Red Lentils Sambar

This is our usual drumstick sambar only but it is made of red lentils or masoor dal. Traditionally sambar (for rice) is prepared by using split pigeon peas or red grams or thuvaram paruppu, but I used red lentil here because it is a rich source of protein and it contains an important amino acid. Masoor dal helps to add more viscosity to sambar than thuvaram paruppu (red gram).

Cooking Time : 30 min

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  1. Red lentils (masoor dal) – 1/3 cup
  2. Tamarind – (please refer the image)
  3. Drumsticks (murungai kai) – 2 Nos.
  4. Fenugreek (vendhayam) – 1 tsp
  5. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  8. Asafoetida (perungayam/hing) – 1/4 tsp
  9. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  10. Salt – 1 tsp
  11. Oil – 1 tbsp


Cooking Method :

  1. Pressure cook red lentils (simmer for 8 min after bringing to high pressure) and mash with the back of a ladle.
  2. Wash drumsticks & cut into 2-inch long pieces.
  3. Extract tamarind juice & keep them aside.
  4. Heat a heavy bottom pan with oil, add fenugreek seeds & fry them.
  5. Add curry leaves followed by drumstick pieces.
  6. Pour tamarind juice into the pan and add red chilli powder & turmeric powder.
  7. Bring them to a boil in medium flame.
  8. Cook drumstick pieces until their seeds become soft.
  9. Add sambar powder, mashed lentil and blend them well.
  10. Add salt & asafotida and bring to a boil.
  11. Garnish sambar with tempering before serving.

Please Note:

As lentils cause flatulence, for people with difficulty in digestion you can follow the tips below:

  • Soak lentils and wash them before pressure cooking.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves lavishly along with cooked lentils.

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