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| March 17, 2013 Comment


Sambar is a lentil soup that’s popular in South India, and is a great accompaniment to breakfast and snack dishes like idli, dosa, and vada. It also tastes great with rice.

Leave out the onions if you don’t eat onions.

Servings: 4
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 3/4 cup toor dal (split red gram)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into
  • 1-inch-long pieces or cubes or any vegetables
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • (use 3/4 tsp if it’s a strong concentrate)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp sambar powder
  • (if I don’t get the time to make
  • the powder myself, I like to use the 777 or MTR brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut, freshly grated
  • Salt to taste

For Seasoning

  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder (hing)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 2-3 tsp vegetable oil


  1. Cook dal in the pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water and some turmeric powder for about 5-6 whistles.
  2. While the dal is cooking, heat 1 tsp oil in a deep saucepan. Add onions and saute for a minute or two.
  3. Add 3 cups of water and some salt and turmeric. Cover and cook on medium heat until onions are semi-cooked.
  4. Add the tamarind and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft.
  5. Add the sambar powder and boil for 2 minutes until the raw flavor of the powder is gone.
  6. Add the cooked dal and keep aside.
  7. Heat oil in a small pan for seasoning. Add hing and mustard seeds. As the seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves, and add this seasoning to the dal and onions.
  8. Let the dal come to a boil.
  9. Serve hot with hot idli, vada, dosa, or rice and pappadums.

Category: Dals and Soups - Members, Vegan Dals and Soups - Members

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