how to make sambar recipe

Vegetable Sambar Recipe

This tantalizing vegetable sambar recipe combines a lentil base with a savoury mixture of potatoes, eggplant, bottle gourd, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. It’s seasoned with sambar powder, cumin, mustard seed, and other spices, and topped with fresh parsley—the result is a wonderful blend of flavours. Sambar is a truly classic food, made for centuries and eaten by the Maharashtrian Tamils. You can enjoy it on its own or as a side, or try pairing it with idli!

Ingredients for a Vegetable Sambar

  • 1 cup okra, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks
  • ½ medium-sized eggplant, cut into chunks
  • ½ medium-sized bottle gourd, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium-sized onions, cut into quarters
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, wedged
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 small carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 tbsp jaggery powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups prepared Toor Dal

How to Make a Vegetable Sambar

  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Preheat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and stir-fry until thy start popping.
  3. Now, stir in the red chili powder, cumin seeds, turmeric, and garlic. Cook for 1 minute and then add potatoes, eggplant, bottle gourd, okra, onions, red onions, and carrot. Stir well and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Sprinkle with sambar powder, salt, and jaggery. Add about two cups of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender. Stir occasionally.
  6. Now, stir in the prepared dal and switch off the heat.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with basmati rice.

Ingredients for the Toor Dal

  • 1 cup yellow lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

How to Make Toor Dal

  1. Rinse and drain lentils. Place in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Pour in enough water to cover and bring it to a boil. Cook until soft. Remove from the heat and drain. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir-fry until translucent. Season with chilli flakes, turmeric, and salt. Give it a good stir and add tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Now, add lentils and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.


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