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sambar recipe without sambar powder beginners

Sambar Recipe Without Sambar Powder

An easy example recipe for simple sambar (instead of using instant sambar masala) which can be easily prepared with a blend of spices.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 265kcal


  • 1.5 cups toor dal (yellow split pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups vegetables sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • asafoetida   a pinch, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt adjust as required


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5 dry red chilies
  • 1 string curry leaves


  • Transfer the cut vegetables to the pressure cooker.
  • Wash the dal (yellow pigeon peas) to the pressure cooker.
  • Add the salt and all spices - mix well.
  • Add the water and mix well.
  • Close the pressure cooker with the lid. Make sure you put the safety valve and follow all directions mentioned in the manual of the pressure cooker.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until 3 whistles have come.
  • Switch off the pressure cooker after 10 minutes and wait for it to cool down.
  • Meanwhile make tamarind extract by dissolving the tamarind paste in half a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Once the tamarind is dissolved, you can filter the tamarind extract and keep it aside. (you can skip using tamarind if you are using at least 3 tomatoes in your vegetables).
  • Once the pressure cooker is cooled, you can open the cooker and see if the lentils and vegetables are cooked well and are soft enough.
  • Add the tamarind extract to the cooker, mix well and heat for another 1 to 2 minutes stirring occasionally. You shouldn't close the cooker at this time, just keep it open and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Now your sambar is ready with the blended dal, vegetables, spices and tamarind extract.The only step remaining is to make the seasoning which we will do now.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter, add red chilies and curry leaves fry for a few seconds.
  • Pour this seasoning on the sambar and gently mix the contents. Delicious and simple sambar using spices is ready to serve!


You can serve this sambar with rice, dosa or idli for vegetarian lunch or dinner.


Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3570IU | Vitamin C: 69.7mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5.5mg