Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sambar, without sambar powder / Lentil vegetable soup

Sambar is one of our family favorite day to day dish. In Kerala itself there are so many varieties of sambar as we move from South Kerala to North Kerala. Slightly sweet version from south to the roasted coconut version sambar from north tastes good with rice as well as idli or dosa.
Our usual sambar is made with sambar powder and roasted coconut paste. That is my mom's version. And that is one of the best tasting sambar I have ever had. 😊
But the below Sambar recipe is adapted from my mother in laws version of sambar which is made without sambar powder. This is the best sambar recipe without sambar powder :). 


  1. Sambar dal/ toor dal - 1/3 cup
  2. Tomato, wedges - 1 cup
  3. Onion, wedges - 1/2 cup
  4. Drumstick, cut - 1/2 cup
  5. Ladies finger, cut - 1/2 cup
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  7. Tamarind paste - 1.5 tsp 
  8. Salt to taste 
  9. Coconut oil - 2 tbsp 
  10. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  11. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  12. Curry leaves - 6
  13. Dry red chilli - 2-3

Sambar masala:

  1. Coconut oil - 1 tsp
  2. Split urud dal - 1 tsp
  3. Uluva/ fenugreek seeds - 3/4 tsp
  4. Kayam / Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
  5. Curry leaves - 4-5
  6. Coconut, shredded - 2 heaped tbs
  7. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  8. Coriander powder - 3 tsp

Sambar masala:

  1. Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a pan
  2. Add kayam, urud dal, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and sauté till urud dal is golden brown. 
  3. Add coconut and stir till coconut is golden brown. Stir continuously under low flame so that coconut doesn't get burned. 
  4. Add chilli powder and coriander powder to the above and stir for a minute and switch off the flame. 
  5. Make smooth paste with the above. 


  1. Cook sambar dal with enough water in pressure cooker till soft and mushy
  2. Add all vegetables except ladies finger along with turmeric powder
  3. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add ladies finger. 
  4. Add salt to taste. 
  5. Add sambar paste to it and mix it
  6. Once the sambar starts to boil, add tamarind paste and mix well 
  7. Let it cook for 2 more minutes and switch off the flame. 
  8. Add chopped coriander leaves. 
  9. Heat coconut oil in a small pan for tempering. 
  10. Splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds
  11. Add curry leaves and dry red chilli to the above and switch off the flame. 
  12. Pour the tempering over sambar and keep it closed for a few minutes before stirring. 

Serve sambar with rice or idli. 

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