Authentic south Indian sambar

What can be more delicious than than eating Sambar rice from your mother’s hand? This simple yet elegant dish reminds me of my splendid evening in an south Indian household. It highlights t are two main ingredients peas and tamarind, and occasional addition of few spices completes the picture. 

How much of your precious time does it take?

You can summon up Sambar in less than 15 minutes, although you need quite some time to dry a few ingredients. 


Serves 2 people, but if you are trying this for the first time I recommend you test it on yourself before you serve!


  • Half  cup Pigeon Peas
  • One fourth tea spoon Turmeric
  • One tablespoon Tamarind Paste ( you can check below to see the preparation)
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Half cup of  grated Coconut, (optional)

For Temperment (This is not  for looks and aroma alone)

  • One teaspoon tsp Mustard seeds
  • Half table spoon Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 red chili ( dried )
  • 1 small Tomato (optional)

Optional Additions


  • Curry leaves

Start up

Tamarind Paste: Take a regular tamarind, drop it in hot water (1 cup ) and extract all the juice.  Use this water (removing tamarind) instead of regular water in this recipe.


Cook the spices along side with cups water along with the turmeric. Mash it and set aside, While the spices are cooking, you can use this time to boil any vegetables that you want to use. You don’t have to cut them into perfect pieces; even rough chop does the work. A Sambar is incomplete without onions though so I used onions here

Boil the Onion in 1 teaspoon oil (you can take any oil) and salt until it has a beautiful aroma and the onions tend to become slightly soft. Add one cup water along with few finely chopped curry leaves. When the water has shimmered then it is time to add tamarind paste and Sambar powder.

Stir them and leave it aside to boil. This is essential so as to discard the smell of raw tamarind (believe me it stings)

Take another pan, heat 1 teaspoon of Ghee (If you are not a fan of ghee, then I recommend oil), now it is time to add mustard seeds. When they starts popping (Not like popcorn), then add fenugreek seeds and d red chilies. Keep in mind that the When the fenugreek seeds starts to change color. Switch off the flame; Add that to the tamarind mixture. After few minutes I recommend almost 3 minutes and then add the pigeon peas to this mixture. Stir to mix,and  Garnish with remaining curry leaves .


Serve hot with rice and whoever you are serving will sing

“Dabba kali, pate full”

haneesha thanati

a juvenile ,who trying to understand the miracles of universe.

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