Apart from the many things, the rich belt of South India has given the world, Sambhar is one of the things the world will remain eternally grateful for. It is a prime staple for many South Indian households across the world. Basically, Sambhar is a healthy vegetable stew made from lentils, a special powder called Sambhar masala and some fresh vegetables. This stew is further cooked in a tamarind broth and served hot with dishes like steamed idli, rice, dosa, vada, uttapam, etc.

Explore the rich recipe here.


  • ½ cup Toor Daal
  • Sambhar masala
  • 1 spoon of tamarind (Imli)
  • Turmeric powder
  • 1 cup Onion
  • 1 cup Tomato
  • 1 cup Pumpkin
  • 1 cup Drum sticks
  • 1 cup Potato
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • ½ tablespoon asafoetida
  • A few curry leaves
  • Water as required


  • Soak the tamarind in some hot water for 20-30 minutes. Once it becomes soft, strain it and make a pulp. Keep it aside.
  • Rinse the toor daal in water properly. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and place it in a pressure cooker. Wait for 10-12 minutes, till the daal is completely cooked.
  • Further, add some oil in a pan. Cook the listed vegetables well.
  • Add some turmeric powder and salt. Cook the vegetables on a medium flame.
  • Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tamarind pulp, Sambhar Masala, and lentils as required. Mix well.
  • Add water as required and let the Sambhar boil.
  • Use mustard seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies, and asafoetida to prepare a hot tempering. Add it to the Sambhar while serving it.


  • Unlike North Indian dishes which are comparatively complex to make, South Indian dishes are usually simple and can be made in less time. Sambhar is one such dish. So, always use fresh ingredients.
  • The main emphasise of the dish lies on the sambhar masala you use. It can alter the taste of your Sambhar completely. Hence, always use fresh, flavourful, and good-quality Sambhar masala like Vasant Sambhar masala.
  • The vegetables used in a Sambhar are open-end i.e., you can add the vegetables you prefer like carrot, pumpkin, potato, brinjal, tomato. You can even choose to skip them altogether.
  • If you want the Sambhar to be on a sweeter side, you can add a bit jaggery as well.

Popular varieties of Sambhar:

  • Drumstick Sambhar: This type of Sambhar is made only with drumsticks. No other vegetables are added. Other ingredients like Sambhar masala, tamarind pulp, and toor daal remain the same.
  • Hotel style Sambhar: A typical Sambhar in an authentic South Indian hotel is of this type. In terms of vegetables, only small-sized onions are used which are sautéed well and then crushed coarsely. As compared to a usual Sambhar, more Sambhar masala is added to give it a sharp taste.
  • Radish Sambhar: In this variety, the only radish is used in place of vegetables. The other procedure remains the same.
  • Varutharacha Sambhar: Varutharacha Sambhar is a Kerala-style Sambhar. It is made by using coconut and the Sambhar masala is added in abundant proportions to make it spicier.

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