Sambar for Tiffin

Sambar is the most popular side dish specially for masala dosa all over India. But it is typically prepared by most of the south Indians. Others used to feel that their sambar is not as delicious as the one prepared by south Indians. So here is my recipe for simple and delicious sambar that is a perfect accompaniment for idli, dosa, vada, pongal or kichadi.


Cooking Time: 30 min

Serves : 3


  1. Split green gram (moong dal or aasi paruppu) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
  2. Onion – 1 No.
  3. Tomato – 3 Nos.
  4. Green chilli – 1 or 2 No.
  5. Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Oil – 1 tbsp
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  9. Red chillies – 2 Nos
  10. Asafoetida – a pinch
  11. Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Coriander leaves – few sprigs
  13. Salt – 1 tsp


  • Slit green chillies, chop onions into long slices and chop tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Wash green gram & add water (300 ml) into it.
  • And then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, green chillies, onions & tomatoes.
  • Pressure cook this lentil mixture (simmer for 7 min. after bringing to high pressure).
  • Mix sambar powder with water (1/4 cup) and keep aside.
  • Heat a cooking pot (with heavy bottom) with oil, add mustard seeds when they start crackling, add snapped red chillies & asafoetida powder and fry for 5 sec.
  • Pour the water mixed with sambar powder and bring to a boil.
  • Mash the cooked lentil mixture with the back of a ladle nicely.
  • Add mashed lentil & sufficient water to get pouring consistency and bring to a boil.
  • Close the pot with a lid and simmer for 5 min and turn off the stove.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves & serve hot sambar with any tiffin.

Tips for making sambar:

  • Sambar can be prepared with moong dal or masoor dal. If you are using masoor dal, you can reduce the measurement for lentil by 10% as it adds more viscosity than other lentils.
  • You can follow the recipe above to make flavorful delicious sambar.
  • No need to add tamarind juice, tomatoes are enough.
  • Asafoetida (hing) needs to be added while frying, not while boiling.
  • Red chillies & sambar powder are important ingredients here.
  • If you allow sambar to boil after adding coriander leaves, coriander leaves may start to taste bitter.
  • You can add shallots instead of onion.
  • You can also add vegetables like drumsticks, red pumpkins, potatoes, etc. while pressure cooking.
  • Sambar gets thickened after some time, so it is better to prepare sambar with more water and make it little watery.

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