Vegetable Sambar

Sambar is a wholesome and nutritious dish that pairs beautifully with rice, dosas, idlis and even appams. This version by SHILPI SHARMA uses basic vegetables and a medley of spices to achieve the right balance of sweet, spicy and sour.


  • ½ cup toor dal (arhar dal)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 5 to 6 pieces drumstick
  • ½ cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup tamarind juice
  •  1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
  • ¾ tomato, finely chopped
  •  Few curry leaves
  •  ¾ teaspoon jaggery
  •  ½ onion, cubed
  •  Salt to taste
  •  1 tablespoon sambar powder

For the tempering:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil/cooking oil
  • ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • Few curry leaves


  • Pressure cook the dal and vegetables in a single cooker in 2 separate bowls. To do this, add the washed toor dal with
  • 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder to one bowl. In another bowl, add the carrot and drumsticks without any water.
  • Pressure cook for 5 whistles on a medium flame.
  • When the pressure releases, mash the dal well.
  • In a large kadai, add 1 cup of tamarind juice.
  • Add the chilli, tomatoes, curry leaves, balance turmeric powder and jaggery. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add the onion and salt. Mix well and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked vegetables and bring to a boil again. Do not overcook the vegetables. Now add the mashed dal and mix well.
  • Bring the sambar to a boil.
  • Then add the sambar powder and mix well. Boil for a minute and turn off  the heat.
  • Prepare the tempering by heating oil in a small kadai. Add the mustard seeds, hing, red chillis and curry leaves. Once they splutter, pour over the sambar.
  • Mix well and serve with hot steamed rice or idlis.

Shilpi Sharma is a homemaker and a food blogger by passion. Her recipe videos are easy to recreate and can be cooked with ingredients that are easily available at home. She primarily focuses on Indian cuisine. You can follow her on Instagram @myexperiencediaries

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