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Sambar is a staple part of most South Indian meals. Every family has their own personal recipe/touch to making this fantastic daal. The amazing part is that it is so flavorful and goes so beautifully with a host of things like Dosa, Idli, Rice, Vadas…

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Serves: 4-6


Toor Daal – 1 cup (200 gms)
Water – 3+1 cup ( 1L)
Tindora – 5-6 pcs (slit)
Carrot – 1 (cut)
Green Beans – 1/4 cup (cut)
Winter Melon/Ash Gourd – 1/2 cup (cubed)
Salt – to taste
Tamarind – 1-1.5 tbsp or to taste
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Sambar Powder – 4 tsp (divided)
Tomato – 1/2 medium (cubed)
Oil – 1.5 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – for garnish
Drumsticks – few pcs (optional)


1. Wash and soak the Toor Daal for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the water and put it in the Pressure cooker.
3. Add in the Carrots, Green Beans, Tindora, Winter Melon, Water (3cups) and Salt.
4. Close the cooker, cook the Daal on medium heat, 1 whistle and allow the pressure to go down.
5. Meanwhile, soak the Tamarind in 1/2 cup hot Wate and allow it to soften.
6. Once safe, open the Pressure Cooker, turn the heat on medium again.
7. Add in Turmeric Powder, Tomatoes, pinch of Asafoetida, 1/2 the Chilli Powder, 1/2 the Sambar Powder and Drumsticks.
8. Mix and let the Sambar keep boiling.
9. Mash the Tamarind so the juice/paste seperates from the fiber and the seeds.
10. Use a seive and starin the juice into the boiling Sambar.
11. Add the balance of the Water (1/2 cup or amount needed) to get the Sambar to the desired consistency.
12. Allow it boil till the raw Tamarind smell has gone and the Tomatoes should also be cooked.
13. For the seasoning, take a small skillet on medium heat and add in the Oil.
14. Once hot, add in Mustard Seeds and a pinch of Asafoetida.
15. Allow the Mustard Seeds to pop.
16. Then add in Curry Leaves and turn off the stove.
17. Add i n the Red Chillie Powder, Sambar Powder, Coriander powder and a little bit of water to avoid powders burning.
18. Add to the Sambar.
19. Mix and allow it to boil for another 2-3 minutes.
20. Garnish with Cilantro/Coriander Leaves and it’s ready.

Use Tamarind Concentrate if regular Tamarind is not available.


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