Sambar Recipe for Idli

Easy cooking ideas for Singles#37- Sambar for Idli


In today’s Sambar Recipe for Idli, I am sharing the recipe for sambar (lentil soup) which is an accompaniment for idli.  Sambar is an essential part of South Indian cuisine and there are numerous variations. Andhra sambar is said to be the best. I remember only my mom’s recipe and have never tried any other; a foolproof recipe that always turns out trumps. It has the goodness of nourishing vegetables and is flavorful, sour and spicy. I use tur dal, sambar powder, tamarind pulp and veggies like shallots, tomatoes, a carrot, a local cucumber and bottle gourd; can you guess the wholesomeness of this sambar?

Fill a bowl with this divine soup and add idlis to it; best comfort food for me. One can attain Nirvana eating spoonfuls of this soft, appetizing, lip-smacking, scrumptious dish.

Recipe for Sambar Recipe for Idli


½ cup tur dal or split pigeon peas

6 Shallots (small onions) peel and cut both ends

3 Tomatoes medium size, roughly chopped

Vegetable – 1 cup (cubed) carrot/bottle gourd/cucumber/drumstick/aubergine-optional

Green chillies – 2, slit lengthwise

Turmeric powder – 1/2 Tsp

Coriander leaves

1 tsp-Thick tamarind paste

1 tsp Jaggery or sugar

Salt to taste

1 tbsp sambar powder

For tempering:

1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter

2 Red chilis

Pinch of Asafoetida

Curry leaves – a sprig

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp red chilli powder

2-3 cloves garlic









Wash dal and soak in for 10-15 minutes. Soaking helps to cook the dal faster.

In a pressure cooker, add the dal along with 2 cups water, Tsp tsp turmeric powder. Pressure cook up to 4 whistles or till the dals turn soft. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure to ease before opening the lid.

Remove the lid of pressure cooker, mash the dal and keep aside.

In a pan add four cups of water, shallots, green chillies and vegetable pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are soft and cooked.

Add the boiled vegetables to the mashed dal and continue to simmer. Add tamarind pulp and salt.

Add a heaped tbsp of the sambar powder and mix well. Continue to simmer for 7-8 mts on medium flame.

For tempering, heat ghee in a small pan, add mustard seeds and allow spluttering. Add red chilis, garlic cloves, curry leaves and asafoetida and saute. Turn off the flame and add 1 tsp red chilli powder; It gives a nice red colour to the sambar. Add the tempering to the simmering sambar. Be careful as it may spill out.

Turn off the flame, add coriander leaves and place lid. Remove to a serving bowl and serve with steamed idli and podi or gunpowder.



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