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how to prepare sambar for rice idli dosa

Easy Tomato Sambar Recipe - Tomato Sambar For Rice, Dosa & Idli

South Indian style tomato sambar or thakkali sambar is easy to prepare and makes a yummy, healthy sambar for rice, dosa and idli.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword thakkali sambar, tomato sambar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 197kcal


  • 3/4 cup yellow split pigeon peas
  • 5 fresh tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons instant sambar powder or as mentioned in the package
  • 3 cups water or more as required
  • salt as required

If you don't have sambar powder, use the following spices, you can also add these spice powders along with sambar powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • asafoetida powder a pinch, optional

For Seasoning(optional)

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 dry red chilies  
  • 1 string curry leaves


  • Wash the dal and transfer it to the pressure cooker.
  • Cut the tomatoes in medium evenly sized pieces and transfer it to the pressure cooker.
  • Add the salt and water, close the pressure cooker and cook in medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until 3 whistles come. Make sure you follow the directions in the pressure cooker manual including the use of safety valve as this is important while using pressure cookers.
  • After 8 to 10 minutes, switch off the stove and wait for the cooker to cool down.
  • Once the pressure cooker is cool, you can open the lid and see if the dal and tomatoes are cooked and soft. You can mash the dal gently using a spoon of fork.
  • You can add a little more water at this point, if you prefer more gravy for the sambar.
  • Add the sambar powder or the spices, mix everything well and heat for another 2 minutes so the spices will blend nicely with the tomato dal mixture and the tomato sambar is actually done, now only the garnishing and seasoning is left.
  • Add the chopped cilantro leaves and gently mix the delicious tomato sambar now flavored with fresh green cilantro leaves.
  • Switch off the stove and transfer the pressure cooker from the hot stove so it won't get cooked anymore.
  • Now let us prepare the seasoning. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds starts spluttering, add the red chilies and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds.
  • Add this seasoning to the tomato sambar in pressure cooker, now your delicious tomato sambar is ready, you can gently mix it if you wish.


Serve the hot tomato sambar for rice for an easy, yummy and simple South Indian lunch or you can serve this tomato sambar for idli or dosa for breakfast or snack or dinner as you wish!


Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 85.8mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2.1mg