup

A flavorful dish, Sambar can be made with different kinds of vegetables like eggplant, drumsticks and radish

Sambar Recipe ~ South Indian Lentil SoupSambar Recipe ~ South Indian Lentil Soup

Sambar Recipe ~ South Indian Lentil SoupThis particular meal comprised of sambar, steamed white rice and a potato fry, that perfectly complemented the sambar-rice. The potato recipe will be up on the blog soon!

Till then, try this recipe in your kitchen and you will be forever making sambar at home! 🙂


5 thoughts on “Sambhar Recipe | How to make the best South Indian Sambar | Healthy Indian Lentil Soup

  1. Pingback: Rava Idli ~ savory Indian semolina cake | An Artsy Appetite

  2. Pingback: Potato Fry Indian Style | An Artsy Appetite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s